After gaining a first degree in Biochemistry from Royal Holloway College, University of London, Barry Creasy worked for seven years with The Agricultural and Food Research Council, where he gained considerable experience of running scrutiny teams, servicing and running committees, and conducting consultation exercises.
In 1987, Barry joined the School Examinations and Assessment Council (later to become the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, QCA), where his first job was to oversee committees looking at GCSE and A level syllabuses in arts subjects. Following this, he ran scrutiny exercises (assembling small teams of subject experts to audit examinations and syllabuses).
From 1990 onwards, he devoted his time to educational evaluation and research activities within the organisation, becoming involved with the evaluation of the fledgling National Curriculum and its assessment. During the 1994 Dearing Review of the Curriculum, He ran the programme of teacher consultation groups across England, gaining considerable experience of focus group moderation and organisation; for the same exercise, he also oversaw the coding of open-ended written contributions.
When QCA formed in 1997, Barry became a member of the Research Team, further increasing his experience of data and information-gathering (focus groups, questionnaire construction, interviews) through involvement with/running numerous research exercises (e.g. Graduation Certificate consultation, A-level revision, KS3 revision, Creativity in the Curriculum consultation).
In 1995 Barry began management of the Monitoring of Curriculum and Assessment project (MCA), an annual exercise that gained information, via teacher questionnaires, from over 1000 schools (of all types) across England. In 2006, the survey was expanded to glean information from pupils. Management of MCA provided further experience in questionnaire construction, data analysis and report writing.
Throughout his time at QCA, as well as managing and executing research projects, Barry also provided advice on research and evaluation methodologies to colleagues throughout the organisation. In 2005 he was appointed as Research Adviser to QCA’s Curriculum Division.
In addition to research activities at QCA, Barry was also in demand for providing information and advice to others about the National Curriculum. This included:
- Chairing and giving seminars to foreign visitors (e.g. from Latvia, Japan, Korea and China)
- Lecturing at HE institutions (e.g. Brighton and Nottingham Trent Universities)
- Presenting QCA’s work and policies abroad (e.g. in seminars on curriculum in Spain and France)
- Organising workshops (e.g. a 5-day workshop on curriculum in Tehran, Iran)
Barry left QCA in 2006 to pursue a career as freelance consultant.
The Consultation Institute
In 2004, Barry joined The Consultation Institute, a body set up to promote good practice in public consultation. He attended many of their courses, and, in 2005, gained the Institute’s Certificate of Professional Development. He has now been an accredited freelance trainer for the Institute on the technical aspects of consultation for 5 years. In 2006, he was appointed Commissioning Editor for the Institute, and has since published two books with them: Effective Focus Groups (February 2007), Effective Public Meetings (February 2007) and Effective Surveys and Questionnaires (November 2008).; and, in September 2013, to mark the Institute's tenth anniversary, he wrote and compiled a volume of ten of the Institute's most pertinent case studies in consultation practice, A decade of dialogue. In 2010, Barry was appointed to the Institute's Advisory Board, and in 2013, he received the Institute's second Fellowship.
Arts and Culture
The arts of all kinds are a long-established passion. A choral singer since the age of nine, Barry has sung with many choirs, and served in a management capacity with The London Choral Society (now The London Chorus) , Music at St Cyprian’s (a voluntary arts organisation providing a performing platform for young people), and Collegium Musicum of London (he was Chairman of this organisation from 1997 to 2010). This voluntary work has provided him with considerable experience in running arts organisations (including concert planning, performer booking, budgeting, audience-development, marketing and publicity). In 2006, Barry enrolled for a full-time Master’s degree in Arts Management at City University, and passed the degree with merit in autumn 2007. During the degree, in addition to the academic experience and knowledge acquired, he gained practical experience of business-planning for cultural organisations (providing a business plan for The Onovo Trio), as well as providing an evaluation scheme for the 2007 SingLondon initiative, and conducting an interview-based research project on the Spitalfields Festival for Celebrating Enterprise. Barry is a regular attender at arts events of all kinds, including theatre, live music, opera, dance, visual arts events and cinema.
Barry’s IT skills include the following:
- Microsoft Office (including Word, Powerpoint, Access, Excel)
- Paintshop Pro
Barry speaks French to a near-fluent standard.