John Helleur – Member
John became a member of Paradigm Trust in February 2020.
John is a retired senior manager who spent his career at the leading edge of developing and supporting software solutions in the challenging environment of global telecommunications. He blends experience of organisational transformation, culture change, and project management with a very strong awareness of the challenges in Primary and Secondary schools.
John was a governor at Ipswich Academy’s precursor schools for over 40 years, with roles including Vice-chair and Chair of the governing body, and chair of the Finance Committee. He was also a governor at his children’s primary school, St Helens, from 1980 for over 30 years, many as Chair of Governors. He was instrumental in working to transform Holywells High School to Ipswich Academy and was a founder of the ASSET (IPAT) Multi-academy Trust. Although no longer a governor, John continues to help Ipswich Academy as Chair of the Community Forum and leading a team of maths mentors.
In order to tackle embedded low literacy in disadvantaged areas of Ipswich, in 2016 John set up the Let’s Talk Reading charity, which he chairs, and which now works with 15 schools, 40 early years settings and a number of partner agencies and charities. He also set up sister charity, Read Easy Ipswich in 2018 to help to deal with adult literacy problems. He has interests in an educational project involving 16 disadvantaged schools in Delhi.
John worked for BT for over 30 years, leading software engineering research and development related to new telephone exchanges, network management systems, software architectures and latterly leading BT’s UK network strategy unit. He retired from BT in 2000. In 1995, he was appointed a non-executive Director of the Indian BT joint venture company, Mahindra-BT; then became its COO in 2000 and CEO between 2001 and 2004, positioning it for its public flotation as Tech Mahindra.
John is a strong advocate of carbon reduction and is rapidly changing his lifestyle appropriately. Apart from his family, his main interest is music: playing in a woodwind quintet and a saxophone quartet.