Director & Lead Researcher

Paul W. Bennett

Our Director is widely recognized as a leading Canadian education analyst, policy researcher and consultant. Since founding Schoolhouse Consulting in September 2009, and becoming Lead Researcher at Schoolhouse Institute in 2010, Paul. W. Bennett, Ed.D., has roamed at-large right across Canada raising critical issues, churning out timely commentaries, and producing policy research reports. His work has demonstrable impact and tends to shape the public conversation. 

Dr. Bennett is a man of many guises – author, teacher, professor, education reformer, and policy analyst. Today he is perhaps best known as a national education consultant and researcher, and the author of ten books, including The State of the System: A Reality Check on Canada’s Schools (McGill-Queen’s University Press, September 2020). He is also an Adjunct Professor of Education at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

Much of our work reflects a serious commitment to doing the research before venturing comments, sizing-up a situation, or proposing solutions. Dr. Bennett has the academic credentials and a string of degrees: Hons. B.A.(York), B.Ed. (Toronto), M.A.(York), Ed.D. (OISE/Toronto). Since 2017, he has served as the national coordinator for researchED in Canada, a UK-based teacher research organization committed to advancing evidence-based policy and practice.  

Paul Bennett

Dr. Bennett learned about educational leadership by working his way up the ladder. His 35-year teaching career, in public and independent education, provides a rare breadth and depth of experience.  After serving as Chair of the History Department and Vice-Principal Academic at Upper Canada College, he went on to head two of Canada’s leading independent day schools, Lower Canada College (1997 to 2005) and the Halifax Grammar School (2005-2009).   

He is particularly well versed on education policy and governance practice. From 1988 until 1997, Paul served as an elected Public School Trustee on the York Region Board of Education, now the York Region District School Board. From 1993 to 1997, he co-chaired the Ontario Coalition for Education Reform and served on the Governance Committee of the Ontario Public School Boards Association (OPSBA). He initiated and co-chaired the York Region Joint Consortia for Shared Transportation Services (1992-1997), one of the first of its kind in Ontario. 

Dr. Bennett has proven that he can produce major policy research studies.  Over the past decade, he has produced more than a dozen policy papers for research institutes, including the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (2010-2019), the Northern Policy Institute (2014-2016), the Institute for Research in Public Policy (IRPP Policy Options) and the Macdonald-Laurier Institute (2022).  Among his consulting clients are leading education organizations, a variety of policy institutes and human resource firms in the education sector.

Currently, Paul is the education columnist for The Telegraph-Journal Provincial (New Brunswick) and a regular guest commentator for The Chronicle Herald (Nova Scotia). As Chair of the Halifax Regional Public Library system (2013-16), Paul played an instrumental role in the establishment of Halifax’s award-winning Central Library. He has just concluded his term (2019-2022) as Board Chair at Churchill Academy, a Dartmouth school for students with severe learning challenges.

Our Consulting Team

On each Schoolhouse project, Paul will play a central role, drawing upon the expertise of his extensive network of contacts and associates at all levels of Canadian education.

Paul W. Bennett is a seasoned educator, researcher and author with many guises who has served as an elected public school trustee, headed two leading independent schools, written eight history books, and emerged, born-again, as a well-known Canadian education commentator. Since 2009, he has produced regular newspaper columns, churned out more than a dozen policy papers, and curated Educhatter, a lively blog on Canadian education”

Presenter Description, researchED Vancouver 2019