Dr. John Hughes

School Principal,
Leadership Team

Dr John Hughes was first appointed as a Principal and CEO in GEMS Education in September 2017.  He took over as Principal at GEMS Metropole School – Motor City in March 2018, following the early departure of the previous principal.


John has 19 years’ experience in school education, of which 12 years have been as part of senior leadership teams in primary and all-through schools.  He was the founding Vice Principal of GEMS Metropole School, an all-through school of over 3000 students aged 3 to 17 years serving Motor City and surrounding area. The school opened in September 2014 and John was one of the original senior leadership team which opened the school and oversaw its growth to over 3000 students in 3 years.  Prior to that, John was Deputy Head Teacher of Primary at the British School in the Netherlands, one of Europe’s most prestigious international schools. He has also held two primary school headships in Scotland


John’s early career was spent in zoological research, teaching in universities in the Netherlands and Scotland and working with NGOs, and he was a mature entrant to the teaching profession. John is a fully qualified rugby union coach and has coached rugby at all levels from minis to adult. He was a National Pathway coach in Scotland for a number of years.


John has been involved in major curriculum changes in recent years and has worked closely with secondary colleagues in Scotland and the Netherlands to develop a coherent 3-18 approach to learning and teaching. Leading educational change, strategic planning, developing leadership and inclusive education have been all significant factors in John’s work to date.


John has been married for over thirty years to Alice and has two grown-up children and a young granddaughter.