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John D'Abbro's Biography

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John D'Abbro is head of the New Rush Hall Group, which works with children experiencing behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.

It includes the New Rush Hall School, a day school in the London borough of Redbridge.

At the school, John D'Abbro has been instrumental in introducing technology into the teaching process.

This passion for the use of technology in education struck D'Abbro around 1990, when he began working with a girl in Somerset, who had not spoken for two years, yet after he got her to use a computer and a drawing computer program, she was soon able to speak.

John D'Abbro's accolades include his being granted Apple Distinguished Educator status.

John D'Abbro was awarded an OBE in the January 2007 Honours list.

His hobbies include mountain climbing.

In 2011 Channel 4 transmitted Jamie's Dream School, organised by Jamie Oliver, in which John D'Abbro was the head teacher. John D'Abbro said in regard to Jamie's Dream School:

"At one point I actually broke down in tears. Not because the kids were more badly behaved than I expected – they weren't, but because of the stresses of trying to make this project work.

"There was a real fear that it would all end in disaster, with the youngsters simply not turning up. In the end, I think we achieved something of a miracle."

One of the other teachers in Jamie's Dream School was Rolf Harris, who, like John D'Abbro, was a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from the University of East London.

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