Matthew Burfield, NPQEL

Executive Principal/CEO

Senior Vice President - Education

[email protected]

I began my career teaching History and Citizenship Education in a Secondary School in South London over 20 years ago. Since then I spent time advising Head teachers in the UK whilst working for Essex County Council and then moved into international schooling in Athens, Greece 12 years ago. My first headship there was transforming an established school into the best British International School in the area.

I am now the very proud Executive Principal/CEO of the most successful school opening in GEMS history at GEMS Founders School (GFS) in Dubai where I was the Founding Principal in September 2016. It is a vibrant and wonderful learning environment with over 6000 children currently enrolled and a diverse community of over 100 nationalities. Most importantly to me the children at GFS are mindful and happy learners who love coming to school every day.


In 2019, I became the Founders Brand and School Group Leader overseeing GEMS Metropole School and GEMS Founders School – Al Mizhar. I was then appointed as a Vice President – Education in January 2021 and now lead 7 schools in the UAE. I was also recently promoted to a Senior Vice President – Education role which means I am further responsible with my other SVP colleagues for the Education Strategy for GEMS.


I have completed the full training for Penta International as a BSO Accreditor and have been a part of several BSO teams around the world, including Kuwait and the UAE.I am now also a fully trained Lead Inspector for BSO inspections working with schools across the world. In addition to this work with Penta and the BSO framework, I work with COBIS as a Lead Improvement Partner for their Patrons Accreditation and Compliance visits here in the Middle East and in Europe. I feel honoured and privileged for representing BSME schools as a member of the Executive Committee where I hold the portfolio for professional development. I have also recently been honoured to be elected on to the Committee for the Association of British Schools Overseas (AoBSO) and look forward to supporting the continued growth of this sector globally. I am a great believer in lifelong learning and  completed my NPQEL in 2021 which has really supported me in my executive leadership role.