On 2 December 2006 the Very Reverend John Hall was installed as the 38th Dean of Westminster.
He was brought up in South London. Following a gap year in Kenya, he read theology at the University of Durham and, after two years teaching at a comprehensive high school in Hull, trained for the ministry at Cuddesdon Theological College. He was ordained in 1975 and served successively in parishes in Kennington, Wimbledon and Streatham in the Diocese of Southwark. He was a member of the General Synod of the Church of England from 1984 until 1992 and was also an examining chaplain to the Bishop of Southwark.
From 1992 he was Diocesan Director of Education in Blackburn and also, from 1994, a Canon Residentiary of Blackburn Cathedral. He became the Church of England’s Chief Education Officer in 1998, with overall responsibility for the Church’s strategy, policy and practice in relation to schools, including 5,000 Church of England schools, and universities and for the informal education and nurture of people of all ages in and through the Church.
He has written widely and debated publicly on educational matters and was instrumental in the production of the Dearing Report in 2001 and its follow-up, which led to a significant expansion in the number of Church of England secondary schools.