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Philip Bujak
Bujak at MCI Offices 2011
Born Philip Edwin Bujak
17 February 1960 (1960 -02-17) (age 62)
Norfolk, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Alma mater University of East Anglia
Occupation Educationalist and author
Years active 1983-2014
Awards Pro Memoria Medal Medal Pro Memoria
The Order pro merito Melitensi (Cross) Order pro merito Melitensi
Honorary Freedom of the City of London
Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Gardener's
and the Guild of Educators

Philip Edwin Bujak (born 17 February 1960) is an educationalist and author.[1] As CEO of Montessori St Nicholas Charity he was responsible for the founding of the Montessori Schools Association,[2] the Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board (designed to identify authentic Montessori schools and improve standards of teaching and management), and was the leading voice in the drive for the creation of state funded Montessori schools.[3][4][5][6]


Prior to working for the Montessori St Nicholas Charity, Bujak taught history at Langley School, Norfolk; having completed his teacher-training at Keswick Hall, Norfolk, after reading History at the University of East Anglia, 1979–1982. He was Head of History at Langley School from 1983 to 1988, then Head of Lower and Middle School and Boarding Housemaster from 1988 to 1993. In 1993, he became Headmaster of Stover School for Girls, remaining Headmaster until 2003.[7][8][9] During the 10 years he was Headmaster of Stover, he expanded the school from 120 to 535 pupils, opened Stover Preparatory School in 1998 and created the Millennium Centre opened by HRH The Princess Royal in 2000.[10]


In 2003, Bujak was appointed Chief Executive of the Montessori St Nicholas Charity in London and became responsible for the largest aspect of the Montessori movement across the United Kingdom. In 2005, he founded The Montessori Schools Association, which now comprises approximately 700 Montessori schools; and, in collaboration with Manchester Local Authority, established the first ever state Montessori school at Gorton Mount.[3] Bujak, speaking to The Guardian, said "I would love to do it for other schools." Between 2005 and 2009, Bujak ran annual residential leadership courses for prospective Headteachers at St Edmund's College, Oxford and was appointed to the Skills and Crafts Commission on reforming apprenticeships. In 2007 Bujak published Around The World in 100 Years, a celebration of the centenary of the Montessori movement and its worldwide appeal. In 2008, he established The Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board which is now the leading Montessori accreditation scheme in Europe, with 152 leading Montessori schools in membership. Bujak was a leading voice for the need to identify authentic Montessori teaching. In 2009, he was appointed Managing Director of Montessori Centre International. At that time MCI was in danger of collapse however Bujak expanded MCI into the largest Montessori training college in Europe. In 2012, Bujak led a successful Montessori bid to secure the first Department of Education contract for the Montessori[11] with the Charity providing parenting classes funded by central government in Camden, London. In 2012, Bujak, championed the Montessori Manifesto 2012–2015, launched by Andrea Leadsom at The House of Commons, which was a major national initiative funded by the St Nicholas Charity, to take the Montessori into the most challenged inner city communities across the UK. In 2013, Bujak expanded the reach of the St Nicholas Charity into Poland with the opening of a new office in Warsaw and the launch of a new online course in Polish. This was the latest of a series of European initiatives sponsored by the St Nicholas Charity.

Charitable activities

A commitment to raising awareness of the contribution of the Polish community living in the UK saw Philip Bujak co-found with Dr Andrew Messon (and serve as Vice-Chairman of) The Polish Heritage Society UK in 2009;[12][13] he prompted the repair and erection of a statue of Frederyk Chopin at the South Bank Centre (a gift from the people of Poland in the 1970s that had been allowed to fall into disrepair);[14] and the placing of a plaque to commemorate the London home of Stanislaw Sosabowski in Chiswick.[15] In 2013, Philip Bujak led the initiative to place another plaque at 51 New Cavendish Street to mark the London headquarters of the Polish Navy during 1939–1945, unveiled in November 2013 by Witold Sobkow, the Polish Ambassador.[16][17]

In 2012, Philip Bujak oversaw the restoration of a portrait of Edward Rydz-Śmigły by the artist, Jan Hawrylkiewicz. This painting was the second of what was a commitment to restore two such artworks a year[18] and followed the restoration of the iconic Battle of Britain painting Return from a Successful Sortie by Artur Horowicz.

Philip Bujak with the restored painting of Polish Marshal Rydz-Smigly restored for the Sikorski Institute, London.jpg

In 2011, in recognition of his work in highlighting the contribution of members of the Polish community in the UK, during and after the Second World War, he was awarded the Pro Memoria Medal by the Republic of Poland.[19] For his fundraising activities he was awarded the Order pro merito Melitensi (cross) by the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and in 2010 he was granted the Freedom of the City of London.[20][21]

In 2016, a memorial, commissioned by Philip Bujak and dedicated to the men of the 3rd Carpathian Division (including his father) who were based at Riddlesworth Resettlement Camp in 1946, was unveiled by The Ambassador of The Republic of Poland, Mr Witold Sobkow.[22] The inscription reads:


"It is easy to die for Poland but much harder to suffer for her" "Jest łatwo stracić życie za Polskę, trudniej za nią cierpieć"

He has been a regional committee member for the National Trust covering Devon & Cornwall, a past trustee of the Silvanus Woodland Trust,[23] and Chairman of Governors for Christchurch Primary School in London.[24] Between 2011 and 2014, Philip Bujak was a committed fundraiser for the charity DEBRA (the fight against Epidermolysis Bullosa) and hosted a charity Opera evening at Stationers' Hall in The City of London which raised over £10,000.

In memory of his father, Bujak set up the J.F. Bujak Trust,[25] to support Sixth Form students at his old Comprehensive school who needed funding to undertake education-based travel around the world.

Between 2005–2009, Bujak ran annual residential leadership courses for prospective Headteachers at St Edmund's College, Oxford and was appointed to the Skills & Crafts Commission on reforming apprenticeships.


His latest book, The Bravest Man in the British Army (ISBN 1473895766), published by Pen and Sword Books, appeared in 2018. It adds to his earlier work on the same subject, Undefeated: The Extraordinary Life and Death of Lt. Col. Jack Sherwood-Kelly VC, DSO, CMG published in 2008. In 1990, his history of his home town Attleborough – The Evolution of a Town was published by Poppyland Press, it builds on his earlier work on the history of the town which appeared in 1988 in Norfolk & Suffolk in The Great War edited by Gerald Gliddon.[26] In 2007 Bujak published Around The World in 100 Years, which was a celebration of the centenary of Montessori and its worldwide appeal.

Prior to 2018, Bujak wrote, and contributed to, several articles published in The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, Evening Standard, and other publications.[27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34] He is also a commentator on Anglo-Polish relations and history of the Polish people in the UK.[35][36][37][38] He was a regular contributor to Res Publica and Visegrad Insight – two academic journals published from Warsaw.

In 2019, Philip Bujak won the best newcomer prize in the journalistic section of the Koestler Awards 2019.[39]

Territorial Army

In 1985, Philip Bujak was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant[40] in the 6th Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment (Territorial Army), serving as a platoon commander alongside his teaching career and resigning with the rank of Captain in 1994.


Jan Felix Bujak
Serving with 3rd Carpathian Division, 2nd Corps of the Polish Army 1944

His father, Jan Felix Bujak, escaped from occupied Europe, joining the Free Polish Army in Italy, serving with the 3rd Carpathian Division, 2nd Corps, at the battle of Monte Cassino. He was awarded the Krzyz Walecznych (Cross of Valour).

Personal life

Philip Bujak is a former Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners and a former Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Educators.[41][42] Due to a deteriorating heart condition and eventual heart failure, Bujak stepped down from his professional and public roles in 2014. In private life he remained dedicated to promoting the contribution of the Polish community living in the UK.

After three trials lasting 15 weeks, in July 2018 Bujak was imprisoned for six years by a judge at Southwark Crown Court, having been found guilty of fraud.[43]

His current projects include new books on Nazi Germany and The Roman Republic to be published in early 2022 and other new publications in 2023.


  1. "Polish Forces Memorial". May 1944 - May 2014 - time to celebrate the Poles in Norfolk. 
  2. "Montessori Schools Association". Independent Schools Yearbook. [dead link]
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bawden, Anna (7 September 2005). "First Montessori state school opens". 
  4. "Essex primary becomes first state Montessori school". January 2014. 
  5. Garner, Richard (February 2014). "First-ever Montessori state school planned". 
  6. Philip, Bujak. "Montessori chief gives up on dream of Montessori primary schools after finding 'levels of resistance' too much". 
  7. "Stover School". Stover School Ltd. 
  8. "T.E.S.". TES Teaching Resources. TSL Education Ltd. 
  9. "Headteacher Philip Bujak said Olesya was one of three scholarship girls who came to the school under the Eastern European scholarship scheme run by the Headmasters' Conference.". August 1999. 
  10. "Stover Preparatory School". Stover School Ltd. 
  11. Gaunt, Catherine (29 March 2012). "The Montessori Schools Association, Coram and the National Childbirth Trust were among 14 organisations chosen to run parenting classes in a Government-funded trial from April". 
  12. "PHS Directors, Honorary Officers and Trustees". The Polish Heritage Society. The Polish Heritage Society UK Ltd. Registered Charity No. 1143791. 
  13. "POLISH HERITAGE SOCIETY – List of Trustees". Open Charities. 
  14. "Duke of Gloucester unveils Southbank Chopin statue". The Polish Heritage Society. 
  15. "Plaque unveiled in memory of Major-General Stanislaw Sosabowski". The Polish Heritage Society UK Ltd. 
  16. Bujak, Philip. "Plaque Unveiled at Polish Navy WWII HQ in London". The Polish Heritage Society UK Ltd. 
  17. "Plaque commemorating Polish Navy unveiled". Embassy of the Republic of Poland in London. 
  18. "Restoration of important Polish artworks in the UK". The Polish Heritage Society UK Ltd. 
  19. "Pro Memoria Medal awarded to PHS members". The Polish Heritage Society. The Polish Heritage Society UK Ltd. 
  20. "Freedom of London for Attleborough man". 26 August 2012. 
  21. "Freedom of London for Attleborough man". 26 August 2010. 
  22. "Polish Memorial unveiled in Riddlesworth". 
  23. "THE SILVANUS TRUST". Company Check Ltd. 
  24. "Ofsted School inspection report – 2011". Ofsted. 
  25. "The J F Bujak Travel Bursary". Attleborough High School. 
  26. Bujak, Philip (1998). Norfolk & Suffolk in the Great War. UK: Gliddon Books. ISBN 0947893075. 
  27. Cassidy, Sarah (July 2012). "Bringing up baby, the Montessori way". 
  28. Henry, Julie (March 2012). "Ditch the "naughty step", says new parenting guide". 
  29. McCormack, Steve (March 2006). "Montessori: The startling success of progressive teaching methods". 
  30. Ross, Tim (July 2009). "Tories to offer alternative state education at Montessori schools". 
  31. Rafferty, Frances (July 2008). "Declaring independence". 
  32. Ward, Helen (July 2010). "Early years review 'too narrow', experts warn". 
  33. Gaunt, Catherine (July 2010). "Sector quick to respond to the EYFS review". 
  34. Gaunt, Catherine (December 2010). "Code of Practice interpreted differently among local authorities". 
  35. "May 1944 – May 2004 Time to celebrate the Poles in Norfolk". 
  36. "Poles in the UK must now be seen and heard". 
  37. "Playing into the hands of UKIP". 
  38. "Scottish independence and the Polish vote". 
  39. "Koestler Trust" (in en-GB). 
  40. "Supplement to the London Gazette, 19th March 1985". 
  41. "The Livery & Freedom". The Worshipful Company of Gardeners. 
  42. "Up to date detail of members & events". The Worshipful Company of Gardeners. 
  43. "Former Montessori chief used charity credit card to pay for honeymoon and expensive watercolours". The Daily Telegraph. 2018-07-22. 

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