An autobiographical novel detailing Mr. Johnson’s life from his childhood in Germany and Cyprus to working and experiencing the highs and lows of working in education with young people with complex educational needs.

Kim Johnson, or ‘Sir’, has spent his life striving to achieve outstanding education specifically for children with special educational needs, and to bring fulfilment and confidence to each and every one of his students’ lives. A Journey to and Beyond the Blackboard follows the highs and lows of a life devoted to helping others, at times at a detriment to his own personal life. It examines the relationships with his colleagues, associates and students.  His authority, knowledge and experience in his chosen pathway leading to the corridors of Westminster – and he still rides his Harley Davidson motorbike.

Forty-four years after leaving school as a pupil Kim Johnson retired as the Principal of a Special Academy for children and young adults with complex needs and as the former National President of the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT). The highs and lows of that journey were many and often intertwined. So many people and places each with their own tale of happiness, sadness, harsh lessons learned, and opportunities taken to try and make a difference.

Kim Johnson says of the book; “I trust that you will consider that all of us can be a leader … but not everyone is quite ready. The key point I look to make being the importance of learning at every stage of my journey towards becoming a school leader. This often meant asking the question of myself ‘What did I learn? Did I make sure I stopped from time to time to listen and think?’ If my story and the actions I took throughout inspire others to … dream more … learn more … do more … and become more … then it may help them to be a future leader. The attitude of one’s mind being crucial in this … as portrayed in this simple tale:

“When out at sea … the pessimist complains about the wind … the optimist expects it to change … the leader adjusts the sails.’”


Where to buy Kim Johnson’s Book

A Journey to and Beyong the Blackboard
Memoires of a boy Who Became a Maverick Headteacher

Novum Publishing

Sevenoaks Book Shop

Amazon UK


A fascinating journey of an inspirational leader of education.

This book charts the fascinating journey of an inspirational leader of education, both at a local and national level. Full of wit and wisdom, it is a timely, and much-needed reminder, of what draws us into teaching. A timeless story of someone who wanted (and succeeded!) in making a difference. An inspiring read.

James Hilton

This book drips with experience, understanding and integrity. 

Kim’s experience is as deep as it is wide. There is so much for teachers and leaders here in all settings. Kim reveals the roots of his practice through his own story. This book drips with experience, understanding, and integrity. Kim shows us how great leaders are made. His experience is striking, relevant, and inspiring.

Paul Dix

Novum Publishing are Kim's Publishers

Kim's Publisher

Kim is a Past National President of NAHT

Kim is a Past National President of NAHT