Dame Kathy August began her teaching career in an 11-18 girls’ comprehensive school in Manchester. In 1988 she was the youngest woman deputy head to be appointed to a headship and was featured in the Manchester Evening News as she was six months pregnant with her first son.

She was appointed to a larger mixed comprehensive in Stockport five years later. During this time the school suffered a major fire which destroyed 70 % of the school, at the end of the Year 11 students obtained the best results the school had achieved.

She had subsequent posts as Director of Education in two Local Authorities and spent three years as senior adviser in the Standards and Effectiveness Unit at the DFE.

In 2003 she agreed to take on the leadership of the first City Academy in the North West. The school that closed was described by Andrew Adonis as the most gang infested school in the country. Just over 5 years after opening it was judged outstanding.

After 8 years as Principal, she  fulfilled executive posts in the sponsoring Trust becoming   its acting CEO.

She has worked independently since 2013 working across education including as non-executive director of Ofsted.

Currently she is helping with the opening of a free school, is a Trustee of The Tutor Trust and advocating for a change in the SEN Code of Practice to enable children and young people with a cancer diagnosis to be allocated an EHCP. Dame Kathy is also Chief Executive for ESSA Academy Trust. 

Dame Kathy is also hoping that a publisher will be interested in a book she has written which tells the story of Manchester Academy as a case study of school improvement, called ‘With Principal’.

She was awarded the DBE in 2014.