About Us

SAM Learning is an online learning tool for GCSE and KS3 subjects that started over 20 years ago with the mission to provide a launchpad for career and life for young people. SAM Learning is used in hundreds of English Secondary Schools for online review and assessment and is proven to close the gap. In other words, disadvantaged students are proven to catch up using our platform.

SAM Learning is backed by independent impact studies (as opposed to supplier-created research) over 17 years from 2002 to 2018. The most recent impact study published in June 2020 by FFT Education Lab (commissioned by the Education Endowment Foundation) involved 300,000 students from 250 schools who used SAM Learning over 9 years. This showed a significant positive effect for all students who used the program for 10 hours or more, but a stronger significant positive effect for disadvantaged pupils.

During the COVID-19 crisis, we saw up to seven times the overall usage of our platform compared with the level before school closures, including a massive influx of teachers who are now teaching online for the first time. SAM Learning was a partner in BBC’s national COVID-19 provision, providing SAM Learning content free of charge to fill gaps in BBC Bitesize Daily’s offering.

The Board

David Jaffa, Founder

SAM Learning was founded by Cambridge graduate, David Jaffa, in 1998. David also founded Penda Learning, an online Science and Math program for US schools that was sold in 2019 to Learning 2020. In 2020, David founded the National Talent Academy, which coaches students from disadvantaged backgrounds and helps them find work opportunities with prestigious companies that they wouldn’t otherwise get. David is a member of the Advisory Council of FED (Foundation for Education Development), a neutral space for policy influencers from education, business, politics and beyond to shape the future of education.

Jonathan Wells, Director

Jonathan has had a long and successful career in educational technology starting at RM 30 years ago. Jonathan was a key member of the senior team at SAM Learning between 2002 and 2007 before leaving to start his own company, Guroo, focused on the post-16 FE and Apprenticeship sector. Guroo was acquired by NCFE in 2016. A maths graduate with FE teaching qualifications, Jonathan was also an accredited Ofqual External Expert in online assessment for 6 years. Jonathan lives in Co Durham and is also a qualified cricket umpire and motorcycle enthusiast.

David Brown, General Manager

David came to SAM Learning after 26 years of teaching, where he was an Assistant Headteacher, Head of Science and AST. He has always been interested in e-learning, from launching his first school website in 1994 to a focus on educational software in his MA and implementation of balanced content / review systems in outstanding secondary schools. He really enjoys working to support teachers.