Michael grew up in Chichester in Sussex. After completing his education he decided to go into teaching. He began teaching in 1975 as a PE teacher.Then moved onto further education working at Padington College. After that he moved to adult education, working first at the Islington Adult Education Institute, then at Kingston Adult Education Service. It was there where he was married and brought up 2 children. Later he became head of service at Haringay Adult Learning Service in 2001 and then moved to Bromley adult education college, where he was principal for seven and a half years. He became principal of Hillcroft College in 2011.