Adam completed his PGCE in modern languages at the University of Birmingham before beginning his career as a language teacher at a large 11-18 comprehensive in Hertfordshire. He has subsequently held a number of positions in secondary state schools. He has been a head of department, a senior leader, an assistant headteacher, a deputy headteacher and a head of sixth form. For ten years he was the modern foreign languages adviser for Norfolk Local Authority. During which time, he produced materials for CiLT and the National Strategy. Following completion of his doctorate in 2015, he lectured in education at the University of East Anglia.