“What I have done has made me what I am.”

I began my career in 1970, teaching English in comprehensive schools. After progressing through senior leadership and advisory work, I became Deputy Chief Inspector for Nottinghamshire Local Education Authority in 1993. I soon realised that externally imposed approaches to school improvement, especially early Ofsted Inspections, were often counterproductive.

So, I chose freelance consultancy in 1998 to work alongside colleagues in schools, colleges and local authorities. Quickly, my consultancy work widened from education to encompass leadership, mentoring and partnering with businesses, charities and community groups. All of this broadened my view and experience of leadership.

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Career highlights

  • Writing and publishing ‘The Evaluation of Pastoral Care & PSHE’, together with regular articles and blogs on leadership, evaluation, wellbeing and success.

  • Executive headships improving schools requiring support (I rejected the label ‘failing’).

  • Lead Facilitator and Consultant Leader with the National College for Teaching and Leadership

  • Regional Curriculum Adviser for the Department for Education.

  • International leadership consultancy work in Cyprus, Gibraltar, Greece and Kenya.

  • Mentoring over 1,500 start-up consultancies and businesses around the UK.

  • Creating iAbacus online self-evaluation and strategic planning tool.

  • Improvement and Transformation cabinet member for Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

I'm a proud chair of Kenyan Educational Support. The charity provides scholarships to gifted, disadvantaged Kenyan youngsters who would otherwise have little, or no education. Our 100 scholars, many now at University, are already making a positive difference to our world.  

I was very pleased to be elected chair of governors at Ripley Infant School in 2018. It's such a caring and effective school.

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Personal highlights

  • Published poetry, including my anthology ‘Desire Lines’.

  • Chairing the Kenyan Educational Support charity.

  • High altitude trekking and climbing: Dhaulagiri and Manaslu circuits in the Himalaya and Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.

I’m often found in my workshop restoring, repairing and creating items following my family’s tradition. I also enjoy blacksmithing and creating metal sculptures in a forge I built in 1993.