Working with Schools, Teachers and Children

As an experienced Teacher and Assistant Headteacher I'm passionate about education and the wellbeing and success of both children and teachers.

Who I am

I’m Tom and I’ve worked within the education system at many levels, from Teaching Assistant to Senior Leader.
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I started off my career in education training as an EFL teacher in Prague and working with adults and teenagers.  Later, after spending a few days in a primary school and loving it, I made the move into Primary Education and spent a year as an LSA gaining experience before my PGCE at Winchester University, gaining very high results in both the academic and real-life sections of the course and representing the cohort as the Student Rep.
I then started working at a school in Fareham, quickly becoming subject leader in ICT, e-safety and PSHE, then Curriculum Leader for the school helping co-ordinate the development of a new curriculum.
After this I became Year Leader and then later moved schools to become Assistant Headteacher. My role here was varied and included mentoring and coaching NQTs and Student Teachers, developing the strategic vision for IT and e-safety, enhancing understanding and engagement within the wider community, and improving teaching and learning
My current experience includes creating, developing and delivering training into schools, colleges and Universities, at all levels.  In my new role I work with and support teachers, children, parents and school leaders to strengthen and improve everyone’s experience in the world of education.

What I do

For Schools, Academies, Colleges and Universities. Whether it’s INSET and CPD training, staff meetings, away days or SLT development, I offer bespoke training based on your needs.  Subjects include:
  • Mental Health & Wellbeing
  • Mindfulness in Education
  • Digital and Social Media Wellbeing
  • Resilience
  • and many others
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What I do is very much tailored to whoever I’m working with. Part of this is working with schools, colleges and Universities to identify how I can best help them – whether that’s by delivering whole school training sessions, working with specific teachers to help them become the school experts, teaching skills such as Mindfulness to groups of children, or helping support schools with teacher wellbeing.
I offer workshops and talks on a range of subjects including:
  • Building Resilience in Education
  • Understanding Mental Health
  • Mindfulness in Education (for children, staff or leaders)
  • Digital and Online Wellbeing
  • Staying Mentally Safe in Social Media
and many others.
With most workshops I offer either a workshop for staff or leaders to support their own development and wellbeing, or for staff to upskill and support the children or students they are working with.  For half day and all day training, I will work with you to tailor the training to the setting.
I am often booked for INSET training, staff meetings, away days, SLT meetings and other CPD events. I also run after school workshops, work with staff during the day and in team meetings.  Delivering training and development in whatever form your school, college or University will most benefit from my support.

Why me

Subject knowledge + skilled delivery = impact.
As a teacher and senior leader who moved into the field of Mental Health and Wellbeing I am highly trained and experienced in subject knowledge, while also understanding how to effectively create and deliver the training. I also understand the world of Education.
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The subject knowledge is so important… but so is the ability to deliver it.
Since I started working in this field I’ve found there is a significant amount of information out there which is not always of the highest quality or the most useful. One of the reasons for this is that a lot of people are not trained in the subject they are speaking about (this is particularly true for Mindfulness and is partly why there are many misconceptions out there). The other reason is because the people who are trained in the topic are often not experienced in education and creating or delivering training.
With my professional training and education in the topics I teach, combined with experience as a highly-qualified teacher, trainer and creator of courses, I’m able to give a more realistic introduction to Mindfulness, Resilience, Mental Health, Digital Wellbeing and many other related topics, and show how these can genuinely be used to help.
I also know from being on the receiving end of it (both as a teacher and senior leader) that training can be interesting during the staff meeting or INSET, but unless it’s delivered by someone who understands life in a school it doesn’t always continue.  I aim to keep the momentum going so that the impact is lasting.
The vast majority of my work comes from word of mouth and the feedback I receive is very positive in terms of content, delivery and ongoing impact.  I am seen as “approachable“, “knowledgeable“, “professional yet human” and my training has been described as “exactly what we needed“, “so much food for thought – our staff are still talking about it and trying out new ideas!“, “the first time we’ve seen it explained in a way which actually makes sense in the real world“.
With many of these topics, in addition to my professional experience and knowledge, I also have “lived experience” of the topics I talk about.  Where appropriate I draw on my own stories as well of those who have given me permission to share theirs.  This personal connection can make all the difference to those receiving training.
I’m also commonly described as a ‘geek’ due to my thirst for knowledge. I’m always attending CPD for myself and immersed in reading new research studies and books on my subjects of interest.  You’ll find this is reflected in my sessions.

Digital Wellbeing and Social Media

Our lives have become so entwined with technology (and increasingly so) and yet we don’t do anywhere near enough to teach children, or ourselves, how to use it safely and effectively.  Social Media in particular has become a beast that is blamed for so many things, and negative reports are coming up everywhere.  But what’s the reality? Are the studies purely negative?  Social Media and Technology is not inherently ‘good’ or ‘bad’.  In most cases it is the use of these which causes the impacts we see.
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What is Digital Wellbeing?
Digital Wellbeing is a term used by health professionals, researchers and device manufacturers to describe the concept that when humans interact with technology, the experience should support mental and/or physical health in a measurable way.
What do I offer?
I offer workshops, training and talks on this topic, for Leaders and Management, Teachers, Lecturers, Students and other staff. I work with schools, colleges, universities and other education organisations to understand the current issues on this topic they are experiencing, and tailor the training I deliver so that it is most effective.
Why me?
After being head of e-safety and IT in two schools, including community engagement in this topic and training parents, I started with a very strong background in this.  I then went on to study the effects of social media, technology and being online, especially in relation to our mental health and wellbeing.  I have applied my qualifications in Psychology, Mindfulness, Mental Health and Self-Development to this topic to find answers and solutions to what, for some, can be a significant problem.  The good news it that, by increasing people’s understanding of the tools we use without thinking, we can have a dramatically positive impact on their wellbeing.

Mental Health

With a topic as important as this, helping teachers, staff and school leaders to increase their understanding is a key area in driving forward both school improvement and a healthier working environment for all involved.
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With an introduction to what Mental Health is (and isn’t – including the stereotypes and misconceptions), we will look at how we can look after our own mental health and wellbeing and support those around us.  Sources of support and how to access them can also be included.  Courses can be short bite-size introductions on focused topics (such as anxiety or stress), half-day courses, full-day or bespoke for your needs.
  • Increasing your understanding of what Mental Health is
  • Common misconceptions and stereotypes
  • Most common mental health conditions and illnesses
  • How to spot when someone is struggling
  • Supporting yourself
  • Support others
  • Breaking the stigma
  • Understanding the support that is out there
As a qualified Therapist, Mental Health First Aider, Mental Health Instructor, Course Developer and Wellbeing Trainer with the UK’s biggest mental health charity Mind, I combine the subject knowledge you need with a skilled delivery as a professional teacher and trainer.
Contact me to find out how to cover this important topic in your school.

Mindfulness for Children

Giving teachers an introduction to what Mindfulness is (and isn’t) and how they can use it in their classrooms to benefit the children they teach, helping them develop social and emotional skills.
Evidence is increasingly showing that Mindfulness can help children to:
  • Focus and pay attention
  • Calm themselves
  • Participate
  • Manage their behaviour and emotions
  • Practise respect, compassion and kindness
  • Cope with anxiety and stress
These also link into any whole-school work that is in place for elements such as Resilience and Growth Mindset.

Mindfulness to support Teachers and Staff with Mental Wellbeing  

Helping teachers/school staff to find ways of understanding what stress and anxiety is, especially in the context of their jobs, and learning practical ways of dealing with this.
Too often strategies like Mindfulness are introduced and the reality is that teachers don’t have time to do them.  In some cases it just adds an extra level of stress because they feel like it’s another thing on their list that can’t be done.
Having spent years in the classroom I understand the realities of the job and how to actually integrate useful and effective strategies into the school day.