2018 Speakers

David Hodgson

'If we all knew this stuff, we could change the world!' So said one headteacher after hearing David speak at a conference and, to be honest, we would have to agree with him.

When it comes to 'stuff', David definitely knows his.  A wonderfully entertaining and charismatic speaker, David cut his teeth working in careers in the north East of England and created a system that took the best of personality profiling and made it real and relevant for young people and their teachers.  Since then his many books and his speaking engagements have shown teachers how to embrace new strategies and approaches that improve not only teaching and learning but also communication, conversations and relationships between everyone in the school community.  With experience working with big business as well as schools, David brings something very special to teachers looking to bring the best out of themselves and their students.

Betsy de Thierry

Betsy de Thierry founded the TRC and has pioneered projects to see children, young people and their families find restoration in the face of their difficulties, find support in the isolation of their struggles, and find care and love in the harshness of life.


Betsy has completed a lot of Continual Professional Development (CPD) days, including many on safeguarding children, many at the Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education (IATE) about children, young people, Creative Therapy and other related courses; overview of the Legal System and Police Procedure for Therapists and Children’s Workforce Professionals, attending Child Sexual Exploitation conferences and training in Identification of Human Trafficking, PTUK conferences on Play and Nurturing the Neurons. Betsy also delivers training to other charities, womens refuges, churches, schools and other centres on trauma with subjects such as:

  • Understanding Trauma and Dissociation in Children and Young People
  • Understanding Trauma and Dissociation in Adults and Trafficked People
  • Trauma Symptoms and Strategies for Schools
  • Identification and Protection of Trafficked Children and Young People
  • Therapy and Therapeutic care: The Multi Level Approach to Recovery
  • Working with Complex Trauma and Dissociation in Children

Betsy is an experienced trainer who has 20 years experience and delivers training nationwide. Click here to view Betsy de Thierry’s Training Website
Betsy has developed a training programme called the Therapeutic Mentoring Course which is a part-time, 9 month course over 14 days with assignments and tutors aimed at equipping mentors to support therapists in the work of seeing traumatised children and young people recover.

Betsy has recently released a new book: Teaching the Child on the Trauma Continuum. Bill McKitterick, the former director of social care Bristol says:
“This excellent book explains the continuum of trauma clearly in all its complexity in succinct and straightforward terms, drawing on the latest thinking and research in neuroscience. It shows how teachers, while not specialist mental health professionals, can provide skilled and effective help within school and the classroom to children and young people for them to recover from trauma. It recognises the pressure on teachers and schools to meet national educational objectives which can all too easily ignore the particular history and personal needs of individual pupils. The knowledge and skills within this book will enable the busiest teachers to both recognise and to effectively respond to these particular needs, and of equal importance to develop their own skills in reflection and shared learning.”



Juliet Robertson

Classrooms are modern inventions.  Invented in fairly recent times as a box to put children in to control them better, they are an unnatural environment that can not only stifle children but teachers too.  So, it's time to lose the box - and Dirty Teaching author and outdoor learning pioneer Juliet Robertson can teach you how.

A successful primary headteacher and an internationally recognised authority on learning outside the classroom, Juliet's calm and practical approach has won over thousands of teachers wary of what might happen if they lined up their class, opened the door and stepped outside.  What Juliet shows is that, whether you are stepping into a school field, a local wood or simply the tarmac of the school car park, armed with a few sticks and some great ideas you can bring literacy, numeracy and the rest of the curriculum to life for all learners.

Helen Moylett

Helen Moylett is an independent early years trainer, consultant and writer. She started her teaching career in Key Stage 2 and enjoyed it but had a lot of questions about what some children seemed to have missed out on in their learning and development. Helen believes that all educators can benefit from knowing some key facts and research about early development because they help make sense of what children and young people of all ages bring to school and why there may be blocks to progress. Her talk will focus on early brain development and growth mindset to illustrate how a ‘can do’ attitude is part of a set of life-long learning skills that start at birth and can be helped or hindered as children progress through the school system.


Helen has been head teacher of an early years centre as well as working in schools and as a primary and early years lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University.  While working for the National Strategies she was centrally involved in developing the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and was the national lead for the Every Child a Talker programme. She co-authored the EYFS ‘Development Matters’ guidance with Nancy Stewart and has written and edited several early years books – most recently Characteristics of Effective Early Learning: helping young children become learners for life (OU Press 2014). Helen is currently a Vice-President of Early Education and a tutor on the PGCE and MA courses at the Centre for Research in Early Childhood in Birmingham. 


Derek Redmond

Derek Redmond is one of the world's most inspirational athletes turned motivational speakers.  

It all began at the tender age of seven when he joined Milton Keynes Athletics Club.  A youngster with an interest and talent for running, he soon rose in prominence, becoming county champion and 400m sprint record holder.

By the late 1980s and early 90s he had established himself as one of Britain's leading athletic stars, winning a host of 400m individual and relay gold medals for Great Britain at World, Commonwealth, European and British levels.  Yet it was his now iconic moment at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona which sealed his place in the history books forever. 

A favourite for the gold, Redmond was just 150 metres into the 400m Semi-Final when his hamstring snapped and he fell to the ground.  Staggering to his feet through the excruciating pain he knew it was all over, but he was determined to finish the race.  He began to hobble on in agony while his father, Jim, broke through security and ran onto the track to help him complete the final 250 metres to the finish line.

The emotional and inspirational footage continues to be seen the world over some 26 years on, and was featured in a TV commercial for Visa Go World, the official sponsors of the 2008 Olympics. Derek was even mentioned by former US President Barack Obama during his speech about the Olympic Spirit.

His athletic career may now be in the past, but the pride, passion and sheer determination of a man who refused to give up on a race he knew he had already lost have made him one of the world's most popular and most sought-after public and motivational speakers.

Since retiring from athletics, Derek has played basketball for England and professionally for the Birmingham Bullets and has played competitive rugby union for Coventry RFC and Stow RFC.  He is also a respected coach and advisor for international athletics.

Alison Kriel

Alison was born in South Africa and as a child attended schools in various African countries, as well as Ireland and England. She has always taught in Hackney schools because she loves the diversity of the community. Alison was the founder head teacher of Betty Layward School. As head teacher she managed its development from a 90 pupil Early Years school to a very popular and successful 2 form entry primary school for 470 pupils.


Alison joined Northwold School in 2008, initially as an interim post to support it during some challenging times and to prepare it for an overdue Ofsted inspection. She became the substantive headteacher in 2009. When Alison took over Northwold there was only 50% permanent staff, 64% staffing attendance, a falling pupil roll and the school was one of the lowest achieving schools in the country. Under Alison’s leadership the school has a full list of permanent staff members with 98% attendance, an oversubscribed pupil roll, is the highest performing school in Hackney, is in the top 3 in London and the national top 100. Northwold is a Gold Club member, a national Pupil Premium and SSAT award winner.


Alison’s leadership skills have consistently been described as outstanding by Ofsted.  She is the founder executive principal for a new Multi Academy Trust – Amaya Trust which converted on 1st April 2015.  She has been the proud leader of this MAT alongside sharing her educational experiences and consultancy with Headteachers of other schools. 


Jim Roberson

Jim Roberson is a man who leaves an impression.  Whether he's working directly with staff or with young people who need to seriously improve their game when it comes to school, Jim's work is direct, passionate and powerful.

He combines his own experience of the importance of education (and sport) growing up in New York with his many years' experience in challenging schools across the UK.  Using practical, common-sense ideas delivered in his own inimitable style, he genuinely puts the young person in control.  For Jim, responsibility, accountability and preparation are critical to success along with the understanding that it's not about 'behaviour', it's about the self-discipline needed to do the right thing when it needs to be done in the way it needs to be done - and do it that way every time.  In this way this self-styled 'Discipline Coach' has transformed the lives of many, many young people.

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