Skip to the content

Dave Harris

"Think differently, think beyond your reach and if what you are doing feels wrong - don't do it!"

Ever had that niggling feeling that the concept of the ‘hero head’ approach to school leadership does more harm than good to all concerned - including the headteacher in question? If so, then experienced school leader and international educator Dave Harris has a message for you.

You’re right.

A successful headteacher with many years’ experience working in and leading schools in challenging socio-economic environments, Dave has built a second career for himself as an in-demand speaker and advisor shining a light on the various forms of madness being visited on schools today in the name of standards.

What Dave does best is cut through the rubbish that seems to get in the way of allowing school leaders and their colleagues to see what the job in hand genuinely is. Combining hard-won wisdom with experience of schools, school people and school systems across the UK and further afield too, Dave helps educators refocus on what the job is really all about whilst sharing ideas and strategies that will help them not so much get back to basics as rediscover their purpose and apply it in a new and creative ways.

For many years now, Dave has been reassuring all of us at Independent Thinking as well as the teachers and school leaders with whom he works on a regular basis including long-term projects in Spain, Slovenia and across the Isle of Man, that education is a pendulum and that pendulum is swinging.

Excellent presentation. Thought provoking and a good mix of listening and break out sessions. Particularly useful to offer follow-up support via email.

The response to the presentation was unanimously favourable and I think you may be able to form a fan club in this area!

Dave Harris was amazingly inspiring. Feedback from the delegates is absolutely positive, so we are looking forward to future cooperation

Excellent, motivational & inspirational. Would've liked a longer session, experience showed – very knowledgeable

Very interesting – lots of info peppered with humour, good to listen to

A thoroughly well delivered and funny presentation. Definitely going to challenge my governing body a bit more

Your inputs and challenging questions really fell on fertile ground today and was really enjoyed and appreciated by the group.

It was difficult to meet the needs of such a diverse group but you did it so well. I have one of your Leadership books, I will now be buying the other one!

Beating the drum loudly for our unofficial motto that ‘There is always another other way’, Dave shows that teaching, learning and leadership can all be approached in a way that is more humane, creative and values-driven if we genuinely decide that is what we want education to be like.

And he reassures school leaders that, while the job is complex, getting the basics right needn’t be complicated.

Dave’s first book, Are We Dropping the Baton, addressed an issue that still beleaguers schools today – getting transition right. Passionate about the through-school model, one of Dave’s headships involved bringing together an infant school, a junior school and a secondary school geographically split across a socio-economically deprived former mining community. In his own words, ‘A school is not the building’ and Dave has a great talent for bringing staff together to work for a common vision.

His second book, Brave Heads, reinforced his approach to leadership combining creativity and values with a willingness to experiment and fly in the face of received wisdom. In recent years he has collaborated on two volumes of Leadership Dialogues with renowned leadership academic Professor John West-Burnham. These books embody Dave’s approach to working with school leadership teams - that he is not there to tell anyone what to do but to help them see through the fog and identify for themselves what it is that needs doing in the right way and for the right reasons.

If you are looking for an engaging and challenging speaker who combines common sense with those so important ‘a-ha’ moments that we all need to keep ourselves fresh in our work, then Dave Harris is the speaker you are looking for.

Make a booking, ask a question or just say hello.

Give us a call on +44 (0)1267 211432, drop us a line at or hit the button.

Our office in lovely West Wales will then get in touch before you can say 'meddylwyr annibynnol'.