"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.
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.
There has been so much positive feedback about your session - many, many thanks! It has kicked the start of the year off in a truly positive way and hopefully given many staff the courage to be a little braver
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
Thank you very much for a really motivating presentation with lots of takeaways
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!
In every lesson I have been in this week, without fail, I have seen evidence of some of the suggestions you used, or made, in your own session. You did inspire us: thank you
This has been a fantastic session Dave. Thank you so much, would love to hear you again
You really inspired and motivated our governors and trustees and this set the tone for the day
Attendees told us that Dave was an inspirational and motivational speaker who was engaging, entertaining and encouraging
Delegates found the presentation thought-provoking with lots to take back to their schools and information and ideas to think about
I just wanted to say ‘thank you so much’ for your thought provoking, and enlightening discussion yesterday. It was incredibly motivational
Refreshingly candid. Encouraging us to be brave leaders!
A reminder of what is important; time to reflect on your own practice; a very engaging speaker
I loved the content, such an important message for us to hear. I feel really motivated now. Could have done with a longer session from him, perhaps he can come back for a face to face?
A huge thank you to Dave for a really thought provoking session, which left us with plenty to discuss afterwards and really helped with the planning of our skills based assessment elements
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.
- Dave has been with Independent Thinking since 2006 and is our Managing Director
- You'll find him in our Leadership, Teaching and Learning and Well-Being topic areas
- You can watch Dave in conversation with Floyd Woodrow and Ian Gilbert in 2020 here
- You might also want to consider Dr Matthew McFall or Ian Gilbert
- He is also available for an On-Demand Conference in partnership with Dr Matthew McFall
- Ask us about Dave's prices and current availability and for details on how to save money when you book, click here.
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