"Upside-down leadership starts with people, not government – that’s what makes a school genuinely outstanding."
After leaving school with one O-level (he thought one was better than none), Dave has worked his way up the ladder the hard way, with time as a junior at Liverpool FC en route.
It is with insights from his own chequered academic career - not to mention time at Anfield - that help him know how to get into the mind of some of the hardest to reach children in school. And then to help schools design a curriculum that really helps them, and indeed all children, excel.
As Headteacher of a northern UK primary school situated in the third most deprived borough in the country, Dave has taken the school through two Ofsted inspections, in 2005 and 2008, gaining “Outstanding” in all areas on both occasions.
Or, in the words of former Ofsted chief, Professor Christine Gilbert, after a recent visit to Dave's school, 'The strong sense of both purpose and community in the school is palpable. Wherever I looked, I could see evidence of the inspiring way in which you are translating your mission and vision into outstanding practice.'
On top of such plaudits it's also worth noting that the school was named as one of the top 200 performing schools in the country, performed in the top 10% of all schools for the last five years, placed number 50 in The Sunday Times top 300 high performing schools and has now been recognised as a Leadership Development School.
Dave is currently a National Leader of Education, supporting schools in improving standards, progress, leadership and management and has recently seen one of his schools move from good to be judged as ‘Good with outstanding features’. As part of a Teaching School Alliance, he also delivers leadership and management training, is chair of the Southern Area Collaborative of 22 schools working together for improvement and is very active in the School Improving School System process.
Listening to you speak made my inner voice cheer! Thank you for your “walk of encouragement”; Thank you for your story of leadership with no illusions and thank you for granting us all permission to shake it all up a bit and to have the confidence to turn it “upside down and inside out”
I found Dave Smith to be inspiring and he has genuinely enthused me with a different approach to managing people. I have taken practical tips when I will take back to school and use”
Thank you for coming to our conference and for speaking with such a marvellous blend of inspiration and humour which was just what was needed to leave our audience buzzing with enthusiasm
To add to this busy life, he also holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Process Consultancy from Manchester CEL and is currently contributing to the Middle Leadership Development Programme Qualification, Senior Leadership Development Programme Qualification and the new NPQH.
He's a genuinely busy man as you can tell, one who clearly knows a thing or two about running a school, especially one in challenging circumstances. He's also a warm, entertaining and inspiring speaker and we are delighted to have had him as part of our team since Ian Gilbert bumped into him on a coach going to a fancy do in Lincolnshire.
Dave has been with Independent Thinking since February 2009
- You'll find him in our Leadership topic area
- You might also want to consider Will Ryan or Julie Rees
- Ask us about Dave's prices and current availability
- Remember, if you're looking to book more than one Associate then we can offer special 'bulk buy' discounts.
Make a booking, ask a question or just say hello.
Give us a call on +44 (0)1267 211432, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit the button.
Our office in lovely West Wales will then get in touch before you can say 'meddylwyr annibynnol'.