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Hywel Roberts

"At the heart of the world’s best teaching you’ll find one admittedly made-up word -botheredness."

There are many reasons why Hywel is one of the most in-demand educational speakers around and why he is so much more than the self-styled ‘man in the Matalan suit’.

For one, he is an incredibly witty and entertaining speaker, as much at home in front of a group of ten-year-olds in a special school as he is a large audience of teachers.

He has that rare talent of being able to tell stories that both make you laugh and make you cry, often at the same time, combining his wide experience in all sorts of classrooms with all sorts of children with an academic insight into engagement, motivation, teaching and learning.

He also knows how way around even the most challenging of classrooms.

Originally a drama teacher cutting his teeth in some of the North of England’s most demanding school environments – including special schools and PRUs - Hywel shows how to bring the learning to life for even the most disaffected children and young people. In particular, he has drawn on and adapted the work of Dorothy Heathcote, with whom he studied, and her powerful Mantle of the Expert approach to learner engagement.

Tapping into children’s innate curiosity and willingness to suspend disbelief in the company of an engaging adult, Hywel shows teachers how to breathe life into the curriculum in a way that has children learning and eager for more, despite their best intentions. It is this ability to ‘trick’ children and young people into learning that led to the naming of his hugely popular first book Oops! Getting Children to Learn Accidentally.

Staff were buzzing with enthusiasm and full of ideas to incorporate into their practice – he was inspiring – thank you so much.

Would just like to say Hywel was BRILLIANT yesterday. He’d really listened to our needs as a school and crafted something bespoke around these. He was warm, open, engaging and the staff really took on board great ideas.

Your enthusiasm and zest is contagious and is spreading across the school, which ultimately benefits those that really matter- the learners!

Hywel's talk was fantastic - just what we needed. It was uplifting, inspirational and of course, with his humour and 'light-touch' was very entertaining whilst delivering some important and powerful messages

At a time when people are challenging the whole idea that children need to be engaged and invested in their own learning, believing that discipline and ‘no excuses’ are what is needed to keep a difficult class on task, Hywel shows that creativity, humour, imagination and what he calls ‘botheredness’ might be a far better set of professional skills to bring to any classroom.

On top of being a first-rate practitioner who spends a great deal of his time as a ‘travelling teacher’ working with young people and their teachers in their classrooms across the UK and abroad, Hywel has recently completed his MA in Education at Leeds Beckett University where he was awarded a ‘Distinction’ for the originality and insightfulness of his academic study. He also leads the PGCE programme in Drama at Huddersfield University, supports the Masters programme in Drama and Creative Writing at Leeds Beckett University and contributes to university education programmes in Sheffield, Liverpool, Durham and Wolverhampton.

Apart from his huge popularity as a speaker, Hywel also writes a regular column for the TES and, his second book written with friend and fellow Independent Thinking Associate Dr Debra Kidd and entitled Uncharted Territories, has been very well received, full of practical inspiration to bring learning to life for all.

If you are looking for ideas to add creativity, imagination and magic to your lessons in a way that has children and young people engaged and working independently, regardless of academic ability or prior behavioural issues, and a hugely entertaining speaker for a conference keynote, an INSET event or to come in and model his work with children and students in your classroom, then Hywel is definitely who you are looking for.

We guarantee that after time spent with Hywel you will be, in his own words, ‘proper buzzing’.

  • Hywel has been with Independent Thinking since 2010 and is an Associate Director
  • You'll find him in our Teaching and Learning topic area
  • You might also want to consider Debra Kidd or Dave Whitaker
  • Ask us about Hywel's prices and his current availability and for details on how to save money when you book, click here.

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'.