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Roy Leighton

"How can we expect to have grown-up children if we’re not grown up ourselves?"

Roy has been an important member of our family longer than almost any other Associate. Always entertaining, challenging and thought-provoking, he remains one of our most sought-after speakers for his work on life, achievement and relationships - and school's role in all of them.

What we put this continued popularity down to, apart from the fact that he is a highly creative educational innovator stretching schools, school leaders and classroom teachers to redefine what we mean by teaching, learning and leadership in the 21st century, is that he is genuinely a world-class speaker.

With a background in theatre as well as a track record of over two decades working in schools with educators and with young people themselves, Roy is also very much in demand in the world of business where his detailed and innovative approaches to personal development have a proven effect to the bottom line in a number of large multinational organisations.

Growing up in a working-class Black Country community with seven brothers and sisters, Roy knows first hand the challenges faced by children in such circumstances and the importance not only of high expectations and aspirations, but also the need for creative and compassionate approaches in the classroom.

Through his work with young people and their teachers in schools, especially a number with whom he is working on an ongoing basis, Roy is showing that a more considered and challenging approach to the curriculum and to personal and professional development can show benefits that stretch beyond exam results and inspection judgements.

And as someone with a keen eye and an open mind to new ways of thinking needed to embrace and confront the challenges thrown up in the 21st century, Roy embodies the enlightened thinking that all of us are capable of when it comes to getting anywhere close to fulfilling our true potential.

An amazing afternoon with Roy. We covered an enormous amount of information in such a short time, all hugely beneficial and I’m confident it will have a very positive impact over a long period of time

Just wanted to say a huge ‘thank you’ for coming to our school and doing the staff INSET - it was amazing to see so many people inspired and motivated

I feel like I’m now inspired and motivated to change and teach these pupils

Roy Leighton should be bottled and consumed regularly

What’s more, at a time when access to the Arts is being squeezed out of the curriculum for so many children in English state schools in the name of ‘standards’, Roy is a living testament to the fact that it is the Arts that can truly liberate a young person from his or her background.

This liberation can lead in many directions and Roy’s story is one of the boy from the family living in challenging economic conditions wearing his brothers' hand-me-down school blazer to a true polymath who has worked with the London Academy for Music and the Dramatic Arts, who practices as a Buddhist, who is qualified to teach Tai Chi, who is a musician, director and performer (the people of Northampton still talk about his Buttons), a visiting lecturer at Soka University in Japan and who has written an impressive number of books. 

His title 101 Days to Make a Change was shortlisted for the People’s Book Prize for Non-Fiction and he has also contributed to several of Independent Thinking’s best-selling collaborative books including our most recent, The Working Class

As anyone who has witnessed one of Roy’s presentations knows, he very much sets the standard when it comes to ‘taking people's brains for a walk’, something he does with great humour, compassion, energy, authenticity and a genuine commitment to share ideas, insights and strategies to help schools bring the best out of everyone in their community.

  • Roy has been with Independent Thinking for over 20 years
  • You'll find Roy in our Leadership and Teaching and Learning topic areas
  • You might also want to consider Dave Keeling or Ian Gilbert
  • Ask us about Roy's prices and 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'.