“Schools work best when adults believe in children and children believe they believe in them”
Dave Whitaker
Dave Whitaker

If you want to know what inspirational leadership looks like, one that never loses sight of doing the right thing for every child in the classroom in a transformational spirit of ‘unconditional positive regard’, then look no further than Dave Whitaker.

We first met Dave several years ago as deputy and then head of Springwell School in Barnsley, a special school and PRU supporting some of the country’s most underprivileged and challenging young people, families and communities.

It was an incredibly uplifting meeting.

Running a number of such schools now across the north of England, Dave retains his focus on absolutely doing right by the children in his care, regardless of the challenges they bring. A truly inspiring, entertaining and moving speaker, Dave is a powerful voice when it comes to putting forward an alternative to hard-line ‘no excuses, zero tolerance’ approaches to behaviour that only serve to deprive some of our hardest-to-reach and vulnerable young people of the education they so badly need.

Very much living our motto of ‘There is another way’, Dave’s work is proof that ‘intimacy, warmth, banter and trust’ will take everyone - teachers and children - a whole lot further.

“We believe every child deserves the very best care, attention, support, guidance and dare I say it, love, we can give them as caring professionals” - There is Another Way

To read more please click here

  • Dave has been with Independent Thinking since October 2012 and is one of The 33

  • Dave’s DBS number is 001560059925 issued 24th January 2017

  • Click here to see our price guide

Feedback from recent events include:

"Dave was brilliant and inspirational. An excellent speaker bringing many issues to life with his experience and stories"

"Absolutely fantastic! great skills and knowledgeable - came away with lots of ideas"

"Very engaging. Lots of strategies to use – brilliant!"

"Dave was just wonderful! Everything we hoped for and more. Our delegates described him as 'inspirational'. He moved the room to tears and made many of us think twice about what we do now and how we can do it even better in future. He was funny, engaging, motivating and challenging in all the right ways. Many of our delegates identified him as the key part of the conference that will make a positive difference to their future practice. We are so glad that he came!"

"Wow ! one of the most engaging insets I've ever been on - inspirational and informative"


11th October 2018 - Making Learning Matter: creativity, investment and challenge for all learners

A Joint Independent Thinking and IAPS conference

Governor Event

Being a governor is an incredibly important task these days so we are delighted when we are asked to support them in their work in all sorts of schools around the country. Apart from ensuring the event is an entertaining and enjoyable one for all, especialy as it is so often on a rainy Saturday, we make sure our input is informative, relevant, up to date and guarantees all governors go back into their schools knowing what to look for, what to do and the rights sorts of questions to ask.