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Lisa Jane Ashes

Teaching and Learning - Creativity Pedagogies - Teaching in Challenging Circumstances

Here's Lisa's take on the challenges facing schools today:

'Education is the business of manufacturing the minds of the future. What manufacturing business in the world has departments that barely work together in the process and then anticipate the product will assemble itself?! Your students’ brains are your product, your school is your business; there should be joined up thinking across all departments working together to create a whole child ready for the future.’

The above comes from the introduction to her book Manglish written for the Independent Thinking Press. It sums up not only the theme of the book – how Maths and English can join forces to address literacy and numeracy together across the whole school – but also her take on what education is all about.

There are so many pressures on state schools these days to become rigid exam factories with a limited curriculum and an even more limited approach to creativity, collaboration, innovation and simply exploring how everything links together. It is down to brave teachers, inspired by practitioners such as Lisa still working in challenging schools, to look for the many ways we can get education right, as well as playing the game of school successfully.  

Or, as we like to say, cover your back and sleep at night.

Recent titles include:

  • Is your 'love' of writing showing?
  • A view from the cupboard
  • Teaching, Learning and Oracy

Lisa is an experienced and successful English teacher, AST and a former lead on Continued Professional Development at a secondary school in the North East of England where she also assisted in the development of whole-school literacy. In recent years she has also been helping schools develop their Key Stage Three curriculum, working with FE teachers in Manchester to support students (reluctantly) resitting their English GCSEs, supporting schools across one of the UK's largest MATs, leading an English team in its post-covid catch-up work and also working as a consultant with the British Council.

She has even been teaching year 11s in a Clacton school hall due to the shortage of English teachers.

Among Lisa’s many strengths are not only her magpie-like ability to pick up ideas from across the world and make them work in her classroom but also her professional passion to then go on and share her ideas with colleagues through the whole gamut of 21st century CPD innovations including Twitter, TeachMeets, Pedagoo and her very popular blog Reflections of a Learning Geek.

She has also been involved in supporting schools in some of the world's poorest communities, working with teachers, students and children in Nepal and Ghana. Despite the limitations of their budgets and their appalling lack of resources, Lisa has helped teachers see what can be achieved when they focus on the quality of instruction. It is an approach that has produced some important changes in these schools and has led to her going back time and time again as the teachers - and the whole school - improve dramatically.

If you are looking for someone with genuine experience in all sorts of schools in areas such as creativity, assessment for and of learning, behaviour, supporting children from challenging backgrounds, differentiation, thinking skills and cross-curricular cooperation, then Lisa is definitely who you want. But if you want someone to show you how to get young people to sit still and pass their exams then, yeah, not so much...

I just wanted to say how much we all enjoyed your sessions yesterday. The evaluations are fab! Many delegates said that you were the best we have had! Praise indeed!

Lisa managed to combine just the right amount of research, experience and practical ideas with humour. Many thanks for your excellent recommendation!

You’ve changed how I teach forever

Lisa Ashes is one of the best guest speakers we have ever had. Relevant, engaging and motivating. Feeling inspired

I would like to thank you for such an informative and thought-provoking CPD session delivered at the annual teaching and learning conference

We really enjoyed the session and the students gained immensely. Lisa was a superb leader and really engaged the students

Not only were her subjects engaging and entertaining, but she delivered them with wit and energy

You are like a ball of energy! So inspiring to listen to and learn from….. I honestly found both of your sessions outstanding

Lisa Jane Ashes In Her Own Words


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