Hywel’s reputation has grown hugely since he stepped out of the classroom in 2009. He has found an incredible and innovative niche in the world of model teaching contributing to and advising curriculum designers and innovators from Barnsley to Brussels, from Cairo to Cleethorpes. Hywel is as at home in front of hundreds of Headteachers on the conference circuit as he is when working with EAL children on the carpets of their classrooms. Hywel contributes to the national conversation around education at school and university level. He is an experienced teacher in Special, Primary and Secondary settings, nationally and internationally. He is also a well- respected author and contributes regularly to a variety of publications.
As well as contributing to University Education programmes in Sheffield, Leeds, Huddersfield, Liverpool, Durham and Wolverhampton, Hywel still works with children, keeping his insight fresh, current and useful. His work deals with curriculum liberation, creative practice, engagement, leadership, literacy, teacher development and Imagineering – the liberation of the art of teaching.
In addition to working in schools, Hywel is a regular contributor to conferences including The Sunday Telegraph Festival of Education, Northern Rocks, Practical Pedagogies in France, and The University of Belfast Thinking Conference. He is also in demand as a conference keynote speaker working alongside colleagues such as Mick Waters, Karen Ardley, The Real David Cameron and Estelle Morris as well as associates of Ian Gilbert’s Independent Thinking Ltd, an organisation he is very passionate about. Hywel has recently worked for the National Galleries in Edinburgh and the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds as a visiting teacher.
His award winning book 'Oops! Getting Children to Learn Accidentally’ is published by Crown House Publishing and has proved very popular with educators around the world and now is a feature on the reading list of many university teacher training courses. His next book is published in 2017. He writes a regular column for the Times Educational Supplement.
He was recently described as ‘..a world leader in enthusiasm’.
Robin Gildersleeve has extensive and successful school experience, including substantive, interim and associate headteacher posts.
Following three headships, including a school in very challenging circumstances, Robin joined Tribal Children’s Services to become Director of the nationally acclaimed Pupils’ Champions programme, and was later promoted to the post of Director, School Improvement. The school improvement team worked alongside hundreds of staff and pupils in 'Keys to Success' schools identified for the London and Greater Manchester Challenge programmes, and also schools in Bristol, Cardiff, Mansfield, Nottingham city and Sheffield.
It was during this time at Tribal that he started to work with schools on their visioning for new build academies. He also project managed the conversion of five schools to academy status.
Robin is now an independent school improvement specialist and continues to provide hands-on support and challenge to school staff, pupils and governors. He is, currently, the chair of governors for the Springwell Lincoln Academy, having chaired the IEB for the predecessor Lincolnshire Teaching and Learning Centre. Until recently, he was the chair of governors for a secondary special school in challenging circumstances and steered the school through a successful consultation process over federating with an outstanding special primary school. Before that, Robin was an IEB chair of a primary school and a secondary school in special measures, and converting to academy status.
He carried out the role of education adviser for a group of secondary schools and academies in Lincolnshire as part of the CfBT (now called the Education Development Trust) School Improvement contract. He is also the school improvement adviser for three secondary schools in Cambridgeshire, including two who are developing a strong, school improvement collaborative relationship.
Over the last two years he has been actively engaged in the recruitment process for five secondary headteacher posts. Throughout, he has acted as the independent educational adviser on many Headteacher Performance Reviews, primary and secondary). Additionally, Robin is now an accredited Safer Recruitment Trainer and also carries out safeguarding reviews. He has also acted as a Governor Development Programme trainer for Peterborough Council (e.g. Headteacher Performance Reviews) and has been engaged as an independent investigator.
Whatever the project or school improvement challenge, Robin holds onto the central belief, which has been with him since he started teaching, that his role is to help people to succeed and to go on succeeding – this now includes pupils/students, staff and governors. He remembers very vividly the key people and experiences throughout his varied career that have helped to shape his personal philosophy of education.