Independent Schools' Wellbeing - Speakers

Wednesday 29 Apr 2020
IBIS, ILEC Conference Centre, London

Chris Jeffery, Chair of the HMC Wellbeing Working Group and Headmaster, Bootham School - Chair

Chris is Headmaster of Bootham School, a 3-18 Quaker boarding and day school in the centre of York. Formerly Head of The Grange School in Hartford, Cheshire (and before that Deputy Head of The Perse School, Cambridge and Housemaster at Bristol Grammar School) he was the founding -and is the current- Chair of the HMC Wellbeing Working Group which has done pioneering work in getting the issues of pupil mental health and staff wellbeing towards the top of the independent school agenda. An historian, a failed-but-persistent musician and the supporter of some spectacularly underachieving sports teams, Chris retains an irritating attachment to the question ‘What’s the point?’ and a passionate belief that GCSE exams are bad for the health, which he will explain at frightening length to anyone who is foolish enough to ask him about it.


Sarah Arthur, Deputy Head, Reigate Grammar School 

Sarah is Deputy Head at Reigate Grammar School, following a career in the state sector. She has always had a passionate interest in the health and wellbeing of students and staff alike, believing that you cannot separate academic and pastoral within a school context but instead the two strands need to work together to produce happy and healthy young people. Reigate Grammar School was very proud to win the TES Award for ‘Wellbeing Initiative of the Year’ 2018-19 and Sarah is particularly keen on working with students to develop pastoral care across all age-groups. Sarah also sits on the Surrey Safeguarding Board and is currently trying to train her puppy in preparation to be a wellbeing dog – it is slow progress! 


Duncan Byrne, Headmaster, Loughborough Grammar School

Duncan Byrne has been Headmaster of Loughborough Grammar School, a school of 950 boys, since 2016. During his career, he has gained experience in a variety of settings: boys’ and mixed schools; day and boarding. The school has recently launched its GREAT men initiative, with the aim of producing emotionally literate young men who are sensitive to the needs of others and tough enough to talk.


Tracey Boseley, National Development Lead for the Education Sector, Child Bereavement UK

Tracey’s links with the education sector began early in her career as she developed an outreach programme for schools and universities. This led her to qualify as a teacher and I have taught across the primary phase. She specialised in supporting vulnerable pupils and their families, particularly young people with autism and sensory processing disorder. In 2018, Tracey joined Child Bereavement UK; her role includes supporting education professionals, updating the website and evaluating training. She also designed the content of an online resource, ‘Supporting a bereaved pupil’, which was launched in 2019 in collaboration with London Grid for Learning.


Patrick Foster, Epic Risk Management

Patrick is a former professional cricketer, insurance broker and independent school teacher whose life was torn to shreds by his pathological gambling addiction. Patrick now works for an organisation called EPIC Risk Management. EPIC is established as the leading independent gambling harm-minimisation consultancy in the UK. Gambling is the fastest growing and potentially most devastating addiction. With 500,000 children, aged between 11-15, gambling weekly, and young people aged 16 to 23 three times more likely to develop a gambling or gaming problem, problem gambling amongst young people is a growing concern and no longer an issue that schools can ignore in safeguarding their pupils.


Andrew Hampton, Headteacher of Thorpe Hall School and CEO of Girls on Board

Andrew Hampton has been the Headteacher of Thorpe Hall School since 2007. He was a Director of ISI until 2019 and was the Chair of ISA in 2014 – 2015. Andrew created the Girls on Board approach in 2011 and launched it as a commercial training opportunity to schools in 2017. There are now over 130 schools using the approach across the UK. The book ‘When Girls Fall Out’ is due out soon. Thorpe Hall has been shortlisted for the TES Independent Schools’ Wellbeing Initiative of the Year 2019 and 2020 and won the Independent Schools Association  Award for Excellence and Innovation in Mental Health and Wellbeing 2019.


Belinda Heaven, Alpha Wellbeing Associates Ltd

Belinda is a qualified nurse and teacher. She has many years’ experience in developing and delivering training internationally. She is commissioned by Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning as lead consultant for emotional wellbeing and has acquired extensive knowledge. Belinda is a national trainer for Mental Health First Aid England and has had two books published – ‘The Mental Health Handbook for Primary School’ and ‘Wellbeing: Activities and Resources to Support Young People’s Mental Wellbeing’. Belinda works regularly with independent schools supporting staff, students and parents.


Julie Johnson, Psychotherapist, Mindfulness educator and author, Pathways

Julie originally trained as a nurse (moving into school nursing as she raised her family). 28 years ago, she set up as a consultant to schools in the areas of wellbeing and PSHE. Having trained as a systemic therapist, she then worked as a psychotherapist in schools and private practice. Julie is a leading provider of workshops and seminars for children, adolescents and parents in London and the surrounding area. She teaches mindfulness and mindfulness self-compassion to young people, teachers, parents and within the charity sector. The author of several children’s books on issues such as bullying, anger and step families, Julie has also contributed to Radio 4 productions including ‘Bringing up Britain’ and a series on cyberbullying. She is committed to informing, equipping, affirming, and at times challenging, all who work with children, adolescents and parents.


Mike Lamb, Director of Staff and Pupil Wellbeing, Hurstpierpoint College

Mike spent many years running expeditions and projects internationally, being lucky enough to kayak the length of Lake Malawi, build sand dams in Kenya and work as an rainforest guide in the Amazon. He has also worked as a Head of Year, Housemaster and is presently Director of Staff and Pupil Wellbeing at Hurstpierpoint College, Sussex. He has developed and designed whole-school wellbeing programmes and believes these should be at the heart of every school.


Jan Lever, Creator and CEO of Jigsaw, the mindful approach to PSHE and Discovery R.E.

Jan taught for 16 years across a range of contexts including pre-school in America and UK settings from Primary to sixth form, managing RE and PSHE departments and pastoral care programmes. Jan developed work in schools relating mental and emotional health to learning through her 10 years as a Local Authority School Improvement Adviser and leading government projects. She was Lead Assessor and South West Regional Adviser for the national PSHE CPD Programme. A qualified Counsellor and Psychotherapist, in her role as CEO of Jigsaw PSHE and Discovery RE, Jan brings these professional fields together writing teaching and therapeutic materials underpinned by mindfulness philosophy and practice and leading UK and international training sessions.


Hamish Mackenzie, Founder of Digital Resilience UK and Director of Digital Strategy at The Royal Hospital School

Hamish Mackenzie is a Lead Practitioner teacher specialising in digital learning. He has experience in independent, state, and special education at primary and secondary level. He is currently Director of Digital Strategy at The Royal Hospital School Suffolk and is the founder of Digital Resilience UK.

Hamish is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Certified Educator, BETT Speaker and member of EdTech 50 2019. He consults on areas of digital behaviour, technology integration and works as a trainer assessor supporting educational institutions to improve online safety.


Malcolm McKinlay, Headmaster, Parkgate House School, London

Malcolm has worked in teaching for 17 years and has been Headmaster at Parkgate House School in London for six of those. Malcolm developed the Resilience and Engagement Scale and many of the tools that make up the Jigsaw REST resource at his school, with the help of his commited staff. He cares passionately about improving about improving children's well-being and subsequently their outcomes and has seen first-hand the impact on children of using Jigsaw PSHE and REST together to achieve this.


Dr Emma Silver, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and Director of Wellbeing at Highgate School

Dr Emma Silver is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with over 25 years’ experience working in a range of settings with children, young people and families. She has a post in a busy CAMHS at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, alongside her role as Director of Wellbeing at Highgate School. She consults with staff, parents and pupils at Highgate and partner schools on issues pertaining to individual and whole school mental health. Emma is involved in supervising and training clinicians working with children and families at UCL and the Anna Freud Centre. Her current research with UCL is exploring the relationship between social media and teenage mental health. Emma is passionate about working with and developing accessible mental health services for young people.


Paula Talman, Founder of iSpace Wellbeing (The Wellbeing Curriculum for Schools)

Paula is a mother, registered nurse in both adult and paediatric nursing, mental health first aider, qualified mindfulness teacher and independent schools’ inspector. She is currently the Director of Compliance, Health and Welfare at Cumnor House Sussex and has 25 years of experience in child development, mental health, physical health and wellbeing in both hospital and educational settings. She has an MSc in Nursing Science and has completed research which focused on therapeutic nurse-patient relationships and attitudes towards adolescents with mental health issues.