Gary Lewis has been the Headteacher at Kings Langley Secondary School in Hertfordshire since 2002. At that time, the school was clearly failing and was categorised as being in the bottom 2% of all comprehensive schools nationally. Gary decided to develop a long term strategy for the school's recovery that was entirely focused on developing "strong character" in both students and teaching staff. Recently, Ofsted stated that the "outstanding" attitudes and behaviour of the students" was attributable to the school's complete immersion in reinforcing character, resilience and moral virtue in all aspects of the school's work and curriculum. Gary is a passionate advocate of the development of the whole child and firmly believes that outstanding academic success and a deep sense of personal happiness and fulfilment is only possible through the development of strong character. Gary believes that personal resilience and fortitude is entirely dependent on our ability to interact with others and that generosity and kindness are the key foundations for all that we might do in our lives.
Tom is the Director of Development at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues. He has spent many years working on research and development programmes mainly relating to character and citizenship education. Tom founded the international educational volunteering charity VESL in 2003 and is currently a trustee for the organisation. Tom’s specialist interests are character and virtue ethics, citizenship, community development, student leadership and volunteering. He has written extensively on many of these areas as well as developed a range of resources and training programmes for schools.
Professor James Arthur
James is Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor for Staff at the University of Birmingham, Professor of Education and Civic Engagement, and Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues. He is Editor of the British Journal of Educational Studies and Director of CitizED. He has written widely on the relationship between theory and practice in education, particularly the links between communitarianism, social virtues, citizenship, religion and education.
Mike took up his position in April 2014 as Principal of the University of Birmingham School – the first secondary ‘University Training School’ opened in September 2015. Previously he had been Headmaster of King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys in Birmingham since 2008. He is a geography graduate from the University of Manchester.
Recently interviewed on BBC Breakfast Time Geoff Smith is a visionary headteacher and speaker who has developed innovative solutions to improve children’s character development . Geoff has championed character education since 1992 and has enormous experience in delivering this within schools as well as contributing to policy/resources nationally in this field. At Kehelland School, Geoff has developed a primary character curriculum which teaches the foundations of good character through learning virtues such as honesty, respect, perseverance and responsibility.”
Hamid Patel CBE
Hamid leads the Tauheedul Education Trust, a highly successful multi-academy trust that currently comprises of secondary and primary schools, with clusters in Lancashire, West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and East London. The network includes both faith and non-faith schools, and is the largest free school MAT in the country. With a focus on educational excellence, character development and service to communities, all schools within the MAT specialise in Leadership. The Tauheedul College for Teaching and Leadership (TCTL) is the learning and development centre for Tauheedul Education Trust. The TCTL is designated as a teaching school, is licensed to deliver the National Professional Qualifications, and is an accredited provider of Initial Teacher Training.
Linda Sanders is the Head of the Laurels School, a new independent school in London for girls aged 11 to 18. Central to the ethos of the school is the belief that each child has the ability to develop and grow and fulfil their potential through the cultivation of moral, intellectual and social virtues. Linda Sanders has worked in education for over twenty-five years and before returning to the UK she was part of the senior management team of a prestigious independent girls’ school in Spain. Her experience in schools of a similar ethos to the Laurels School means she is uniquely placed to head this exciting new educational project. She also helped to establish a highly successful independent school for girls in Lima, Peru. She has delivered innumerable workshops for parents and teachers on different aspects of character education and has trained teachers on how to coach pupils in virtue education. Over the years she has tutored hundreds of pupils herself and has witnessed the positive and empowering effect it has on young people’s lives. Young women are especially vulnerable in a society which demands ‘perfection’ on all fronts. A well thought out character education programme helps them to develop a sense of self-worth and resilience which equips them not just to make a living but to live a fulfilled and happy life; Linda Sanders is a passionate advocate of an education which encompasses the whole person and looks to how, through a sense of service and mission, they can aspire to a life of personal fulfilment and real purpose.