Speaking in schools

How can students learn to stand up for themselves, be resilient, more spontaneous, and ready to change the world? They can!

I’m proud to work with some of the best schools in the country, and others that are often overlooked.

Interactive, spontaneous

I include many opportunities for students to make sense of what they hear, by discussing its relevance to their own lives, and even trying things out.

I use a variety of games and exercises to help students be more spontaneous, so they can be more creative and stop worrying, at least sometimes, about being “right”, or “wrong”.

In this session, at Dundonald High School, every individual in the group took part in exercises that, they said, felt awkward but taught them about their own individual capacity to change the way they interact.

Better communication

If students never learn to say no, when that’s what they want to say, they can get into terrible difficulties. Sometimes, they can hurt others, and even harm the school as a whole.

At many schools, like Methody College, pictured, I discuss strategies for standing up for yourself.

“Thank you once again for coming to our school. The pupils all said how much they enjoyed the talk, and mentioned things they could take away with them.”

How to change the world

What can one person do? It’s a question I have addressed with 300 senior girls at North London Collegiate School (pictured), and elsewhere.

Sometimes, I meet students who don’t seem to know how to think about the kind of impact they want to have on the world when they leave school – or don’t believe they are even allowed to think about this… Read more.


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How much do you earn? And other questions

I did a talk at an inner-city school, arranged by Speakers for Schools – set up by my former FT colleague Robert Peston, to serve schools that haven’t tended to attract many speakers in the past.

Typically, these events involve big audiences who don’t give a toss who I am, and don’t mind whispering and sniggering if I lose them. And that’s a wonderful challenge for me. Read more

Comp: A Survivor’s Tale

Comp is a memoir of my time at Holland Park Comprehensive, a flagship state school in London. It got a lot of attention when it was published because newspapers found in my account things that justified their own fixed ideas, both for and against comprehensive education. Read more