“Schools work best when adults believe in children and children believe they believe in them”
Dave Whitaker
Walk through the door at Springwell Special Academy where Dave is Executive Principal and you’ll soon realise how special it is. And talk to the staff, the pupils or to Dave himself and you’ll soon realise quite how special Dave’s approach is too.

For Dave, the key that unlocks the potential in his children and his staff is a simple one - ‘unconditional positive regard’. Get that right and then you have a chance to create what he calls ‘authentic care’, a far cry from the world of systems and sanctions that so often masquerade as the way to treat some of our most troubled children. As a National Leader of Education, Dave is a down-to-earth and entertaining speaker who has the power to move an audience as well as make them laugh, an approach best summed up in his unofficial school motto – ‘Intimacy, warmth, banter and trust’.

Feedback from recent events include:

"Dave was brilliant and inspirational. An excellent speaker bringing many issues to life with his experience and stories"

"Absolutely fantastic! great skills and knowledgeable - came away with lots of ideas"

"Very engaging. Lots of strategies to use – brilliant!"

"Dave was just wonderful! Everything we hoped for and more. Our delegates described him as 'inspirational'. He moved the room to tears and made many of us think twice about what we do now and how we can do it even better in future. He was funny, engaging, motivating and challenging in all the right ways. Many of our delegates identified him as the key part of the conference that will make a positive difference to their future practice. We are so glad that he came!"

"Wow ! one of the most engaging insets I've ever been on - inspirational and informative"

“We believe every child deserves the very best care, attention, support, guidance and dare I say it, love, we can give them as caring professionals” - There is Another Way

To read more about Dave Whitaker please click here

  • Dave has been with Independent Thinking since October 2012 and is one of The 33

  • Dave’s DBS number is 001436277252 issued 25th February 2014

  • Click here to see our price guide


Governor Event

Being a governor is an incredibly important task these days so we are delighted when we are asked to support them in their work in all sorts of schools around the country. Apart from ensuring the event is an entertaining and enjoyable one for all, especialy as it is so often on a rainy Saturday, we make sure our input is informative, relevant, up to date and guarantees all governors go back into their schools knowing what to look for, what to do and the rights sorts of questions to ask.