Kate McAllister (Director and Senior Trainer)

Kate qualified as a Teacher of French in 2000, and has over 10 years’ experience in school leadership roles. Most recently, Kate worked as Head of Entrepreneurship, with responsibility for leading whole-school enterprise and character education. In 2005, Kate started work on developing a Learning to Learn curriculum for year 7 students, with the aim of helping all young people develop the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in school, as well as in their lives beyond the school gates. She then spent the next 10 years refining and improving both the methodology and the results, culminating in the whole-school approach to teaching and learning that has become known as Learning Skills. In 2015, Kate took Learning to Learn to new frontiers when she set up the School Bus Project, a charity providing mobile education for refugees. Kate crowd-funded the purchase of a double decker bus, installed solar panels on the roof and spent 6 months working in the Calais Jungle, providing much-needed education and support for families and individuals in displacement. Since the closure of the Calais camps, Kate has set up Crisis Classroom, an organisation providing training and support for refugees via the innovative technology of inflatable classrooms. Kate specialises in building sustainable partnerships and networks to enhance learning, develop employability skills and enable effective collaborations within local, national and international communities. You can contact Kate at kate@rethinking-ed.org, or via @Crisis_Classrm.

James Mannion (Director and Senior Trainer)

James qualified as a Teacher of Science in 2006. He holds an MA in Person-Centred Education from the University of Sussex, and is currently a final year PhD student at the University of Cambridge. James’s doctoral study is a 5-year evaluation of Learning Skills, a new approach to Learning to Learn which led to significant gains in subject learning, especially among young people from disadvantaged backgrounds (see Mannion & Mercer, 2016). Learning Skills is a complex intervention, whereby several strands of effective practice are used in combination. This idea also forms the basis of the Rethinking Education approach to school improvement. James is an Associate of the UCL Institute of Education, and currently works with schools throughout London and the South-East to help develop evidence-informed practices such as practitioner enquiry and lesson study. James is a passionate advocate of practitioner enquiry as a basis for professional development, and he regularly presents at educational conferences on this subject. He is a founding member of Oracy Cambridge, a think tank dedicated to promoting effective speaking and listening skills in schools and the wider society. You can contact James at james@rethinking-ed.org, or via @rethinking_ed.