Clients, past and present

Bournemouth FC
Brentford FC
Bridgwater College
Darton College, Barnsley
Do Lectures
Dorling Kindersley
Education Scotland
Fife Council
Finnish Football Association
Football League
George Spencer Academy
Inspiring Leadership Conference
Kinross Primary School, Kinross
Leicester City FC
MK Dons
Ninestiles Academy Trust
Oxford Said Business School
Richard Challoner School
RSA Academies Trust
Saint John the Baptist School
Scottish Government
Sec Ed Magazine
Seven Kings High School
St Mary's University
Swansea City FC
Teach First
The Football Association
The Harris Academies Trust
The League Managers Association
The Premier League
Turkish Football Federation
Woodhill Primary School
Wyndham Primary Academy, Derby

About me

I have over 25 years’ experience in influential training and development roles. In that time I have completed over 1,800 presentations, events or programmes and  worked in schools or colleges in every education authority in the UK.  I have written best-selling and award winning books.  I have worked for football clubs from the Premiership to the Conference. I have been the Designated Learning Consultant to the FA for 18 years. More recently I have performed a similar role for UEFA.

I hope I have made a positive difference wherever I’ve worked.

My recent schools work includes the role of trust in shaping High Performing Organisations, work on Oracy strategies and using developmental observations to enhance pupil engagement.

I deliver motivational presentations, provide guidance on professional development and deliver training. Although I’ve lived and worked in England most of my adult life I remain a proud Scot.


An inspiration, as ever…

Oli Thomlinson, Principal, Paddington Academy, London

More than any other intervention the generic tutor training programme which you devised has transformed coach education within the FA

Danni Every, former Head of FA Learning

A driving force behind the principles of our learning programmes which now have global reach.

Kate Lewis, former Commercial Director, Frog Education

We look through the eyes of one of education’s undoubted masters and find ourselves nourished and enriched by the account of what he sees.

Geoff Barton, General Secretary, the Association of School and College Leaders, former Head Teacher

An inspirational staff developer

Dame Reena Keeble

Don't follow him at a conference!

Professor Sir Tim Brighouse

Enjoyed working with Alistair when we revamped the FA UEFA Pro Licence. Since he first came to Middlesbrough when i was captain there he's been an innovative thinker and full of energy.

Gareth Southgate, England Manager

Thanks for your help with setting up and leading our developmental observations. The classroom practitioners benefited from the focused approach, the precise feedback and your understanding of our context.

Chris Thomlinson, Executive Head Teacher, Harris Federation

Alistair has saved us an enormous amount of time by keeping us focused on what's important - we are proud of the breakthroughs we have made in our Entitlement Curriculum, our subject planning teams and our Trust approach to Oracy.

Sam Mcmonagle, School Improvement Leader, Central RSA Academies Trust

Relevant, funny, challenging and inspiring - the feedback we had on your keynote was excellent

Steve Munby, Chief Executive of the Education Development Trust
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alistair smith

The latest The Al@Alite Daily! Thanks to @Claire_Phipps @itsmotherswork

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alistair smith

The latest The Al@Alite Daily! #clapforcarers #doctorsnotmartyrs

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alistair smith

'Thinking critically requires affective skills just as much as cognitive skills. Teaching in the affective domain h…

To get in touch or find out more contact me