About me

I was once described as the ‘UK’s leading trainer in modern learning methods.’ I’ve delivered well over 1,800 training and development events over a twenty-five year career so I would place myself amongst the more experienced developers in the UK. However, I believe any popularity I may have earned has been as a consequence of lots and lots of preparation, treating each piece of work as unique and never ever doing the same presentation twice. Now I’ve adapted as more and more of my deliveries are on-line.

I became good at speaking to groups when, as a young man, I had to take museum tours for visitors day after day. Many had come into the museum just to get out of the rain. I had to understand their motivation in order to connect with them. Although I became very skilled at presenting, I’m better at facilitating groups and helping manage the learning process. I enjoy taking a project through to a conclusion. I’m very thorough and always practical. I bring an understanding of the ‘science’ of learning to the ‘art’ of teaching. I take pride in modeling the methods I promote.

I’m unique in working in prominent roles across three different sectors: education, professional football and technology. I have authored or co-authored books, two of which became best-sellers. I’ve written on a variety of topics including books on learning, brain development, happiness, parenting and the culture of high performing schools. I also direct and heve produced high quality video for schools and training organisations. I do presentations to different audiences and on different topics. Here’s one I did for the Do Lectures in a steamy tent in West Wales!

For ten years I was chair of Alite Ltd, a company which was at the forefront of developing learning in schools.  During this time I collaborated with teachers, school leaders and other developers to produce a radical and successful approach to learning to learn, a well-being programme called The H Factor and a curriculum design model. I continue to see my original Accelerated Learning cycle re-badged and used – ad sometimes mis-used by corporations and training providers.

I’m also an Education Director for Frog Education Ltd. Frog are one of the worlds most successful providers of virtual learning environments and my part-time role is to help shape product design and implementation. With this help Frog products are now being built from proven learning principles.

Ryan Giggs practising his presentation skills on the FA UEFA Pro Licence, Turkey 2014

For over twenty years I’ve been the designated learning consultant to the Football Association. I helped design and deliver the worlds’ first Elite Coaches course, directed their UEFA Pro Licence – the top qualification in football – towards a competency based approach and authored a Develop the Developers programme. The work with the FA has impacted on each of the 30,000 members of the Licensed Coaches Club. Most of my current work is based around design and delivery of the FA UEFA Pro Licence.

I also work as a consultant to UEFA, based in Nyon, Geneva. I am currently helping them design their Coach Educators provision and set up some protools of learning which can be adopted by the 55 different UEFA federations.

I have worked with a Danish charity Fun Football which brings together children from war and conflict zones to spend time enjoying football.

In my spare time I love to do more of the above especially if I can run around as I do so. I like real ale and real pubs, loud bands and snow on the hill tops. I’m an exiled Scot.


Any of the topics below can be adapted to your school and staff needs. The support mechanisms can be negotiated and vary from short keynotes to ongoing staff and leadership support.

  • Building Trust
  • Developmental Observations
  • Leadership and the Management of Change – lessons from High Performers
  • How to Develop more Independent and Resilient Learners

    Oli Thomlison Princiapal of Paddington Academy and I during the filming of High Performers
    With Oli Thomlinson the brilliant Principal of Paddington Academy during the filming of High Performers
  • The Top Teaching Interventions and how to use them
  • Learning to Learn – an evidenced-based success
  • In Search of Character: developing the whole learner
  • Growth Mindset in Schools – Myths and Realities
  • Facilitating whole-school approaches to developing Learning and Learners
  • Outside the Box. What Education can learn from high performing teams such as Sky Cycling, Mercedes Petronas F1, Research Hospitals and West End productions such as Les Miserables
  • What we can learn from World Class Schools
  • Winning the H Factor: The Secrets of Happy Schools
  • Changing your School Culture for the Better
  • Teachers as Trainers: Self Sufficient CPD


In football I’ve worked in a variety of ways including: mentoring managers, consultancy on club culture, motivational inputs for staff and players and confidential one-on-ones with players. I’ve worked with clubs in the top six tiers of English Football.

  • MOT for Managers – we agree the checklist, I tell you how you are doing
  • Mentoring for key staff – including Managers
  • Developing a Learning Environment across your Club – how do players and staff learn, how can we be even better?
  • Presentation and Communications Skills for Managers and Coaches
  • Support for Individual Players – overcoming confidence issues, staying positive, developing resilience

High Performers describes how fifteen different Secondary Schools achieved success

“Through his work with teachers in our school his thumbprint is all over thousands of lesson plans delivered to thousands of students and we continue to rely on Alistair as a principle lever in school and teacher improvement.”Deputy Head Teacher, Secondary School

” Alistair has been identified by us as being the leading national figure who has the skills, knowledge and capacity to guide us through the difficulties we are currently experiencing in delivering our ideas. To date he has galvanised a group of our staff to form a cohesive research and development team and is just about to launch with that team a framework for taking the school forward. This work is critical to the success of the school.” Head Teacher Secondary School

“Due to the range and experience of the educational context that Alistair brings to this work, his innovation and thinking as well as his understanding and knowledge of the coaching methodology used to move staff forward in their practice Alistair is essential to the work that we are doing.” Education Officer, Primary Research Project

“One of a tiny handful of ‘freethinkers’ and ‘influential visionaries’ … who push the boundaries” Channel 4 Television, UK

“The guru of acceleration” Times Educational Supplement, UK

“A key player in developing a fresh approach to the game and how its coached” Sir Trevor Brooking

“The nice man who asked us lots of questions” Selina, aged 6

To get in touch or find out more contact me