My name is Tom Sherrington.  I am an experienced former Headteacher and teacher and, having worked in schools for 30 years starting my training in 1986, I am now exploring the world of education consultancy to see where it takes me.

Through my consultancy – teacherhead consulting – I  am interested in working with teachers and school leaders to explore and implement contemporary educational ideas that help us deliver an excellent all-round education for all young people. Hopefully the range of posts in my blogs will give an idea of the scope of what that covers. I regularly contribute to conferences and CPD sessions locally and nationally and I’m busy working in schools and colleges across the country and around the world.

In May 2014, I published my first book, Teach Now! Science. The Joy of Teaching Science.  It may not be the most comprehensive book you’ll ever read but hopefully it serves as a handy rough guide for new teachers and trainees. It actually received one of the worst reviews any book could ever have “1 star: Fear for your children” – but don’t let that put you off.

In October 2017, I published The Learning Rainforest: Great teaching in real classroom with John Catt Ltd.  It’s been selling really well and I’m delighted by the reviews and general response. I’ve explored the content of the book in this blog.  Since then I’ve published more books and I’m now working with Oliver Caviglioli and John Catt Ltd as partners running walkthrus.co.uk

Previous Jobs:

I’ve been a teacher since 1987 and owe a great deal to all the schools I’ve worked in.  Each of them has been extraordinary in some special way:

Winstanley College, Wigan:  A Sixth Form college with 900+ students.  Learned a lot about independent learning, teaching Physics properly and seeing a great education as being much more than just subjects and lessons. Met Tom Billington – the first huge influence on me as a teacher; it is all about passion, commitment and integrity.

Holland Park School, Notting Hill.  Seven extraordinary years from Teacher, Head of Year to Assistant Head. The flagship comprehensive of the 1960s, now up against it in the 1990s.  Struggling to break 30% 5A-Cs, (nevermind inc EM) – 1500 students, big, chaotic, a roller-coaster every day.  The inclusive spirit was fabulous but we used to say it was 90% ethos, 10% achievement.  A baptism of fire in terms of behaviour management and eye-opening in terms of the scale of the challenge facing kids from the full range of inner city families.  We laughed a lot and cried quite often too! It was frustrating and challenging but we all loved the place. So many stories and I owe it so much..

Alexandra Park School.  Haringey. Joined Headteacher Roz Hudson as Deputy Head to open a new school in 1999. Starting with Year 7, we set out to create the ultimate community comprehensive. 10 years on, it is doing really well and I’m very proud to have been part of it.  The early years were an amazing learning experience; appointing all the staff, shaping the ethos and being absolutely committed to our simple ‘success for all’ tagline.  We believed in it and were determined so set the highest possible expectations.  I felt out of my depth with some of the challenges at times, but surrounded by the most talented bunch of teachers and support staff, we pulled through and put the school on the map!! (Roz Hudson remains my greatest inspiration. ) Twitter ‘big hitter’ @TeacherToolkit was one of my colleagues in those early days.

British International School, Jakarta.  A fabulous, unforgettable  three-year adventure for me and my family.  I learned to appreciate the power of an almost total achievement culture; how to sustain it and use it to good effect.  Wonderfully eclectic staff and students from around the world; facilities out of this world.  I also learned about the IB Diploma and all that it brings; a narrow 3 A level diet really can’t compare.  I also became Head of Secondary and developed a taste for the joy of Headship.  The holidays were pretty good too- from Bali and Kalimantan to Sydney and Queenstown.

(‘Saya Guru’ means ‘I am a teacher’ in Bahasa Indonesia.  All teachers are gurus – hence my previous blog name headguruteacher. I decided to drop it recently because I felt that it was misinterpreted too often. )

King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford.  As many blog followers will know, I worked at KEGS from 2008 until 2014; many of my posts are based on the work we did during that time.  This is the entry for my About page from a few years ago:

I work at @KEGS_Chelmsford, a Grammar school in Essex where I have seen learning activities that I’ve never seen anywhere else; these ideas would work anywhere and I am on a mission to encourage and challenge teachers to take more risks and release the full creative potential of the learning process. KEGS is an extraordinary school – and, having been a committed comprehensive teacher for many years, it was an unusual career move.  However, in these pages, I hope to capture some of the experience of making the journey;  after five years I still regularly have jaw-dropping, eye-opening moments where firstly I think ‘wow, that is incredible’ and secondly, I think ‘ but surely this could be happening in every school; I wish I’d tried this back in London’.  Although it is a highly selective school, I regard KEGS as a genuine beacon, illustrating what is possible in learning if we have enough courage and confidence. Every day at KEGS is a joy and I feel genuinely privileged to work here with such extraordinary students and members of staff.  Most of the best lessons I have ever seen, I have seen at KEGS.

Highbury Grove:  Between 2014 and January 2017 I was Headteacher of Highbury Grove School in Islington.   Highbury Grove is a very exciting,  wonderful school where we delivered a broad and challenging curriculum, serving the needs of a complex local community.  The ‘permanent white water’ analogy certainly rang true for us a lot of the time but we were on a mission to deliver on a vision of ‘Ambition for All’ and, although my time there ended prematurely for numerous reasons, I’m proud of the team we had assembled and of what we achieved in a short time, moving the school forward from where it was when I joined.  A lot of our ideas are documented in this blog.

May 2014: I contributed this piece to Rory Gallagher’s excellent ‘Who I am What I do’ blog.  It gives a bit more background.

National Baccalaureate Trust: I am very proud to be a founding Trustee of the National Baccalaureate Trust.  It has been difficult to promote at the same time as running a school but I hope to continue this work over the coming years.


  1. Dear Mr Sherrington,

    My name is Michael Martyn and I am currently working as an intern at The Education Foundation, the UK’s Education Think Tank.

    We are currently preparing a Report on ‘The Rise of Teacher Blogging’ and its importance when it comes to Education in the UK today.

    I would be grateful if you you could send any views you have concerning EduBlogging. One way in which you could frame your views would be to answer the following questions as a reply to this email…

    What are the reasons why you started to blog?
    What aspect do you blog about: a) policy b) CPD c) life as a teacher ?
    What impact do you want your blog to have?
    Do you follow other teacher blogs? If yes, which ones and why?
    Where do you see teacher blogging in the UK going in the future?

    Many thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Michael Martyn

    The Education Foundation


  2. Dear Tom,

    Although we are miles apart and come from different cultures, the essence of teaching- being a guru- is the same.

    I live and work in Alexandria, Egypt. I have been a teacher for years. Now I am into staff development. I find your blog very interesting; will be visiting more often.

    Best regards,


  3. Hi Tom
    I’m interested and inspired by your comments about teaching abroad! I’m just applying for DH and HT posts in Dubai, I wondered if you had any advice!



    • Hi Ann

      My main advice is to do it! It’s worth it. Most schools operate on the same basis as ours so you need to talk about leadership in the same way: maximising student outcomes, improving teaching, using data, CPD, celebrating achievement etc. On top of that there is a crucial role for schools being a community hub, providing extra curricular opportunities, a focal point for expat parents and so on. Also there are issues and opportunities around languages, international mindedness, students that come and go, EAL and so on. Hope that helps.
      Good luck.


  4. Hi Tom. I’m Charles 71 years old and still learning, now retired but I am helping my son, Duncan, introduce http://www.classcharts.com which helps teachers manage student behavior.

    He has over 16 years experience teaching in schools and started making software a few years ago.

    http://www.classcharts.com is award winning behaviour management software. Class Charts combines seating charts with behaviour management to provide world class behaviour analytics. It now links with SIMS. Improve your classroom management with Class Charts!

    Please try and find time to take a look – I am hoping to capture your interest for your work/blog & would like to hear what you think.

    Thank you




  5. Dear Tom,
    You may/not remember interviewing me in Singapore in 2008 for the post of Teacher of Japanese at BIS Jakarta. I was pleased land the job but disappointed to discover, on my arrival, that you had moved on. My four years at BIS saw some successful and rewarding Japanese language teaching and a much less successful attempt to promote a genuine environmental agenda at the school. But ultimately what made me leave was a growing realization that MFL provision, as it is currently structured in the UK and by extension BIS, is detracting from, rather than contributing to general foreign language competence across the demographic that those schools serve.
    I have conceived of and written up an alternative model of MFL provision and I would very much like to invite your perspective on it. Thus far, those who have read my document have failed properly to understand its intent and for the last year I have not shown it to anyone! I very much hope you have the time to drop me a line; if you are interested I will then forward the document to you!
    Very best regards
    Duncan Gray
    Formerly Japanese@BIS Jakarta, currently EAL@Ratcliffe College and from July 2014 ELA@KEystone Academy Beijing


  6. Hi Tom,
    When my local school told me that the mother of a new pupil said her son couldn’t take part in sports “because he’s left-handed” I realised there were still a lot of myths and misconceptions about left-handers. Thinking back to my own childhood as a left-hander I wrote the fictional story of Vicky, who wants to make her Gran proud, but has problems related to being left-handed. Left-handers will identify with the problems, and also be inspired that Vicky eventually triumphed BECAUSE she is left-handed.
    At the end of the book is information for parents and teachers. I feel the book would make a useful addition to any school library. It’s available as an e-book and is also in print. The e-book version will be FREE on Amazon.com from the 4th to the 8th of March 2015. This is the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D30CIJU
    I was wondering if you could put me in touch with someone who might like to review it.
    Many thanks
    Jan Hurst-Nicholson


    • Hi Jan – I don’t know of anyone off hand. I’m left handed (and colour blind) and I never feel these things merit special attention; they’re just part of life. However, if people see this and want to follow up that’s great.


  7. Greetings from Albania,

    I am Lindita from Tirane Albania. I am a teacher for almost 20 years. This year I decided to start my PhD on the role and responsibility of the homeroom teacher in the class. The scope of the main research is to identify different models of homeroom teachers developed by the different schools of thinking as well as different researchers.

    I would appreciate any kind of information or orientations on the matter.

    Thank you in advance.
    Lindita Treska


  8. Hi Tom ,

    Are you available to hire as a guest speaker for conferences? If so could you please send me your contact details.




  9. Hi Tom

    I would like to use some of the materials from your website in an on line training course that we are creating on boys learning. In particular the Bill Roger’s section. Please would you advise about the situation with regard to copyright.


    • I’m happy to give my stuff away as long as other people don’t have to pay for it. So, if you are asking people to pay, I’d ask you not to use it. You would need to go to other Bill Rogers sources. Let me know and thanks for asking. Tom


  10. Dear Tom, I came across your blog when I was looking for some inspiration for my PD sessions with unqualified teachers at my independent school in Wimbledon, where I am part of the staff development team. I thought I recognised the name and realised you appointed me as head of key stage three at BIS Jakarta I 2008 – although I worked under Paul Starkie as we didn’t overlap. Thanks for this wonderful blog – I have referred my trainees to it several times.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi would you like to speak at our teachmeet in Poole Dorset on 25/2/16?

    Thank you so much for all your helpful posts.



  12. Hi Tom,

    I see from the book you’ve written that you have a perspective’s axe to grind.

    However, as a biology teacher for 25 years and author of 3 books I know for a fact that the theory of evolution is not the fact of evolution. It is, as your teacher Christina Wilkinson rightly stated, a theory.

    Is there a Creator or not? Of course, the watch-guards of militant humanism, atheism and scientism are primed to attack any deviation from their creed – for materialism is centrally dependent on the theory of evolution being fact. They inhabit all walks of life.

    I have no idea whether you bandwagon with the abovementioned group or are an even-minded man perhaps unaware of all the facts. The simplest way I can introduce you to a group dealing with the scientific facts (although there are hundreds more) is one that, likewise, inevitably has trouble with ‘religious materialists’. Google, for example, Discovery Institute in Seattle. Perhaps even hear and read what these scientists say (though if you’ve already disagreed you probably won’t have time!).

    The evidence for Darwinian micro-evolution is powerful and agreed by everyone. But the evidence for Darwin’s hypothetical extrapolation, macro-evolution, is unclear and highly debatable.

    Many very powerful arguments are adduced from sources worldwide against both chemical evolution and macro-evolution – not least since the very basis of biology is information in the form of symbolic code viz. DNA. You might, rather than allow the hounds of ignorance, lack of scholarship and bigotry to attack, support an open curriculum – not as regards current and definite biological facts but also regarding life’s history which requires abductive (best-guess) logic regarding the interpretation of facts. I hope also, you support those courageous and correct teachers who give the lie to evolution as a fact!

    best wishes,



    • It’s a worry that a biology teacher doesn’t understand what a theory is in science. It is a fact that we have common ancestors with all other mammals, for example. It’s beyond question based on a wealth of evidence. I’m a humanist atheist – there’s nothing militant about it. For, me there is no need for religion to explain any aspect of human existence; all religions are man-made; that’s my position. I do, however, accept that many religious people also accept evolution as a fact. Because it is. There’s nothing courageous about the desperate need to support a creationist view of our origins; it’s a delusion pure and simple. This blog is now littered with a tragic array of creation-justifying pseudo-science. It’s stunning really. I did not expect this. Now I know what we’re up against.


  13. I think there are For and against on both sides of this discussion. I am not qualified to speak from a scientific point of view however I cannot believe in a creator who permits all the horrible things to happen the world in the name of religion. Charles

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Tom, Your belief/ mind-set is accepted. Uncritical acceptance of evolution as a total explanation is not. It is only ‘fact’ for a materialist (as you say you are). But even information, the very basis of biology, is not material; nor reason, purpose, mathematics or mind itself (don’t let’s go down the avenue of nonsense that equating brain with mind has to follow). Thus suppression of other people’s rational position is entirely unacceptable and arguably irrational. ‘Now I know what we’re up against’ speaks volumes for your crusade. There are many points you have clearly not grasped. Take my advice. Do a little investigation starting, perhaps, at the point I suggested. Come back when you have made a fair and thorough study. Otherwise unbalanced bias amounts to hot air.
    And I can assure Charles I do, like thousands of other scientists, understand the science and both scientific interpretations of the origins argument.So-called ‘creationism’ doesn’t even enter in. It’s only that, like Tom, the Humanist Society, the AAAS, ACLU and other such organisations are locked in the same religious/ philosophical battle. They think that only they are right. Perhaps they are and perhaps they’re not but you don’t allow your enemy oxygen, do you?!
    Can we count you in or out of rational response, Tom?

    Best wishes.


  15. Ey up mr guru
    I’m trying to subscribe on your web page it it’s not working, it just goes to a page of code, help!
    Ms geogger


  16. Hi Tom

    I wonder if you would you be interested in a writing opportunity with the British Council? Please feel free to email me or let me know your email address if interested and I can let you know the details.




  17. Hey Tom, really great blog. We’re trying to work with people we call ‘On the Ground’ who are credible and experienced individuals/groups in their field to help bring our community more insights and knowledge about the industries and career paths that appeal to their interests.

    We’re called WONDR – https://mywondr.co/ – and we’re trying to evoke curiosity amongst our community. I’d be grateful if you could check us out and let me know if, and where, I could send you more information to discuss the potential synergies.

    Keep up the brilliant content!


  18. Hi Tom,

    My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot.

    I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Head Guru Teacher has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 100 Teacher Blogs on the web.


    I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 100 Teacher Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!

    Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.


    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hi there, I was just wondering if you know of any good pastoral leadership books. I’d really appreciate a pastoral version of the learning rainforest (excellent book). Thank you in advance.


  20. Hi Tom!
    We are a social enterprise (https://senecalearning.com/) that develops 100% free GCSE revision online courses. More than 15,000 pupils are already using Seneca and we would love to hear feedback from experienced teachers, like you. Please let us know what you think!
    Here is a direct link to one of the Physics courses: https://app.senecalearning.com/classroom/course/fe56ca00-05aa-11e8-9a61-01927559cfd5/section/3f1de4a0-05c5-11e8-9c7d-03428b3770b9
    Thank you!
    (twitter @SenecaLearn)


  21. Dear Tom
    I hope it’s ok to contact you this way, but I would like to ask for your help.
    My name is Suzanne Relou, I am a maths teacher and I follow you on twitter.
    This past year I have become very interested in cognitive load theory, have read your ‘learning rainforest’ book, amongst others.
    We have a reading group going at my school, with the Maths department and our Physics colleague about Craig Barton’s wonderful book.
    This brings me to the reason I’m writing to you. I know that you were a physics teacher, so I’m asking you on behalf of my colleague if you would be willing to enter into a dialogue with her, or if you know of other physics teacher she could get touch with.
    In discussing cognitive load theory we see many parallels between teaching maths and physics, but in the area of direct instruction vs inquiry she is struggling to reconcile these two.
    She would really like to get in touch with fellow physics teachers who are interested in CLT basically.
    I have recommended that she read your book anyway, but even beyond these she’d love to have others to discuss with.
    Any suggestions will be very well received.
    Thank you for your time.
    Kind regards


    • Hi Suzanne. Sorry this comment passed me by originally. My main advice would be to connect with the people running the cogscisci hashtag and to contact Rosalind Walker directly. Look up the science symposium by cogscisci – it’s small community of teachers sharing CLT ideas. Tom


  22. Hi Tom,

    I have just finished reading your book and found it very interesting and it will help me with my work as an Educational Psychologist. I was wondering if you think it is mainly aimed at secondary schools because of the examples/ case studies cited. A primary headteacher asked me for a recommendation.


  23. Hi there,

    My name is Mary Selby, and I am a freelance blogger with more than two year experience in the field. The reason I’m applying for you is that I want to learn more about a sponsored/guest post opportunity available on your website.

    I’m interested in article publishing with one sponsored link leading to my website. The website’s topic is related to education. For my part, I will provide you with a well-written article on the required topic.

    Here are examples of quality posts we created \designed for our partners:

    Please, let me know if you accept sponsored posts or guest posts at the moment.

    Kind regards, Mary Selby.


  24. Tom,

    I have just discovered you and your blogs and I have been very enlightened, informed and impressed with the range of educational advice you personally give and facilitate. I have just signed up to teacherhead to get your regular posts. I am currently a Principal in South Korea which is the ninth country in which I have held this position, but I am returning to Brexitland this July to go off into education in a different direction….. crazy ? I don’t know. I respect what you have done with your leap of faith moving out of headships and into consulting and I wouldn’t mind picking your brains.
    On a different note what did you play in St. Jude? I discovered their music by accident and still have the CD on my IPod,,, great sound and the lead singer has an awesome voice!

    David Lowder


    • Hi David. Thanks for message. Happy to share ideas about moving on from headship. Having this blog has helped me hugely in that regard. Delighted you’ve listen to St Jude. I wrote all the music on guitar and piano and some songs I play all the instruments. The more slick sounding recordings were in a studio where the producer and his friends chipped in with guitar and drums. I’d love to visit Korea sometime. Hope the transition back goes ok.


  25. […] Tom Sherrington is an author whose books include two that for me have been influential and highly recommendable; The Learning Rainforest: Great Teaching in Real Classrooms and Rosenshine’s Principles in Action. He runs the teacherhead blog and is a teacher trainer and consultant in much demand. Though I have never met him I, like many others, hold him in high regard, based on what he has written. […]


  26. Dear Tom,
    I am the Assistant Headteacher for Teaching and Learning at large secondary called Pleckgate High School in Blackburn. I am just messaging to see if you would come to our school to talk to SLT and our Middle Level Leaders about curriculum. We are part way through the process of redeveloping a new curriculum and we would very much like our Heads of Department to hear your views.
    If you are interested please could you contact me on trobinson@pleckgate.com
    Kind regards,
    Tessa Robinson


    • Dear Tom,
      Would you be interested in coming to our school in Blackburn to do some work with our Heads of Department on The Curriculum?
      Kind regards,
      Tessa Robinson (Assistant Headteacher, Pleckgate High School)


  27. Hi Tom
    Attended one of your Geography workshops in Feb 2020 (Nottingham)
    Walked away feeling very inspired by how you spoke about geography and children. Currently in the process of writing a Geography policy and was wondering if you could give any advice, as I want to make the policy personal to our school and children.


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