Will’s career has spanned four decades. In the seventies he rode a little blue moped past the pit heads, spoil heaps and foundries of South Yorkshire with the class guinea pig under one arm and football boots dangling round his neck.
In the eighties he left a school influenced by the legendary Sir Alec Clegg to become headteacher of a school that boasted the colourful football manager Neil Warnock as a parent, the ‘Strictly’ winner Darren Bennett as a pupil, and one child eligible for free school meals.
The nineties brought a move to lead an inner city multi cultural school with leaky buildings. The school developed a curriculum based around high quality pupil creativity and was judged outstanding by Ofsted.
As an LA adviser in the noughties he had a pivotal role in developing key government strategies, however this was the time when he became weary of excessive government intervention and went ‘underground’ by working to create ‘inside out schools’ that dared to be different. He then found that strangely, they tended to do well in inspections. In fact, they did so well Will was promoted to the Assistant Head of School Effectiveness.
Today he is an author, consultant and trainer who can take an audience from laughter to deep thought in the blink of an eye. He urges schools to join the ‘inside out revolution’ by turning their backs on those ‘outside in’ strategies that come from central government and instead to be guided by an understanding of the community they serve and their own beliefs about the best teaching and learning. The message is simple, but Will Ryan provides the strategies. The schools Will works with continue to thrive in inspections because they…
Dare to be Different!
This is the third year we have invited a trainer from the UK; the first year was good, the second somewhat routine and this year, the earth moved (even for our most stubbornly entrenched teachers).