Hundreds of staff are packed into a hotel conference room from different schools, all under the same new, shiny, corporate logo of a recently birthed multi-academy trust. It’s the first day back at work after winter, it’s cold and miserable outside. We greet familiar faces and gravitate towards familiar colleagues from our own schools.

An INSET day that has the potential to be full of good intentions and limited actions. 

That morning I heard the words, “humans are a challenge-seeking species”, repeated over and over again by this powerhouse of a woman I had never heard of before, it rattled around in my head for days.

This was my first introduction to Mary Myatt, an excellent public speaker who gets you right on side with a story and then confirms everything she has just said to be true by pointing to researchers, papers and studies.

Mary has had her finger in pretty much every pie available to her in her career, from teaching to school governance, her work comes from a place of having been there and done that. This is somebody who embodies education, who works from a place of understanding what it’s like to work in a school.

Her work on “High Challenge, Low Threat” is something that frequently comes up in Qualified Tutor conversations, although I’m not sure if that’s just because I’m there to bring it up! There are no quick fixes to be found here, no gimmicks or surprises, just high-quality research brought together by a sharp mind with the belief that children and young people deserve high quality education.

I am gutted that I won’t be able to attend Mary’s session live on Wednesday. It’s sure to be a firecracker, but I will look forward to seeing all of your feedback on it and catching up with the recording later in the evening.

You can grab your ticket to this free event by visiting and registering today.