National Conference Guest Speakers


Dr Adam Boddison


Dr Boddison is the Chief Executive for nasen (National Association of Special Educational Needs) with responsibility for strategic direction and operational delivery across the full breadth of nasen’s activity. Prior to this, Adam held a number of senior education roles including Director of the Centre for Professional Education at the University of Warwick, Academic Principal for IGGY (an educational social network for gifted teenagers) and as West Midlands Area Coordinator for the Further Mathematics Support Programme. In addition to a range of teaching and leadership posts in both primary and secondary schools, Adam has a portfolio of education research and international education projects.

Dr Alan Beggs

Alan is a Chartered Psychologist with a real passion to make a difference to peoples’ performance. He is a founder member of the BPS Special Group in Coaching Psychology, a member of the Association for Coaching, a founder member of the Centre for Applied Positive Psychology and a member of the Association of Business Psychologists – as well as The Society of Authors.

After a long and distinguished academic research career, with over fifty publications to his name, he spent fifteen years working as one of the first sport psychologists in the UK, and had a hand in 25% of the medals Team GB brought back from the Sydney Olympic Games.

He has been involved in management development for over twenty-five years, helping pioneer the movement to bring coaching to the workplaces of Britain. He now designs and delivers numerous high-impact interventions for a number of providers of training, covering a wide range of topics such as Emotional Intelligence, Building Strengths, Effective Decision-making and Understanding Why Change is Hard.

He has just completed a very practical book for school-age children who are facing daunting examination challenges, such as the 11Plus and Key Stage 2 SATs. The book is designed to help them acquire the mental skills they need to become more motivated, focused, confident and resilient.


Ana Ambika Pindoria and Kam Pindoria

Kam and Ana have been very successfully training, coaching and mentoring tutors for over 20 years. They began their tutoring journey in their 20’s. As qualified and practising school teachers they began their first tutoring business in Essex, alongside their full-time secondary school teacher roles in Maths and Physics. The unique teacher couple have created 6 of their own tutoring centres in the south-east of England, a property portfolio, motorsport and retail businesses. 

Their business expertise is thorough and widespread. 

The teaching couple are passionate about coaching and training tutors and have empowered over 350 tutors by assisting to build their tutoring businesses and successfully gain profitability. After being appointed Master franchisors for the global tutoring network Kip McGrath Education, they are today highly experienced independent mentors to the tutoring profession and run Hi-Juice Business Mentors.

They hold a wide range of expertise in Sales, Marketing, Operations, Product Creation and Finance and provide mentor support to business owners hungry for further success. Kam and Ana Pindoria are trained, proven multiple entrepreneurs who are passionate about the tutoring profession. They gained their main success through the tutoring industry and are now committed to helping other tutors succeed.

Daniel Licence

Dan is a Mental Health Adviser for Osborne Cawkwell, a Mental Health First Aid Instructor for Mental Health First Aid England; a Facilitator at Ruby Wax’s Frazzled Café and a Mindfulness teacher through Mindfulness in Schools Project. Regularly run workshops for tutors on Mental health, Mindfulness and Positive Psychology. 

Dan has successfully run 2 sessions on Mental Health for The Tutors’ Association: At UoL on Mental Health and Positive Psychology and during the Tutors’ Association Summit in Mayfair on Mental Health and Mindfulness.


David Hawkins

David is an experienced college and university guidance counsellor with expertise in a wide range of international university admissions systems. A graduate of the University of Oxford and a former GCSE, iGCSE, A Level, and IB History teacher, David has served as a college counsellor in the UK and supported students in university applications to the US, UK, Canada, and Europe, among many others. Now based in the southwest of England and working with Syzygy Global Education, David provides independent counselling services to students and families around the world, particularly those looking for support in applications to the UK (including Oxbridge and Medicine), the US, and multi-country applications involving a range of different application systems.

Previously head of College and Careers Counselling at the International School of Brussels and head of Careers at Taunton School, David has expertise in advising students in British, IB and American-patterned schools. He is well versed in guiding students through the subject choice process from Grade 10/Year 11 onwards.

David is a regular speaker on all aspects of university admissions, most recently at the Council of International Schools Forum, International ACAC 2017 and the Student World Huddle 2018. 

Emily Milne

As Minerva’s Head Tutor, Emily supervises the training and professional development of all Minerva Tutors, mentoring and encouraging them to achieve their full potential in their tutor career. Having both parents as teachers gave Emily a love of learning and teaching from an early age. She took the CELTA EFL qualification when she was 18 and has since been teaching and tutoring to small groups, classes and individual students. While at King's College she taught English and Public speaking. 

Since joining Minerva in 2014, and after attending all their training courses, she has gained 1000s of hours of experience in tutoring multiple subjects up to A level and mentoring pupils of all ages.   

Now with thousands of hours of tuition experience, as its Head Tutor she has overseen the creation, development, and delivery of Minerva’s training program and graduate scheme.


Jill Hodges

Jill is the Founder and CEO of Fire Tech, the UK’s leading provider of technology-focused extracurriculars for young people 7-17. Jill founded the company to empower children with tech skills, and to inspire them to use tech to solve problems and share creativity. Jill is an engaging, passionate speaker and a thought leader around 21st century skills and young people.

Today Fire Tech has delivered about 8000 educational experiences and has activities across the country and internationally.

Jill has been invited to a number of panels and special events around the topic of “How to Prepare our Young People for a Digital Future”. She has also been featured on BBC, The Guardian and a number of other news outlets.

John Nichols


John is the co-founder of ‘Get My Grades’, a new edtech platform designed for tutors/ agencies, schools and individual families. He was a teacher on the Teach First programme, has worked for an award winning educational charity and has been a private tutor and educational consultant for 6 years (and member of The Tutors’ Association since its foundation in 2013). He has a key interest in neuroscience, educational research and effective pedagogy. 

John has run half day tutor training sessions for various agencies and run neuroscience seminars for The Tutors’ Association. He has also delivered a ‘character education’ training day to the staff of a whole secondary school.


Dr Kathryn Weston

Dr Weston is one of the leading motivational speakers in the UK today on parenting and parental engagement in children's learning. Initially, she trained as a criminologist at the Institute of Criminology at Cambridge, before spending 15 years as a social policy researcher. In 2007, she joined the School of Education at the University of Hertfordshire as a research fellow. This is where she developed her great interest in bridging the gap between academic research and real-life parenting.

Determined to empower parents by giving them access to researchers and evidence-based research, Kathy started a radio show for parents and organised local, live events where academics could meet parents and talk about their work.

Kathy then started Keystone Aspire which consisted of her personally delivering large-scale talks across schools to parents, and delivering CPD to teachers on all aspects of parental engagement. In recent years, Kathy has been asked by the Education Select Committee (House of Commons) to chair a panel on parental engagement and by Bloomsbury to write a book for teachers on the topic. She is a regular panellist on BBC radio and writes for the Huffington Post.

Kathy is currently developing an online suite of resources for parents and teachers called 'Tooled Up Education'. She hopes that this will become the 'go to' site for all evidence-based tips relating to parenting, education and family life.

Dr Kevin Smith

Kevin was diagnosed with Dyslexia at the age seven. He attended Frewen College, a boarding school for Dyslexic boys. Kevin gained a BA in Law and History at university and to fulfil his keen interest in helping others like him he pursued training in special education. He now holds a Master’s Degree in Dyslexia Studies and a Postgraduate Diploma in Assessing Students with Specific Learning Differences (SpLD). Kevin also has a PhD in Dyslexia Studies.

He began his teaching career in Further Education, working in colleges both in London and Luton and then became Director of Training with the Dyslexia Association of Singapore. He has also taught in Higher Education as a course leader for a Master’s Degree in Specific Learning Difficulties, and has supported Dyslexic students in Higher Education. Currently, Kevin is the CPD Programme Co-ordinator for PATOSS, and also, is a Study Skills teacher at Westminster School, London.


Dr Kirstine Szifris

Dr Szifris has been working in the prison education sector for 7 years. Her PhD looked at the use of philosophy education in prisons focussing on Socratic dialogue. She now works at the Policy Evaluation and Research Unit and is currently engaged in a large scale research project evaluating literacy delivery in the context of a prison.


Kirstine has spoken at a range of conferences including the British Sociological Association, the British Criminological Association and the European Criminological Association. She has been invited to speak on several plenary panels for the Prison Education Trusts Academic Symposium and spoken at the Prison Research Centre’s Annual Conference.  

Lucinda Williams

A native English speaker, Lucinda is a passionate linguist with a degree in Linguistics and Phonetics with French and Spanish from the University of Leeds. She has gained invaluable experience in teaching international students at all levels and ages, at an international boarding school in Switzerland. She has been fortunate enough to travel extensively whilst working as a private tutor, having had engaged in several residential tuition placements internationally, including Switzerland, Mallorca, Ibiza, Italy, Sardinia, Monaco and Greece. 

She now works as a freelance private language tutor in London tutoring all three languages and carries out residential tuition placements during the school holidays. 


Natlie Harling

As part of The Outward Bound Trust's senior management team, Natalie is charged with successfully implementing The Trust’s strategic plan. In her 19 years with The Trust Natalie has worked closely with the education and corporate   sectors, and in her current role of Director of Business Development is responsible for leading this integrated set of sales teams. 

Natalie has an active passion for creating opportunities to support young people to reach their full potential, offering life enhancing opportunities to develop skills that will better equip them for the challenges ahead. Her role enables her to share cross sector knowledge from the national curriculum and apprenticeship levy to respond to continued concerns around employability and the skills gap.

Nicky Horn

Teacher and Tutor of 20 years’ experience in secondary education, Assistant Head of Middle School at Ampleforth College. Nicky developed a tutoring programme for Middle School – years 9-11 with a focus on self-awareness, growth mindset, attitudes and confidence in preparation for sixth form. She has tutored Year 10 and year 11 students for over 13 years. 

Nicky is currently delivering programmes into schools on self-awareness for students in order to drive performance and confidence.


Peter Tait

Peter is a New Zealander who has taught at both primary and secondary levels, in state, integrated and independent schools including seventeen years as headmaster. As well as being a trustee of SAST, he is a governor at two independent schools. 

For some years, Peter chaired the education committee for IAPS and also sat on the ISC Education committee and was a director of ISEB.  He also wrote the first New Zealand Boarding Schools Manual.

Peter has written several books, both fiction and non-fiction, and currently writes on education topics for the national press, (mainly the Daily Telegraph on-line) as well as a range of education magazines and websites. He has contributed to other books on Littleton Powys and to the Civitas publication in ‘The Ins and Outs of Selective Secondary Schools: A Debate’ edited Anastasia de Waal. 

He has spoken at a number of conferences as well as ran seminars and / or workshops at IAPS and BSA Conferences as well as Wellington College, Eton, to HMC Academic Deputies in Lisbon and to other national bodies on curriculum, on parenting and on school strategy and education.  

Dr Stephen Curran

Dr Curran is the Managing Director of AE Tuition Ltd and AE Publications Ltd. He has been tutoring since 1990 when he started whilst teaching full-time in a state comprehensive. 

In 1997, he started working with small groups of children and eventually by 1999 a hall was hired and group tuition was properly established. By the end of that year the first books were published by AE Publications Ltd.

The group tuition delivered preparation for grammar school examinations and general improvement at primary level. The first tuition centre was opened in 2006 and soon more teachers and assistants joined the team.  A second tuition centre was opened in 2016 where around 2,800 children are currently taught on a weekly basis.

Stephen has spoken at a number of educational conferences and events, has been interviewed regularly on the BBC as an educational expert, been a government advisor on the primary maths curriculum and have also delivered papers at university conferences .


Vanessa Thompsett

Vanessa has been a private tutor since October 2016, teaching a wide variety of ages, from 11+ preparation to GCSE and A-level students.

She chose private tutoring as a career due mainly to disability – however, she has since discovered that it is also a truly vocational job.

Vanessa has spoken several times at Nine Worlds and Videobrains, on various subjects including dystopian literature and mental health. She has also performed her own poetry and short stories at Vinyl Deptford, Cabiret and Nine Worlds.

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