London | 25 November 2022


Bukky Yusuf is a senior leader, educational consultant and leadership coach who is well known by her Twitter handle @rondelle10_b. She has undertaken a number of leadership roles within mainstream and special schools. As part of her commitment to increase diverse leadership within education, she participates with several initiatives and organisations. These include her roles as an ambassador for Leadership Matters, a Network Leader and coach for WomenEd & BAMEEd and a Steering Group member of the teacher5aday well-being initiative. She co-edited 'The Big Book of Whole School Wellbeing' which was released in October 2021.

After working in schools for over 25 years, as a teacher and senior leader, Liz worked as an advisor for Birmingham Local Authority and later with an educational charity for 10 years leading on mental health, emotional health, wellbeing and safeguarding. Liz now works as an independent consultant working with schools and other organisations, and has delivered presentations, workshops and research findings at national conferences. Liz is the author of 8 books, teaching sets and resources that are used across the country and internationally by schools. She has written for a number of professional journals such as ‘The Psychologist,’  alongside working for the Anna Freud Centre and Optimus Education as a Wellbeing Award advisor and verifier.

Jo is an experienced primary school teacher with a MA in teaching and learning from the University of Oxford. Together with Tom, Jo co-created Bottled Book: a picture book to help children share their feelings. Jo's work explores ways to make educational spaces emotionally honest and inclusive for all people.

Tom is a primary school teacher and curriculum lead working at St Modwen’s Catholic Primary School in the Midlands. As well as co-authoring Bottled, Tom has delivered training and CPD programmes for schools and MATs on mental health in education, the power of picture books and how to weave empathy throughout the curriculum.

Mark joined the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring in 2015, where he is now the Centre’s Teaching and Learning lead. He works with colleagues from across Cambridge University Press and Assessment in the development of new assessment and reporting products that drive improvement in educational outcomes. Mark is an experienced teacher, headteacher, manager and leader in the field of education, with a proven track record of improving student outcomes. He taught in three primary schools in the north-east of England over the course of seventeen years and during this time was a headteacher for ten years.

Ben Hurst is Beyond Equality’s Head of Facilitation. He works with young boys and facilitators helping them navigate complex issues like consent, gender-based violence and healthy relationships. Ben has a wealth of experience working with young people, having previously worked at sex education charity ACET UK (Esteem) and gaining a degree in Youth Work and Theology from Regents Theological College. You can also spot him in his TedTalk ‘Boys won’t be boys. Boys will be what we teach them to be.’

Victoria has worked in a variety of specialist and mainstream primary and secondary schools for the last 22 years. With a background in psychology and child development, Victoria is adept at looking at how a student’s environment can affect their ability to engage with the curriculum. She works closely with students, parents, school staff and outside agencies. Currently Victoria is researching how opportunities to promote mental health and well-being for students with SEND can be achieved through outdoor learning experiences. She is also co-producing “needs led” response programs across schools to help safeguard the mental health of more vulnerable cohorts.

Nicola Harvey is a former senior teacher and pastoral lead with a specialism in special educational needs and mental health. She is also a published author, expert writer for Optimus Education and a qualified mindfulness practitioner. With over 15 years' experience, Nicola has worked with many teachers, parents and students to support their mental, physical and emotional health and wellbeing. Her published books, Mindful Little Yogis and Self-Care Activity Book for Kids, explore the importance of integrating inclusive emotional wellbeing strategies both inside and outside of the classroom.

Anna has spent her career championing young people to help them reach their full potential, irrespective of their background or social environment. As Managing Director of Thrive, Anna believes that positive mental health is the foundation for future resilience, happiness and achievement. She was previously the CEO of UK Youth, and recently launched the Youth Futures Foundation, a government backed £90 million non-profit to support marginalised young people towards and into employment. Anna has emerged as one of the leading voices for youth wellbeing and opportunities in the UK and is a powerful advocate for all children and young people.

Martin is the co-founder of Laughing Phoenix, a consultancy that helps organisations with their ‘purposeful positioning’. As such, he has facilitated the global Dove Self-Esteem Project since 2003, creating a range of body image resources for teachers, youth leaders, parents and young people. More recently, he has been working on a handwashing education programme with Lifebuoy. In Devon, he also co-leads Creative Beings CIC, a social enterprise using artistic processes for wellbeing.

With 18 years of teaching experience in mainstream secondary schools, Jenefer is in her 3rd year as a Senior Leader at Painsley Catholic Academy. Her roles in school span Mental Health Lead, Designated Teacher, Inclusion and PSHE Lead. An experienced Pastoral Lead, Jenefer is able to talk from daily experience on the ground of how to implement a culture of positive well-being on the journey towards the Optimus Education Wellbeing Award for Schools.

Shaun joined Harmless as a trainer in 2021 after spending several years in training and operational roles within the private healthcare sector. As a trainer, Shaun incorporates his own lived experience when delivering training sessions, while maintaining focus on upskilling and empowering people around self-harm, suicide and mental health as a whole.