Dominic Salles met his wife at 16, dated her at 18, married her at 28, had children at 30, has never smoked, tried drugs or played golf. He trained as a primary school teacher, gave it up to do an English degree, became a tax inspector. This is a man who takes no risks. He lives in Swindon and drives a Toyota.

He grew up in Ibiza. His father gambled away every possession they had. He became an illegal immigrant, got deported from Canada, was a pupil premium child, attended eight schools by the age of 11, and probably taught Sean Pertwee how to catch.

A teacher for 25 years, he believes current teacher training, the oppressive climate in too many schools and ‘inspirational’ CPD robs you of the chance to be slightly awesome and makes you feel guilty for not being perfect. He wants to show you how to help your student fly, to love your job and have time to live a fulfilled life, even if it involves golf.

Training and Continuing Professional Development

CPD is a massive investment. A staff of 70, on average salaries of £36,000 pa, will cost your school a total of £6904 for the training day.

That's a staggering sum, but it is what a day's teaching is worth. How can any outside speaker or trainer deliver value for this kind of money?

I could train everyone on engaging and challenging group work, peer assessment which is quick and engaging, fascinating hooks for your starters, novel ways of assessing learning through plenaries, fun ways to get students to gather ideas, five ways to differentiate, six ways to improve cross curricular literacy, great ways to use post-its, dice, playing cards and a range of cuddly toys; lines of conscience, the thought tunnel, stimulating Thunks and get the idea.

But is this value for money? Yes, I'll inspire the troops, but will it make any difference to student progress? Probably not, not one large enough to justify the cost.

This is because the chances are 90% of your teachers are working very hard indeed, and being as inspirational as they can. The chances are they are still inconsistent in all sorts of ways: quality of homework, quantity of homework, regularity of assessment, sanctions and rewards, feedback in books, etc, because that's what schools are like: full of individuals trying to do their best. The research on all the CPD teachers get, not just the one-off day, is that it has only a moderate impact. That’s no good to you in planning a one-off day.

The CPD I offer challenges that. It tries to show you a simpler but more effective way. Better lessons with less planning; better homework with less marking; better assessment with much reduced teacher time; a better curriculum with higher expectations; simple culture changes which require no extra teaching skills, but make students want to work harder. Differentiation which takes no extra resources, always works, and delivers higher expectations. CPD which focuses on how to teach mastery so that more able students are better than GCSE ready, and how to hone year 11 so students get higher grades. It shows how revision can be dramatically improved with fewer hours, or dramatically improved with just a few more. It shows how to get better progress for your students, whatever the subjects they study.

The most common feedback I receive from schools is that this CPD is "challenging" and makes teachers "work hard" on the day. It challenges much of teachers' thinking, because that is what educational research does. It challenges the idea of working ever harder, because there is a more productive way. It challenges how teachers think of their role, by focusing on learning: what our students do is even more important than what we do.

Because I have a track record of sustainable school improvement, and because what I do is based on educational research, I know what I offer works. But, because much educational research disagrees with some well-known practices in schools, this CPD can also be challenging for senior leadership teams. For this reason, I ask to understand the context of the school, so what I offer does not cut across what you are trying to achieve. Part of my training is liaising with the school to find out their needs – most things can be adapted to your context. I only enjoy what I do if it is making a difference.

KeynotesA one hour session to suit the needs of your school. Popular presentations are on improving student progress, rethinking learning for two year exam courses, whole school improvement, how research can transform your school, transformational teaching, what top schools do, and maximising memory.
InsetWhole school training is also bespoke. Popular sessions are on feedback that works, modelling success, whole school literacy, questioning for impact, smart curriculum design, and getting more from the more able.
The Slightly Awesome TeacherFrom one hour to a whole day. How can the ideas in my book help your teachers get better results by thinking and teaching differently, and spending less time doing so.
Mr Salles Teaches EnglishFrom one hour to a whole day on how to make educational videos for your students, so that your best teaching is captured, and your students can use it year after year. Relevant to all subjects. (This can include how to develop and grow a YouTube channel if you wish)
Department DevelopmentOften teachers work too independently of each other, dramatically increasing their workload while lowering their impact. How can a department be more streamlined, efficient and better performing? Two hours, to a whole day.
7 secrets of Department LeadershipNot the interpersonal skills, the what kind of leader you will be sort of coaching. Instead, 7 things department leaders must do, which will make the impact of the team greater than the sum of its individual parts.
two hours to half a day.
Teacher DevelopmentLesson observation, without grading, but with inevitable impact. Suits groups of 3 to 5 teachers who want to make a step change in their teaching. 3 days, spread over 3 months.
Better Decision MakingThe Wisdom of Crowds looked at how, under the right conditions, aggregating the opinions of individuals leads to much better decision making than the best experts. How to use this to find the best solutions for your school. One to three hours.
What does your data really say?We often think we know our data well, but we tend to look at it only one year at a time. What if we could compare over 200 pieces of data, across three years, and then compare each of those to every other school in the country with cohorts like ours?

We would know which schools had the same problems we had with SEN, PP, the more able, boys, girls, EAL, funding, English, Maths, Humanities, low attainers, middle attainers, high attainers etc, but had solved them spectacularly. We’d know exactly which schools to visit and why.
Half a day.

If you would like to book training for individual teachers, whole departments, or whole school, please contact me.



Comments on my training and CPD

Excellent course, hard work, a very important day for a trainee teacher. Thank you!

Denefield School, Reading

Very enjoyable and extremely worthwhile. Very good challenge of assumptions and (I) will continually consider new ideas.

Denefield School, Reading

Excellent. Well delivered. Had to work hard!!

Teacher at Spurcroft Primary School, Thatcham

Many thanks again for your input to our training day last week. It has generated huge amounts of excellent discussion.

Deputy Head, St Bartholomew’s School, Newbury

So many ideas which make sense. Easy to understand, clear, entertaining but believable because he is a practising teacher. And he’s written a great book!

Head Teacher at Downsway Primary School, Reading


Costs and Fees

Half day (e.g. 9:00 to 12:30)                                                                                  £300

Full day (e.g. 9:00 to 17:00)                                                                                   £450

Twilight sessions are only possible if your school is near my own £200


There are no extra charges for VAT or travel