Gary Toward

Speaker Photo

Speaker Topics

  • Team Development
  • Teaching and Learning Strategies
  • Teaching
  • Student Engagement
  • Raising Standards
  • Parenting Support
  • Newly Qualified Teachers
  • Motivation
  • Leadership
  • Engaging the Learner
  • Engaging Parents
  • Creativity, Culture, Education
  • Creativity
  • Creativity
  • Contexts For Learning
  • Contexts and Cultures for Learning
  • Closing the Acheivement Gap
  • Classroom Support
  • Career Development
  • Behaviour/Discipline
  • 21st Century Learning


Gary is a director of Decisive Element, an educational based source of inspirational workshops, keynotes and publications, working across the UK with schools, colleges, universities and the corporate world. From trainee teachers and NQTs to teachers and middle leaders, Gary delivers workshops and keynotes that are not only punctuated with clear tips and strategies from over 33 years of experience in teaching and school leadership, but also ensures delegates engage with their core purpose as educators. He’ll not shirk from delivering tough messages but also ensures a focus on positivity, humour and a sense of positivity that all educators need.

With experience from 7 schools (from primary to sixth form), three headships (including co leading a Pupil Referral Unit out of Special Measures and another to ‘Outstanding’.) and being co-author of the successful Art of Being a Brilliant Teacher series, Gary brings a wide range of experience and is happy to develop his workshops to support individual needs.

Gary’s underlying philosophy is that great relationships, high quality pastoral care and a range of high quality curricular and extra curricular experiences are the essential building blocks of brilliant teaching and learning.

Current Positions Held

Director of Decisive Element Ltd (

Personal Achievements and Awards

Author; The Art of Being a Brilliant Teacher; The Art of Being a Brilliant NQT
Author; 14 Sorrow (a novel)
Chair of Leicestershire and Rutland School Sports Partnership 2012-2014

Personal Achievements and Awards

Successful publications:
The Art of Being a Brilliant Teacher
The art of Being a Brilliant NQT
The art of Being a Brilliant Middle leader
The art of Being a Brilliant Classroom Assistant

Amazon Best sellers 2017
Shortlisted best Educational Books 2017

Published in May 2018 "The Decisive Element" Unleashing praise and positivity in schools

Relevant Career and Professional Background

Teacher 1981-2015
MA Educational Leadership 1996
Headteacher (a teaching head) 2000-2015
Formed Decisive Element Ltd 2011 with business partner Chris Henley. To date over £100k given to support students’ learning.
Corporate work has included supporting and or delivering educational resources for; Disney, Tussards, British Airways, The British Army, The Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Additional Information

Book reviews:

“The authors are brim full of positive attitudes, energy and ideas and have an amazing capacity to make their enthusiasm infectious.” Sir Tim Brighouse

“I cannot recommend this book highly enough – it does the simple things well. Reading this book is an antidote to creeping pessimism and like shot of adrenalin at the end of a hard school week. It makes us all remember what we came into the profession for and quite simply that is to change lives.” Dave Thomas, Headteacher, Ashmount School

"I have new ideas to try out."
"I have been hooked all day by your enthusiasm for young people and your innovative ideas to promote learning." "Excellent content. Very useful and inspirational." "Superb! Very relevant and thought provoking."
"I liked the fact there was a mix between secondary and primary." "Totally relevant information."
"I was feeling a bit flat, but now I feel re-energized."
"The best day I have had in my career."
"Bloody brilliant!"
"I wish I had this information before I started in September."
“The delivery was packed with enthusiasm but for me, the most important aspect was the personal reflection I did after it had finished. I was sitting with a glass of wine that evening and thought how lucky I was to be in teaching!”
“Gary provided enthusiastic and hands on approach – was very engaging and informative”
“Gary Toward was excellent and I have gained insights & simple ways to engage and excite the children”

For availability or to book this speaker please email or call 07595 820211 / 07919 216280