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Crown Buildings, Bancyfelin, Carmarthen, SA33 5ND,
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Peter Radford

Peter Radford is an experienced public speaker, teacher, trainer and writer with a wealth of experience in education, leadership and personal development. He now works with schools and businesses to help them develop the strategies and momentum to meet the challenge of change and achieve their goals.

Peter has worked in education for over 25 years and has specific experience in effecting change at a whole-school level by addressing systems and mindsets that stifle progress. He has overseen ethos and aspiration in two large secondary schools and led both to achieve the Unicef Rights Respecting School Award. Peter now speaks to students and staff around the UK inspiring change.


Connect with Peter

https://www.beyondthis.co.uk/

Publications by Peter Radford

Love Teaching, Keep Teaching:

A practical guide to staying well in a high-pressure profession.…

Author Blog

Letter to my Daughter starting University

October 12 2020

Dear Amy-Beth   It feels crazy that you are leaving for university so soon after being born! The past 18 years have been amazing but they have flown by far too quickly. I worry that I have not told you everything I wanted to or taught you everything that has helped me over the years. I know that some of those lessons you will learn for yourself through experience, but I feel I should have done more to prepare you. So here are my top ten… the ten things I wish I had known earlier in life and which I hope will help you flourish and fly higher and farther than me.   1. Believe in what you do. Only spend your time and effort doing things you truly believe in. Life is too short to follow someone else’s agenda. If you’re heart is not in what you do then you won’t stick with it in the long term and you won’t enjoy it. Gandhi said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.” So whenever you have that niggle that you don’t feel right or comfortable with what is expected of you, listen to it. Don’t do anything that runs contrary to your core values. Believe in what you do.   2. Don’t do as you’re told. Ok so maybe I have taught you this one! And you know that I don’t mean to just ignore rules for the sake of it; I mean never blindly do something just because you’re told to. All rules are made up. Some of them are good and some of them are bad. They get changed all the time. The rules used to be that women couldn’t vote and black people could be bought and sold. The people who ignored those rules changed the world. Socrates was sentenced to death because he was ‘corrupting the youth’ – encouraging them to question the system, the accepted authority and norms. The basis of Western Philosophy rests on this: question everything. Never stop asking Why? Buck the trend. Do things differently. You’re an original. Don’t do as you’re told.   3. Be yourself. The pressures out there are immense, pulling you in all sorts of directions. A study by Ruth Berenda back in the 70s showed that 75% of people go contrary to what they know to be true because of the pressure to conform – to go along with the crowd. You don’t need anyone to validate you. You don’t need a man to tell you that you are beautiful, to be a somebody. You don’t need a certain number of Instagram followers in order to be valid. You don’t need the approval of your friends or of your boss. And you don’t need me to approve of your choices either. This is hard to say! Because obviously my instinct is that I want you to make choices that I would agree with. But I know that’s not why you should make those choices. I don’t want you to make choices based on gaining my approval or mum’s approval or […]

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Possibility of a brighter future?

September 10 2020

Why we must change the way we engage with news… Over the past few months I have regularly found myself pretty depressed by the state of the world; the relentless torrent of bad news coupled with the ridicule and denigration of powerful public figures. I have had the feeling at times that the world is being run by meglomaniacal despots intent on the demise of humanity and there’s nothing I can do about it. The world is screwed. Whether environmentally, politically or socially – everything feels like it is spiralling downhill. Fast. And based on the sources I’ve been exposed to, it’s too late to do much about it. We might be able to slow our demise but basically and inevitably we are doomed! Then I realised something through reading Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed (brilliant book!). I live in an Echo Chamber. The way we digest our news these days is skewed more than ever before in recent times,. For instance I recently joined the world of twitter and started getting some of my news from twitter. Except of course I’m getting news only from the journalists or sources that I follow. Which largely speaking are sources which reflect my own political and ideological views. Hence all the perspectives I read, which tend to be left of centre, pummel relentlessly anything or anyone who represents the right – pretty much regardless of what they’ve done or just announced. No matter what efforts the current government are making, they will always be lambasted by the opposition. This itself is not new – it is the nature of two party politics. But what is new is that, in this social media driven world, we can live almost entirely in whichever Echo Chamber we choose and literally NEVER hear a perspective that challenges our own underlying set of assumptions. All we hear is the news or opinion that reinforces our own standpoint. And this is dangerous. The same happened during the Brexit years – both sides inexorably peddling their agenda, neither side really engaging with the other. Echo Chambers are structures of strategic discrediting. It’s not that information is necessarily misreported or deliberately distorted, it’s that the source of a particular decision or policy is routinely discredited through ridicule, satire, mimicry or mockery. It’s playing the person instead of playing the ball. If I have determined that a certain source or side or person is inherently untrustworthy, mistaken or wrong, then I will judge what they say or do negatively even before they say or do it. And when they say or do it, no matter what it is, my judgment or interpretation of it will be helpfully skewed almost immediately by my twitter feed. It’s not just twitter. Google algorithms invisibly personalise our searches and limit our access to diverse viewpoints. We get suggested films, products, youtube videos and websites all skewed by our previous viewing or search habits. We’ve signed up to this through our acceptance of cookies. And therefore we are destined to believe, buy and digest whatever our particular Echo Chamber suggests. Couple this with the fact that […]

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