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Meet the expert > Meet the expert: David Crabtree

Meet the expert: David Crabtree

An interview with David Crabtree, who specialises in supporting schools, colleges, HE institutions and work-based training providers to improve learning and the learner experience.

David CrabtreeWhere/what did you study and what are your qualifications?

My MA was gained at the Institute of Education University of London, PGCE at The University of North Wales, the specialist Diploma for teachers of students with Specific Learning Differences (Dip SpLD/Dyslexia) was gained in Harrow and my original BA with the Open University.

Professional experience?

I was a teacher with over 20 years experience in the classroom and then became a teacher trainer training specialist teachers for pupils with Dyslexia at the Hornsby Institute. This led me into a nationally funded project based at the University of Westminster (AchieveAbility) where I have been working for the past 10 years with schools to change classroom practice around whole class teaching to enable all children to achieve to their potential especially children who learn differently.

What are your current projects?

Currently I am working with The British Council supporting their global SEN strategy as well as a number of London schools developing practice with whole class teaching.

Who have you worked with?

I have worked with a range of organisations including Dyslexia Action, The Dyslexia Trust, The British Dyslexia Association (BDA), DfES and QCA. 

What inspired you to get into this field?

My own children learn differently and the classroom and classroom learning has been challenging for them.

If you weren't an expert in your field, what would you be?

I can think of nothing more fulfilling than teaching.

What do you do away from work?

I am a keen runner and take great pleasure in music, especially music from Mali and Senegal.


Quick Questions:

What's your favourite book, and why?

My favourite book is, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. It reminds me that humility, humour and a different way of seeing the world are essential for a happy life.

What's your favourite album, and why?

I have an extensive vinyl collection which consists of 7" 45s as well as LPs and a range of other formats. To choose one is difficult, however, Marvin Gaye, 'What's Going On' is both pleasant to listen to and also very thought provoking. At present, I find myself listening to Oumou Sangare, 'Seya' and Cesaria Evora, 'Cafe Atlantica'. They are evocative, beautiful and romantic.

Who's your favourite musician/composer/singer, and why?

My favourite musician is Boubacar Traore from Mali. However, I have a number of favourites including Snooks Eaglin, Jackie Wilson and, if I feel like dancing, Kurt Harris ('Emperor of My Baby's Heart').

Whom do you most admire, and why?

I have two people, Nelson Mandela because he shaped my belief in justice and the Rt Hon Barry Sheerman MP for Huddersfied because he is a decent man doing a decent job in the Houses of Parliament.


David Crabtree specialises in supporting schools, colleges, HE institutions and work-based training providers to improve learning and the learner experience. He is a consultant with The British Council developing the global strategy on SEN and also a consultant at Harris Schools Academy on Inclusion, neurodiversity and learning along with many other projects. He also presented on Stickability, Learning Journeys and Working Memory at Online Working Memory Week 2013.


Date Added: April 15, 2014

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