It was great to welcome Ellie Dix onto the podcast this week. Ellie is the Training Manager of Pivotal Education and, along with Paul, she talked about the origins of the company, what Pivotal offers today and some very exciting plans for the future.
To begin, Paul got to answer himself the question we have asked many guests on the podcast – why did he leave the classroom? He felt that he was having a really solid impact in his school but he wanted to say something on a wider scale. At that time the only way to do that was to leave his school and start visiting others.
At the time he didn’t have responsibilities like children so it was the right time to embark on this new venture. It was a ‘Pivotal’ moment.
Originally, Paul set up with a colleague, Joe, and they started off doing a lot of street theatre alongside work in schools. Joe moved into performance rather than training work but Paul was still committed to developing his training role in the UK.
Ellie and Paul sat down in the pre-social media era of 2004 to see how they could develop what they offered in behaviour management, above and beyond the existing national programmes. They did a lot of knocking on doors and turning up at local meetings in those days as well as a lot of mailing information to schools.
Ellie says that one of the key factors in the Pivotal Education approach is that they give a lot of resources away for free, including the podcast! The free tips emails have been running since 2008 and there are many teachers who have enjoyed receiving those for years. Nearly 15,000 educators receive the Pivotal behaviour tips every week. Ellie has heard of the tips appearing on staff notice boards, on the back of staff toilet doors and even on pay slips!
Individual teachers who need help, don’t have to pay for it
The training needs of teachers and therefore what Pivotal have offered has changed a great deal over the years…
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