The Floreat Character Programme Team

Lord O’Shaughnessy – Founder 

Lord O’Shaughnessy is the Founder and Senior Adviser at Floreat Education. A passionate advocate of the potential of character education to transform children’s lives, he created Floreat in order to bring the evidence and practice of character virtue development into UK state primary schools. He is also chair of the International Positive Education Network, a global organisation that promotes the ‘character + academics’ approach to education.

Lord O’Shaughnessy is a co-founder of EDSPACE, a Senior Fellow at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, and a Senior Fellow at the Legatum Insitute. He joined the House of Lords in November 2015 as a Conservative Peer.

He was Director of Policy and Research for Prime Minister David Cameron between 2007 and 2011, latterly in No.10 Downing Street. Prior to that he was deputy director at the leading think tank Policy Exchange, where he published and edited several reports on school reform. Lord O’Shaughnessy holds an MA (Oxon) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Oxford.

Favourite Children’s Book: The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde.

Janet Hilary NLE – Chief Executive Officer

Janet Hilary has been a headteacher for twenty years and is a National Leader of Education. Both her schools were rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted and received many local and national awards for excellence.  Her most recent school was designated a National Support School and provided school improvement training to more than a hundred schools across the UK.

Janet’s work is rooted in public service and she believes that school leadership is the best job in the world. She has taken a key role in equipping the next generation of leaders to create excellent schools. The UK’s Headteacher of the Year 2014 wrote, “You are an absolute inspiration to me, what you have achieved is so special and unique. You transform the lives of all your pupils again and again, the community is truly blessed to have you and your school at its heart.”

Janet is passionate about character and knowledge education because her experience shows that it secures the highest levels of enjoyment and success in school.  She wants every family to harness curiosity and love learning together.

Favourite Children’s Book: The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

Briar Lipson – Director of Curriculum, Assessment and Training

Briar has substantial experience of both the theory and practice of Free School and Academy policy in England. Having first become interested in state schooling while studying for an MA in Economics at the University of Edinburgh, she went on to co-author the Policy Exchange report More Good Teachers alongside Floreat Education board member Sam Freedman.

Having learned much about the theory of teacher training, Briar joined the prestigious Teach First programme and has spent three years teaching maths in two London Academies. Subsequently Briar joined the Business Development team at CfBT Education Trust. Her commitment to genuine partnerships with community action groups helped secure the opening of three popular new Free Schools, and the approval of a further five to open in the coming two years. Briar’s first ever project for CfBT – All Saints Junior School, which was among the first batch of Free Schools to open in September 2011 – has already been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

Finally and alongside her work with schools in England, Briar maintains a particular interest in international benchmarking. Recently returned from a three-week study visit to charter schools in New Orleans, her areas of experience include models of staff training, strong school cultures and character education in the classroom.

Favourite Children’s Book: The Adventures of Asterix by René Goscinny

Jennifer Gifford – Character Education Researcher

Jennifer graduated from the University of York with an MA in Political Philosophy: The Idea of Toleration. She went to train as a teacher and holds a PGCE in Secondary Religious Education from the University of Chichester. Following this, she taught R.E. alongside History and Sociology to pupils across Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 in Sussex schools.

After a 2015 study trip visiting schools in the United States, Jennifer is excited to be developing Floreat’s Character Curriculum. In particular, Jennifer will be researching and implementing Service Learning Projects and contributing to the development of the Religion, Values, and Ethics curriculum in Floreat schools. Drawing on her experience as an R.E. teacher, Jennifer is looking forward to developing use of storytelling to convey complex ideas and concepts to pupils, which is a practice she developed in her own teaching.

Favourite Children’s Book: The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr