Andy Falconer


Living Without Regrets

30 Apr 2016 | One Comment |

Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed 1by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. Are you living your life so that when you look back you have very few regrets?

Jeanne Louise Calment is in the Guinness Book of Records for living to the grand old age of 122 years and 164 days. Susannah Mushatt Jones is currently 116 years old and has 100 nieces and nephews! It’s amazing to think just how much change they’ve seen in their lifetimes. Tim Peake is living in space at the moment, whilst the man on the moon was merely a throw away phrase when they were growing up. Read the rest of this entry »

Developing Future Leaders

13 Jan 2016 | Leave a Comment |

Developing Future Leaders – Attain Magazine

Effective leaders are made not born, and the skills and values pupils need for leadership must be imparted at an early age whilst at school.  This is an article which I wrote for the Spring edition of Attain Magazine, which can be read in their online magazine here:

Leaders are born not made. I disagree. Whilst I don’t think that leadership can be taught, in the way that chemistry or French is taught, I do believe leadership can be developed. Management is a science that can be taught, but leadership is an art that must be developed. Like so many things, the earlier we start the process, the better.

John is a risk-averse Chief Financial Officer, unwilling to make a decision Read the rest of this entry »

Make the next 5 years, your best 5 years as a leader

1 Nov 2015 | Leave a Comment |

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the first year as a leader, or you’re Next-5-yearsMartin Gilbert (CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management since 1981), Martin Sorrell (CEO of WPP since 1986) or me (Head of St Olave’s School since 2005), as a leader you want to make the next 5 years, your best 5 years. I’ve been giving this some thought recently and the following are some of the things that I think will help those of us who are committed to making the next 5 our best 5.

Read the rest of this entry »

Developing Relentless Curiosity In Children

7 Jul 2015 | Leave a Comment |

Do you know anyone who is 21 years old? Can you imagine that person going on a journey. An adventure.relentless curiosity Waving them off at the station. Now, imagine that journey took them further than they planned.

Much further. 75,000 miles in fact. That’s three times the earth’s circumference.

Imagine that journey lasting longer than they planned. Much longer. 30 years in fact.

Imagine them also leaving York on foot, with a donkey to carry their few possessions. For the year isn’t 2015 but 1325, over 700 hundred years ago. And the person concerned isn’t the 21 year old who you know, but a 21 year old Arab from Morocco called Ibn Battuta. Read the rest of this entry »

Persistence & Growth Mindset – My Speech Day Address

7 Jul 2014 | Leave a Comment |

Mark sits beside a hospital bed in Italy, surveying the wreckage that is his best friend Jonny. persistenceJonny is connected to this world by nothing more than humming machines and tubes. Jonny doesn’t realise that he’s been in a coma for the last 4 weeks. Jonny remembers nothing of being knocked off his scooter in a hit and run accident. Jonny doesn’t know how close he came to being killed.

If you are interested in cycling you will recognise the names of successful British cyclists such as Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins, Victoria Pendleton & Mark Cavendish but you probably haven’t heard of Jonny Bellis. Jonny is a European champion and he competed for Team GB in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. His best friend Mark, who sat beside his hospital bed, is Mark Cavendish, one of the world’s top cyclists. Read the rest of this entry »

Are you a pushy parent, pushing your child too hard?

23 Nov 2013 | Leave a Comment |

Clinical psychologist Professor Tanya Byron wrote a Pushy Parentinggreat article in The Times recently about how she feels children are increasingly suffering from anxiety and depression due to pressure from parents. It’s easy to slip into being an overly pushy parent but she suggested some ideas for how to foster health and happiness in our kids, which I have summarized here: Read the rest of this entry »

How to help your child develop a Growth Mindset

26 Jul 2013 | 5 Comments |

There once was an unlikely looking 12 year old swimmer who told his coach that he wanted to win Olympic Gold, probably in breaststroke. Instead of ridiculing him, the coach (a Yorkshireman) took the boy literally, & helped him with his ambitious goal. They developed training plans that took a huge amount of commitment and dedication to follow. Both the boy and the coach felt that he could develop his talent and they were prepared to embrace the challenge and effort it would take. The boy had to keep going when things got tough, but he was inspired by his swimming heroes, and wanted to be like them.


The swimmer in question was Read the rest of this entry »

Resilience – rising each time we fall

8 Sep 2012 | 3 Comments |

Resilience. I ran a race this year. It was my first one in roughly 20 years. I finished in 19,623rd place

Image courtesy of

– my worst ever placing. 10 months earlier when I started to train for it I could only jog half a mile, then I was physically sick & had to walk home – that’s how unfit I was. As I walked home part of me wanted to give up and try cycling or table football instead, but another part of me said that next time I’d jog the same distance but this time I wouldn’t be sick and I wouldn’t walk back. There were lots of moments throughout the winter months when I would be doing a long run at 10pm after a long day, with the temperature near freezing and snow on the roads and I thought about turning back and going home.

“So up he rose to run once more,

And with a new commit…… Read the rest of this entry »

Private schools should be abolished…..or should they?

28 Oct 2011 | One Comment |

The following is a guest blog by Toby Young – freelance journalist, author & inspiration behind

Image courtesy of

the West London Free School. It is taken from a debate at the Oxford Union.

“I want to start by agreeing with the honourable members on the other side. The fact that only seven per cent of the British population attended independent schools, yet 75% of judges, 70% of finance directors and 45% of top civil servants have been privately educated is iniquitous. Unquestionably, private schools have a good deal to answer for when it comes to the preservation of the English class system. I share the belief on the other side of this house that we need to do something about this. I went to three state schools. I’ve just set up a school in Read the rest of this entry »

Sponsoring an Academy is not for me

8 Oct 2011 | 2 Comments |

I am not going to be taking up David Cameron’s generic offer to get myself & my school involved in helping to run a Primary Academy. The Prime Minister may feel that because of this I am part of the continuation of the ‘educational apartheid’ he has accused independent schools of perpetuating by not lending their experience to the running of academies, but that is not the case.

It’s not because I am an educational snob – my own education was in the state sector.  It’s not because I don’t agree with the academies Read the rest of this entry »