Background of Directors
Founder / Director
George Matthews is a teacher with 20 years’ experience in mainstream and special education, junior and secondary, day and residential.
From 1989 – 1996, he was Deputy Head teacher of a Co-ed residential school for children from 8 – 18 years of age. Following basic training in 1989, George completed his Instructors’ course in 1993. He has also undertaken training in a variety of positive handling courses and achieved Senior Instructor status with the National Control and Restraint General Services Association (UK; violence prevention and management) in 1997.
In January 1996, George was awarded a Churchill Fellowship. He visited 45 schools / children’s homes, from the Bronx, in New York, down to Tampa, Florida. The objective was to observe, evaluate and to return with good practice in the area of how adults safely manage children’s anger and aggression. George has delivered courses in the management of children’s challenging behaviour in a variety of educational and care settings and has spoken at a number of National Association of Head Teachers / Special Need conferences on the subject.
Nick Burnett is a teacher with 15 years’ experience in mainstream and special education, junior and secondary, day and residential.
From 2000 – 2004, he was a Head Teacher of a 2-19 years’ of age State Special School in the UK and was awarded a rating of ‘excellent’ following an inspection by OfSTED (the official body for inspecting schools) in 2004. During the OfSTED inspection, the implementation and use of the Team-Teach approach was recognised as having a significant impact on the high rating achieved by the school. Nick trained as an Intermediate Instructor and then Advanced Instructor in Team-Teach during this period of time. He was involved in running and assisting training in a range of settings in the UK. Since moving to Australia in 2004, Nick has run many Team-Teach Tutor courses in the Asia Pacific region and has run other Team-Teach courses for in excess of 3000 people.
He was the first Special School leader to gain a Research Associateship from the National College of School Leadership, which involved researching leadership in England and Australia. This has led to the publication of a book, ‘Leadership and Special Education Needs’, which received a ‘highly commended’ rating by the Times Educational Supplement and National Association of Special Education Needs Annual Book Awards in 2005. Nick has also co-authored books on ‘Reducing Risk and Restraint in Asia Pacific’. He has also authored a number of articles about the use of Team-Teach, positive handling and leadership in Asia Pacific.
Nick is an accredited Restorative Practices Conference Facilitator and leadership coach and is co-author of a book on Restorative Practices and Special Needs, with Marg Thorsborne.