School Improvement & Development Conference 2023: Book your early-bird place

Karen Thomson

Karen Thomson


  • Experienced Primary Teacher and Leader
  • Specialises in English, Maths, Science and PSHE
Subject,Key Stage,Curriculum

Can you tell me a bit about yourself and what motivates you?

I come from a family of educationalists, and although my career has taken me into school leadership and consultancy work, I am very much a primary school teacher at heart, with over thirty years’ experience across the primary age-range. I am passionate about the importance of values education and a huge believer in pupils having a voice in their learning, their school and their world. I believe that if we want a better global society for the future, we need high quality PSHE at the heart of all schools and underpinning all learning.

What is your educational experience and key qualifications?

I have a master’s degree in educational leadership and have held various leadership roles in primary schools in Devon.  I was an Advanced Skills Teacher for PSHE and Citizenship in Devon for 10 years, working both locally and nationally to support teachers and develop provision. A fully trained SENCO, I have great experience in SEN and pupil behaviour and have also worked extensively with families and agencies in my role as Inclusion Manager. I have written a number of educational publications, featured in educational media and led extensive training for teachers throughout the country.

What is your educational specialism?

I genuinely love teaching all subjects! However, over my career I have held leadership positions for English, Maths, Humanities, Citizenship, Music, PSHE and SEN. I particularly enjoy developing children’s writing and love performing and creative arts.

What do you enjoy most about working in education?

The children of course! Seeing them grow, change, and develop and their energy and joy of life. There’s nothing like being a teacher!

What do you like doing outside of work?

I love to travel and have a wide range of interests including reading, walking, writing and learning Spanish. I have a great interest in justice and sit on the Torbay youth offending panel, often supporting young people. Since 2005 I have managed and coordinated the prestigious Torbay and Devon Civic Award which is a character and Citizenship award for children in Year 6.  I have a close family and love spending time with them.

What teachers say about Karen

“A fantastic trainer. Karen is approachable and engaging.”

“The trainer had a wealth of experience in the primary sector in many roles – she shared her expertise in a realistic and honest way and valued our contributions to the discussions.”