Gilroy Brown, Educational Consultant

Gilroy has worked in education for over 40 years. He served for 37 years in the education service which included 10 years as headteacher of an inner-city, multicultural school and 11 years as a school advisor supporting 20 primary schools, working as part of the Birmingham Local Authority’s Primary Leadership and Management Team.


Gilroy has successfully delivered bespoke Leadership and Management training for school leaders in various school networks. Through the National College for Leadership Gilroy provided training for aspiring school leaders and newly appointed headteachers on the local induction programme for new heads and the Aspire Programme for BME teachers.


Gilroy was also the Co-Founder of the KWESI mentoring programme which coordinated 30 mentors across 30 schools (25 primary and 5 secondary); contributing to a reduction in exclusions. Over the years Gilroy has coordinated informal coaching/support networks for aspirant BME school leaders which led to many of the participants becoming successful Head Teachers.

In addition, he is a member of the CoED Foundation’s Trustees and Advisory Board, and also acts as one of their associates, specialising in leadership and management. He has written numerous articles for Race Equality Teaching and the NPQH programme on successful leadership in a culturally diverse school setting.

Currently, Gilroy is working with Maurice Irfan Coles on a chapter in their forthcoming book, Towards the Compassionate School, entitled Compassion Through Cultural Development.

Gilroy also serves as the Pastor of the Mount Shiloh Church Apostolic Church in Wolverhampton and as Chair of Governors of the King Solomon Business International School and all through Christian free school, which welcomes children of all or no faith.


Although we had to relocate from our original venue, our eventual setting for this interview could not have been better.  You will see in the picture below that Gilroy and I are sitting in a nice hotel lobby drinking tea and there was even some very nice jazz music playing in the background.  This scene is appropriate for my conversation with Gilroy since his calm and relaxed manner never fails to impress me.   

John and Gilroy

This interview includes Gilroy’s time at a teacher, headteacher, school advisor and educational consultant so we cover a lot of ground.  Gilroy’s affinity to mentoring is where our paths first crossed and explains my determination to include him in this podcast series.  Gilroy has so much wisdom to share I am pleased to be able to provide this platform to help get his many relevant, useful valuable and thought provoking messages across, including:

  • Why mentoring skills need to be integrated within initial teaching training
  • How to prepare children for life beyond compulsory education
  • How Gilroy helped to overcome the perceived legacy of failure in his local community
  • The best advice for anyone thinking of teaching as a career
  • Why courageous leadership and having difficult conversations is a key role for headteachers
  • The biggest challenge headteachers face which is having the courage to do the right thing
  • Why good leaders should empower others
  • The importance of identifying quick wins for new headteachers
  • Why headteachers should focus on “peoplework” and not just paperwork
  • Why headteachers should take a leaf out of Christopher Columbus’ book

This interview does come with a warning.  The pleasurable jazz music playing in the background that I referred to earlier did get louder as our conversation progressed.  I have done my best to fade it out of the audio but the sound quality is not great towards the end of the interview.  Apologies in advance if you have to turn the volume up or have to re-listen to parts of the conversation.

Welcome to the beautifully dulcet words of my colleague, mentor and friend, Mr Gilroy Brown.



Listen to this episode on iTunes

Download the interview as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as”


  1. Gilroy is not on Twitter but you can find more about him and his work on his Linkedin Profile
  2. Gilroy works with The CoED Foundation which was created by Maurice Irfan Coles
  3. I mentioned Nina Jackson who was speaking at an Evolve event on the evening of the interview
  4. The book I referenced about courageous leadership is Brave Heads: How to lead a school without selling your soul by Dave Harris
  5. My Evolve business partner Graham Morgan insists on looking for job applicants who have the “Right Stuff” as well as academic or experiential prerequisites for the role   
  6. The influence of Tim Brighouse on Gilroy’s career and educational philosophy is clearly evident and Gilroy highlights this within the interview
  7. Gilroy’s favourite films, which he highlighted in the interview are Training Day, Spartacus, Gladiator, and Malcolm X

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