Jeremy Hannay – Three Bridges School, Southall

Jeremy is the Headteacher Designate of Three Bridges Primary School in West London, an innovative and successful school that serves a disadvantaged population.  He writes regularly for Teach Primary and Primary School Management in between completing his doctorate at the University of Exeter.  

Jeremy has worked in both Canada and England as an educator and provides support and advisory to a number of schools in mathematics, English and school leadership.  He believes passionately in growing schools that are characterised by incredible educators, courageous young people and cultures of enquiry, collaboration and happiness.  He tweets using @HannayJeremy.



There is so much excellent content packed within the next 60 minutes that this could well be the most valuable and effective CPD for school leaders all year.  We discuss many of the key features of Three Bridges Primary School that have led to its success on so many levels.  The roots of Jeremy’s educational philosophy and his outside view on our school system are themes running throughout our conversation which also includes the following topics:

  • Why school leaders should set themselves bolder goals
  • How Jeremy leads staff with happiness, care and compassion in order for children to flourish
  • When to use verbal feedback and when to use written feedback
  • How better staff wellbeing is achieved by using common sense, listening to your workforce and not setting meaningless tasks
  • Why headteachers should always be asking themselves if they are asking the right questions
  • Why teaching observations are the most overrated idea in British education that stifle at least 90% of the workforce
  • How Three Bridges Primary School developed a culture of trust where professional discourse around continuous improvement involves all staff
  • Why 200 schools and 500 teachers have visited Three Bridges Primary School this year alone
  • Lessons from sport including why long-term impact of educational practice should be prioritised over short-term outcomes
  • Why you don’t need to be at the front of the room as a headteacher
  • Some of the key differences between educational systems in England and Canada
  • Why school leaders are the biggest crisis facing education

You will soon realise why the school has become known as the #happiestschoolonearth and make contact with Jeremy to see it in action for yourself.

I usually include a photo of myself with my interview guest but I felt that this photo of Jeremy alongside the school’s outgoing headteacher, Matthew Burdett, is way more appropriate.  This image manages to capture everything the essence of my conversation with Jeremy and demonstrates the relationship, teamwork and joy that is shared between these highly effective school leaders.

Matt and Jeremy


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  1. Jeremy is the headteacher designate of Three Bridges Primary School in Southall
  2. Jeremy mentioned the teaching and learning toolkit produced by the Education Endowment Foundation early in the interview
  3. John Hattie’s research into feedback was referenced and this is John’s unique and ground-breaking book Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement
  4. Andy Hargreave is the Thomas More Brennan Chair in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College.  Along with Michael Fullan, former Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto, he wrote the book Professional Capital that Jeremy regards as a must read for all educators.
  5. Wipe the Slate Clean is an article written by Jeremy that uses an analogy of how a sports team need instant verbal feedback to succeed and inspired the Guardian article that first brought Three Bridges School to my attention.
  6. A number of Jeremy’s published articles are found on the school’s website and Jeremy’s own Facebook page.  This article entitled Conventional Wisdom outlines much of Jeremy’s educational philosophy, including evidence-based traits of top teachers and schools
  7. Pinecrest Public School in Ottowa, Canada is where Jeremy learnt his trade under the effective leadership of Charles Austin.  Pinecrest School was the subject of a television documentary, The Pinecrest Diaries, and Charles was named one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals in 2006.
  8. A visit by Matthew and Jeremy to St George’s CE Primary School in Battersea, currently led by headteacher Sarah Collymore, was a key catalyst for change at Three Bridges School
  9. The headteacher of St George’s School at the time was Jan Hilary who is now CEO of Floreat Education Academies Trust
  10. Three Bridges School is a Talk4Writing Training Centre
  11. Jeremy has introduced Lesson Study to Three Bridges School to increase professional capital and empower teachers to take responsibility for their own development.  Here is a short article from TES about how to introduce Lesson Study to your school.
  12. Jeremy’s article about Courageous Leadership based on lessons from Dustin Reid who is a Volleyball Coach in Ontario
  13. Jeremy is currently reading Reading Reconsidered by Doug Lemov.  Doug is Managing Director of the Teach Like a Champion Team at Uncommon Schools in the US.
  14. Jeremy cites Dr Yeap Ban Har from Maths No Problem as leading the best CPD he has ever experienced due to Yeap’s world class delivery as well as his inspirational information approach.  

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