We are delighted to introduce our team of professional, enthusiastic and experienced individuals. Made up of psychologists, teachers and social entrepreneurs, our team are on hand to support you to empower your students to become more resilient, emotionally intelligent, critical thinkers. Discover why we passionately started Critical Thinkers on our about us page and find our how you can join our community here.
Meet the Team
Victoria Heath MSc Cert.Ed
Vicky has over 25 years of extensive experience within education. Her experience includes working as a consultant, where she demonstrated significant impact on student achievement and progression, while also improving the quality of teaching and learning within a variety of education establishments. She is also an assessment specialist with extensive experience of designing qualifications. Her most recent role as Chair of Examiners for Oxford International AQA has seen her help design and develop what has become the fastest growing qualification internationally within the suite. She has an MSc in Psychology and an MSc in Educational Psychology, as well as holding a Certificate in Education. She has experience of working as an educational psychologist in Scotland. A major part of the role included helping staff to utilise strategies to improve students' critical thinking, resilience and emotional intelligence. She remains wholly passionate about equipping young people and key adults with these vital skills that will be essential for success in 21st century life. Vicky is delighted to be leading the development of the Critical Thinkers Award Scheme. In her spare time, Vicky enjoys spending time with her family, practising Vinyasa Flow Yoga, running and watching theatre.
Dan Stacey MBA
Founder and Chairman
Prior to founding Critical Thinkers, Dan was a director at Discover the World Education (DTWE), which grew into one of the UK’s leading school trip providers, under his leadership. During his 13 years at DTWE, Dan worked with a wide range of teaching professionals, schools, universities and other educational providers. Through this experience, he learnt of the work being undertaken in schools to help develop their students' critical thinking skills. While good progress has been made in recent years, critical thinking is still considered notoriously difficult to teach. Dan noticed that rarely was there any focus on the psychology behind objective and rational thinking. After consulting with a number of experienced teachers and chartered psychologists from a range of backgrounds, it became very apparent that an important gap existed and there was an opportunity to make a meaningful difference. Hence, Critical Thinkers was born. Dan also holds an MBA from the University of Bath. He lives with his young family of four in Newcastle upon Tyne and enjoys exploring new ideas, travelling, surfing and using the gym in his spare time. Dan still remains on the board at DTWE, in a part-time role. The rest of his energy is being spent building and running Critical Thinkers.
Karen has over 20 years’ experience as an assistant head teacher, pastoral deputy and newly qualified teacher mentor. Karen is also a highly experienced Iceland teacher tour leader and is passionate about the academic and pastoral benefits of overseas outdoor education. Karen has authored a number of articles on the importance of pastoral education and has delivered a variety of webinars, teacher CPD courses and presentations, both for the Geographical Association and Discover the World Education. In her spare time, Karen enjoys long country walks, travelling, baking with her two daughters and spending time with family and friends.
Dr David Nightingale
Clinical Psychology Consultant
Dr David Nightingale has extensive experience working as a consultant clinical psychologist for the last 25 years, helping people to improve their mental health. David’s focus over recent years has increasingly broadened to include coaching and self-development work. David recently spent a couple of years successfully completing a taught Sports Psychology Masters at the University of Wales, Bangor. His qualifications prior to that included a First-Class BSc (Hons) in Applied Psychology and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. David has had extensive teaching experience within a university setting, teaching students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. He has also supervised, taught, mentored and guided some clinical psychologists training on the doctoral course. More recently, he gave a series of lectures on developing mental strength to a group of teenage footballers at a professional football league club. Recently he prepared an e-book - ‘New Moments: Make Your Life Work’, aimed at teenagers and adults. The book strives to provide paths towards higher emotional intelligence, positive self-development, better life quality and greater levels of success.. Visit his website to find out more on David's work. Outside his occupation, David is blessed with a loving family, which includes his wife and four children. His leisure interests include taking the family dog for walks, metal detecting, watching documentaries, creative writing, and playing indoor sports like table tennis, pool, and darts.
Andrea Džalto MSc
Social Psychology Consultant
Andrea is a researcher in both market and academic psychology. She has a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Applied Social Psychology. Andrea is also pursuing her PhD in social psychology and therefore currently conducts her own research, investigating behaviours on social media. Andrea has worked with various high profile social media and leading tech companies. In addition, she has previously worked for a range of non-profit organisations such as Shelter and Mind. Andrea has conducted research for biopharmaceutical companies and has successfully implemented behaviour models to improve health promoting behaviours in Europe. Alongside her academic research, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, she has become particularly interested in the psychology of spreading and accepting misinformation. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to podcasts, walking, watching movies and playing board games/trivia with family and friends.
Simon has experience as a curriculum leader in the humanities faculty, within a 12-year career teaching geography. Simon holds a Masters degree in Education Leadership and Management, with focus on collaborative working and CPD leadership. He has undertaken GCSE Geography examination marking and is an experienced teacher tour leader and product manager at Discover the World Education. Simon is a pianist and enjoys distance running. He is (very slowly) learning Icelandic.
Head of Moderation
Karen has over 16 years of experience as a teacher and subject leader of A Level Geography and travel and tourism. The role required participating in and overseeing the assessment and moderation of coursework and portfolios for large cohorts of students in both subjects. She holds a Masters degree in Tourism Business Administration and more recently has taken up a travel specialist position with Discover the World and become an experienced teacher tour leader in Iceland.Prior to this, she spent over 20 years working with groups and individual students of all ages teaching music.
In her spare time, she enjoys travelling, organising rambles in the countryside with family/friends and playing tennis for her local club.
Social Psychology Consultant
Aqsa has a background in teaching, mentoring and supporting children and young people both nationally and internationally. She has a BSc in Psychology, an MSc in Applied Social Psychology and is currently a PhD researcher at the University of Exeter. Her research involves investigating the effects of misinformation on children and adolescents, from a social and moral developmental perspective. Alongside her research, she is also a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant at the university and enjoys doing outreach work as a PhD tutor with The Brilliant Club, where she delivers lecture-like courses to state school pupils in order to improve their chances of getting into highly selective universities. During the first lockdown, she started working on creating an app for children that trains them in the critical thinking and digital media literacy skills necessary to make safe decisions online. She is currently in the process of getting the app developed and launched in schools. In her free time, she enjoys baking, kickboxing and learning Mandarin.
Head of Customer Service
Tanya joins us with over 25 years experience within both the Ski & School Educational Travel sector and the Adventure Travel Industry. Her passion for Customer Service has always been at the forefront of all her previous roles within sales, operations, administration & project management. Leading & inspiring teams to deliver an experience and creating a desire to return. A keen traveller Tanya has explored many corners of the globe. She loves nothing more than adding to her travels by sharing these adventures with her young family now. Weekends you will find her exploring the great outdoors, walking with her Jack Russell or playing a weekend family game of tennis.
After obtaining a First-Class degree in Drama, Katherine refined her marketing skills and knowledge within a range of industries, including technology, retail, travel and education. Most recently, prior to joining Critical Thinkers, Katherine worked for Discover the World Education, where she fronted up the education marketing department. Throughout her time at DTWE, Katherine has worked on a number of teacher support projects, including classroom resources, information magazines and blogs. Katherine is passionate about travelling and theatre. She is also a self-professed audiobook fanatic.
We are so pleased to introduce our empowering team of course presenters. You can find out more about what each course presenter can offer via our courses and support page.
Dr Gillian Shotton
Gillian has been working as an Educational Psychologist since 1997. She has written a number of books and journal articles. Most recently published is the second edition of 'Emotional Well-being, an introductory handbook for schools,' a book she co-authors with Sheila Burton. This course utilises an evidence-based approach that has been proven to support staff wellbeing.
Ruth Sequeira is a BAMBA registered Mindfulness Teacher & Supervisor and is a BACP Accredited Psychological Therapist, who has worked in CAMHS, the Education sector and privately, for over 15 years. Ruth's focus is on Mindfulness Courses that take us on a journey to increase self-awareness, our familiarity with the more unhelpful patterns in our mind and our ability to enjoy our lives and act in accordance with what really matters to us.
Sean O Connell
Having enjoyed a successful career in professional rugby, Sean’s experience of performing in a highly competitive environment fostered his intrigue about what allowed individuals to realise their full potential. Sean later completed his MSc in Psychology and has since worked with a number of schools and organisations to help develop their resilience and emotional intelligence.