Purpose of Potential Plus UK

At Potential Plus UK we believe that children and young adults of all ages and all backgrounds should have the best chances to succeed in life and fulfill their potential.

However, our brightest young people do not always have the easy ride you might expect. Those with high learning potential frequently miss out as beneficiaries of professional help and support due to the fact that their intellectual or creative capabilities mask a genuine need for help.

Potential Plus UK strives to give these young people the resilience and support needed to meet their educational, social and emotional needs. We work with their parents and schools to ensure there is understanding and appropriate provision, so that they can thrive and excel to everyone’s benefit. We advocate on their behalf with local and national government, regulatory and advisory bodies to keep high learning potential on the agenda and effect policy changes.

We need people from all walks of life who are passionate about the importance of supporting children and young adults with high learning potential and want to help them to discover their talent; nurture their ability and help them succeed.

What do Potential Plus UK’s Ambassadors do?

The main purpose of an Ambassador for Potential Plus UK is to raise the profile of children and young adults with high learning potential.

Our Ambassadors do this by:

  • Speaking and writing publicly about the needs of children and young adults with high learning potential
  • Helping Potential Plus UK to lobby key stakeholders
  • Helping Potential Plus UK to raise money to support our work
    • Hosting fundraising events
    • Making introductions to companies and individuals

Do you believe in what we do?

Do you feel you could act as an Ambassador on our behalf?

Then please contact us TODAY on 01908 646433 or email

Potential Plus UK Ambassadors

Bobby Seagull

Bobby Seagull (photo credit The Times)Bobby Seagull is a school maths teacher and Cambridge University Doctorate in Maths Education student. Before moving into education, he was an investment banking trader at Lehman Brothers & Nomura, and is a qualified Chartered Accountant from PwC. He is an ambassador for the charity National Numeracy, a presenter for an Open University course on personal finance for young adults, a regular contributor to Radio Four’s Puzzle For Today and a columnist for the Financial Times. Bobby co-founded the social enterprise OxFizz (that supports Sixth Formers university applications) and is a trustee of charity UpRising (leadership development for young people). He is the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Numbers (top #50 Amazon UK best sellers over Christmas 2018) and co-presenter of the podcast Maths Appeal. With his University Challenge friend, he co-wrote The Monkman & Seagull Quiz Book and co-presented a BBC TV series Monkman & Seagull’s Genius Guide to Britain. Outside of maths, he is a long-suffering West ham fan!

(Photo Credit “The Times”)

Professor A.C. Grayling

prof_graylingAnthony Grayling MA, DPhil (Oxon) FRSL, FRSA is Master of the New College of the Humanities, and a Supernumerary Fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford. Until 2011 he was Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has written and edited over twenty books on philosophy and other subjects; among his most recent are “The Good Book”, “Ideas That Matter”, “Liberty in the Age of Terror” and “To Set Prometheus Free”. For several years he wrote the “Last Word” column for the Guardian newspaper and now writes a column for the Times. He is a frequent contributor to the Literary Review, Observer, Independent on Sunday, Times Literary Supplement, Index on Censorship and New Statesman, and is an equally frequent broadcaster on BBC Radios 4, 3 and the World Service. He writes the “Thinking Read” column for the Barnes and Noble Review in New York, is the Editor of Online Review London, and a Contributing Editor of Prospect magazine.

In addition he sits on the editorial boards of several academic journals, and for nearly ten years was the Honorary Secretary of the principal British philosophical association, the Aristotelian Society. He is a past chairman of June Fourth, a human rights group concerned with China, and is a representative to the UN Human Rights Council for the International Humanist and Ethical Union. He is a Vice President of the British Humanist Association, the Patron of the United Kingdom Armed Forces Humanist Association, a patron of Dignity in Dying, and an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society.

Anthony Grayling was a Fellow of the World Economic Forum for several years, and a member of its C-100 group on relations between the West and the Islamic world. He has served as a Trustee of the London Library and a board member of the Society of Authors. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2003 he was a Booker Prize judge, in 2010 was a judge of the Art Fund prize, and in 2011 the Wellcome Book Prize. He supports a number of educational charities and is a sponsor of Rogbonko School in Sierra Leone.

Professor Jeff Forshaw

jeffJeff Forshaw became Professor Jeff at the age of 36, having achieved a 1st from Oxford in 1989 and a PhD in Theoretical Physics at Manchester in 1992 where he is currently Professor of Particle Physics and Scientific Associate at CERN. An accomplished presenter, Professor Jeff captivates audiences with his explanations of the beautiful, but often complex, ideas behind the laws of nature to a general audience. The author of over 100 scientific papers, Professor Jeff has also written a popular science book, Why does E=mc2? His television and radio credits include appearances on BBC Breakfast TV, BBC Five Live, Equinox, and Horizon.

Professor Barry Hymer

barryBarry is professor of psychology in education in the Education Faculty of the University of Cumbria. He is an experienced secondary and primary school teacher and chartered educational psychologist, and the author of seven books and numerous papers and articles in the field of learning and teaching. He has been a national trainer for SAPERE (the Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education), for NACE (the National Association for Able Children in Education), and for Osiris Educational and he is Consultant Editor for the SAGE journal Gifted Education International. As the Director of Still Thinking UK Ltd, Barry was a freelance trainer and educational consultant for ten years, and in this role he made keynote and workshop contributions to over 500 national and international conferences, and worked in a training and consultancy capacity with many thousands of teachers, students, parents, governors, teaching assistants and inspector-advisers. He retains a limited capacity for direct work in schools and LAs, and this work is managed directly by Osiris Educational (see Consultancy section on this site).

A commitment to evidence-led, non-deterministic and learner-centred approaches to education underpins Barry’s research foci, and his writing, teaching and his in-service presentations, and he eschews quick educational fixes and a focus on teaching in favour of deep learning experiences and a focus on learning. He has particular interests in thinking skills and creativity, intrinsic learning motivation and independent learning, wise learning environments (with Deb Michel he co-founded the Centre for Wise Education in 2010) and in contextual, growth-oriented approaches to gift-creation. His Gifted & Talented Pocketbook has been a bestseller and it presents a learning-focused alternative to traditional approaches to G&T education – a theme that is also in evidence in the Routledge International Companion to Gifted Education, which Barry co-edited with Tom Balchin and Dona Matthews in 2009.

Barry received his undergraduate degrees in English and psychology from the universities of Cape Town and Port Elizabeth (cum laude). He obtained his MPhil from Cambridge University and an MSc from Southampton University – where he also obtained his PGCE (with distinction). Barry’s doctoral thesis at Newcastle University took the form of a ‘living theory’ action research enquiry into his practice as an educator in the field of giftedness.

A background teaching in secondary and primary schools in North Yorkshire and Hampshire was followed by a decade practising as an educational psychologist with Cumbria LA from 1991 to 2001. Barry also established and co-ordinated this LA’s Able Pupil Project from 1996 to 2001. From September 2001 to August 2004 Barry had a part-time contract as a senior educational psychologist in the Barrow Education Action Zone, co-developing a number of projects and CPD initiatives (e.g. Philosophy for Children, the BarroWise Project, Dilemma-Based Learning) for teachers and other educators.

Barry has served on the National Committee of NACE (the National Association for Able Children in Education), and for five years he was the book review editor for the NACE journal Educating Able Children. In 1999 Barry was asked to provide oral and written evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee Inquiry into the education of able children. He has also been an Associate Tutor at Oxford-Brookes University. In 2003 Barry’s work received international recognition when he was presented with the ICPIC (International Council for Philosophical Inquiry with Children) Award for Excellence in Interpreting Philosophy with Children. The citation for this award noted that his work “Speaks to the richness of children’s imaginative play and their ability to stretch sensory images to the fullest”.

Barry lives on the borders of North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire with his wife and daughters. His passions for Van Morrison, walking, wild camping, chess, poultry-keeping, shepherd huts and foraging for edible fungi, are only minimally shared by other members of his family.

Dr. Jonathan Hare

dr_hareJonathan is a freelance research scientist whose PhD work was on Buckminsterfullerene (C60) in the Sussex Fullerene Centre with Prof. Sir Harry Kroto (the 1996 Nobel Prize for Chemistry). In 2009 Jonathan was made a Visiting Lecturer in Science Communication at Sussex University in Physics. He is currently self employed enjoying exploring teaching science to all ages as well as to pursue making all sorts of things.

At school Jonathan had reading and writing ‘difficulties’ but tended to learn quickly through diagrams, pictures and by playing with machines at home. He has always had a great desire to experiment and try to understand better the things around him. In particular his imagination has always been captured by electronics. As a schoolboy he worked Saturdays at GWM Radio (Worthing, UK) repairing a range of instruments and electronic apparatus as well as learning to work with a wide range, and type, of people. He has worked at the Time and Frequency section of the National Physical Laboratory where he built Time Standard apparatus, which may be still in use daily today (Jonathan was a Time Lord for a year !).

Jonathan has designed, built, tested and installed apparatus and other equipment for many laboratories including the Sussex Fullerene Group (Sussex University), the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and British Gas. He makes 1-2 (new to him) prototypes a week and has done since a teenager. Jonathan has also built equipment for TV including for example the CH4 seriesSuperhuman and two of the BBC COAST series.

Jonathan has been involved with a number of TV programmes and series including ‘Tomorrows World’ and a ‘Horizon’ programme – ‘Molecules with Sunglasses’ and COAST.

Jonathan is one of the scientist team members of the Rough Science TV series (where five scientists are set science challenges in remote locations). To date 6 series have been made on location in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, New Zealand, Death Valley USA, Zanzibar (East Africa) and Colorado. Jonathan co-present, with Robert Lewellyn Hollywood Science a series exploring the myths and science of Hollywood action movies (the programs are used as ‘thought experiments’ to ask ‘could you really do that?’). These programs have been produced by the BBC for the Open University – many have been transmitted worldwide via BBC World.

Jonathan was part of the BLAST planning team, an OU outreach activity aimed at using its BBC TV and other broadcast programs within workshops and talks. Here he devised workshop / teaching equipment for these activities including Mars Rover type buggies and recently windmills. All these devices were made to be as strong / durable as possible but also educationally flexible.

Jonathan originated the Creative Science Centre (CSC) (a small-scale project at Sussex University) in order to provide a unique experience of science through exploring, planning, designing and making things. Activities include projects, workshops as well as consultancy work. He has presented hundreds of talks and workshops. These activities involve schools, colleges, universities as well as other links within the community. His motivation is to use his skills to help people experience something of the scientific process. The activities are a healthy two-way process because he gets the opportunity to diversify his skills and share this experience with new people, while they get a unique opportunity to learn and play outside of the constraints of the normal educational system. It is his wish to be able to extend this work further throughout the community.

Jonathan loves making things. He tries to make at least one new design / invention a week and has done so since he was a teenager. He has spent many hours juggling and also practices meditation. These experiences have allowed him to uncover his own learning pace. Other interests include mountain trekking, longboarding (long skateboard), drawing and painting.

Most recent work has been with designing, building and testing exhibition apparatus and working exhibits for the SEPnet project. For example building wave tanks and wave powered electrical demonstrations, a large coil for demonstration of how electricity is produced by Faraday Induction. Most recent of all with the Newton Project and SEPnet are seven remakes of 17C apparatus used to demonstrate Newton’s profound and ground breaking work. This work consists of working models and equipment as well as articles written up for schools and teachers.

Jonathan regularly writes for magazines, science journals and papers, e.g. his On-Screen Science articles for the RSC’sInfoChem magazine. His writings have been used in the 21st Century Science Pilot – Resources (for Teachers) (Nuffield, Oxford and University of York, 2004 Edition) and also Key stage 3 course material for Heinemann Science.

Robert Ashton

Robert Ashton is a social entrepreneur, author and campaigner. He works independently, challenging bureaucracy and championing common sense. Over the years he has built a reputation as someone able to see opportunities others miss. His successes include setting up what is now a large grant making Trust; raising £12m to build a new complex needs school and converting a redundant high school into a thriving community hub.

Increasingly Robert’s work is focused on creating opportunity for those excluded from opportunity by prejudice, or simply because others see them as different. He founded Swarm Apprenticeships in 2013, a social business that uses an enterprise qualification to connect bright young people with attitude with small business owners with aspiration

Robert is Patron of Norfolk & Suffolk Relate, a Vice Patron of Norfolk Community Foundation, a Fellow of the RSA, a member of Mensa and a Quaker.

Sir Mike Tomlinson

sir_mikeSir Mike Tomlinson is one of the UK’s leading educationalists and formerly chaired the Department for Education and Skills Working Group on educational reform for 14 to 19 year olds. He was Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector for Schools from December 2000 until April 2002, during which time he was responsible for the work of Ofsted. He was, from 2002 to 2007, Chair of The Learning Trust, a not-for-profit body responsible for running the education services for Hackney and is a member of the Governing Body of the University of Hertfordshire. He is also a former Governor of the RSA Academy in Tipton and started his professional career as a chemistry teacher in a school in Nottingham

Baroness Morris of Yardley

baroness_morrisEstelle Morris was a Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley from 1992-2005. Her Parliamentary career included Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (1997-98), Minister of State (1998-2001); Secretary of State (2001-2002) in the Department for Education and Skills 2001-02. She was raised to the peerage as Baroness Morris of Yardley, of Yardley in the County of West Midlands 2005. Baroness Morris is, amongst other things, Chair of the Council, Goldsmiths College, University of London, Trustee, The Roundhouse, Trustee, Hamlyn Foundation and a member of the Education Advisory Committee of Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Become a Member

Families benefit from access to our advice line, the Members’ Area, our electronic resources, discounted events and our Focus newsletter.

Schools benefit from access to our advice line, online resources, members area, newsletter, workshops, webinars-on-demand, and associate family membership for their parents.