Kim Simpson – Honorary Ambassador
An original co-founder of the movement, Kim Simpson has been deeply involved in all aspects of Montessori education, actively owning and running two of her own nurseries for over 38 years. She offers Parent Coaching and, as a qualified Psychotherapist, runs a private counselling practice in Kew. For many years she was the Chairperson of the Psychosynthesis & Education Trust in London and she has chaired two further educational boards.
A regular contributor to educational magazines, she also gives talks to parents and teachers on social and emotional development and the spiritual nature of the child. She was a co-founder of Early Childhood Action (ECA), a core member of the OpenEYE Campaign Group and contributed a chapter to the highly acclaimed book Too, Much, Too Soon?- Early Learning and the Erosion of Childhood.
Sue Palmer – Patron Ambassador
Sue Palmer, a former headteacher in Scotland, has written more than 250 books, educational TV programmes and software packages on aspects of literacy. For more than fifteen years she has been a popular speaker on this subject in schools, colleges and universities in the UK and across the world, and a frequent contributor to the educational press, notably the Times Educational Supplement and Child Education. Her first book for wider audience, Toxic Childhood (Orion 2006) about the effects of contemporary childhood on child development and learning, was in the Amazon best-seller charts for two years. It was followed by Detoxing Childhood (2007) and 21st Century Boys(2009).
Sue has acted over the years as an independent consultant to many organisations, including the Department for Education and Skills, the Basic Skills Agency, the National Literacy Trust and the BBC. In recent years she’s been an independent consultant on childhood issues to the Conservative Party in England, the Labour Party in Scotland and the National Childcare Committee in Ireland. She’s twice been listed by the Evening Standard amongst the 1000 most influential people in London (which gives her great pleasure, since she lives in Edinburgh) and described in The Scotsman as one of Scotland’s ‘new radical thinkers’.
She designed and wrote several literacy training packages for the Department for Education and Skills in England, including co-authorship of the National Literacy Strategy Grammar for Writing training on which UK primary teachers were retrained in the teaching of English grammar. Recent educational publications include Literacy What Works (co-written with Pie Corbett for Nelson Thornes), How to teach cross-curricular writing and Speaking Frames (Routledge) the hugely popular Skeleton poster books, OHTs and CDRoms (TTS) which are one of the best-selling UK educational resources, used in over 10,000 schools, and Foundations of Literacy (written with Early Years specialist Ros Bayley for Network Continuum). In 2014 she became one of the three development Directors of the movement and has now moved to become an Ambassador.
Dr Christian Plebst – Global Ambassador
The first of our Global Ambassadors, Christian currently lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He trained as a general and child and adolescent psychiatrist in Argentina and at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and Teachers College, Columbia University, in the USA. A Nationally recognised expert in Autism, he has cross-trained in many early childhood intervention methods, including ABA to DIR-Floortime, and Son-rise. He was recently named as Consultant in Child Development and Education for the Unit of Future Mental Resource Development of the government of Buenos Aires.
He was the founder and Director of the nationwide reference centre for children with special needs (FLENI – CETNA) and was the founder of the NGO PANAACEA (a national Autism Program for children adolescents and adults). He is currently an active lecturer in different universities and medical schools nationwide.
With an interest in transpersonal development, in 2006 he was invited into the presence of HH Dalai Lama for a dialogue about Science and Spirituality. For the past 15 years he has researched different meditation techniques, especially Vipassana, and has recently been certified as a Child and Adolescent Mindfulness trainer under the Attention Matters method of Eline Snel (www.elinesnel.com), named ambassador for Latin America for the Attention Matters program. He was also the founder of the Argentine chapter of “Values in Healthcare” program of the Janki Foundation, Oxford, UK.
His own explorations and those with his children have brought him close to anthroposophy and Waldorf education and he is an active member of the San Miguel Arcangel Waldorf School Community in Buenos Aires. His Current efforts and interests are directed into exploring Intentional Communities, particularly the Camphill communities around the world.
Our Literary Ambassadors work with us to protect children’s love of learning through narrative and storytelling.
David Wood, OBE
The ‘National Children’s Dramatist’
National Children’s Laureate, 2015-2017