After attending the Premier Practitioner course with the NLP Academy last July (’07), I enjoyed my summer break but was very much looking forward to returning to school to disseminate and practise what I had learnt with colleagues and pupils alike. The quality of training was outstanding, the depth of human understanding was awe inspiring, and to meet and learn from Carmen Bostic St Clair and the cocreator of NLP John Grinder was utterly mesmerising.

As an Assistant Head Teacher in charge of ‘Positive Engagement of Pupils’ (i.e. Pupil Behaviour, and Teaching and Learning) since attending the Premier Practitioner course, I have found the impact on my own practise and the influence I have been able to have on others’ practise, in the words of teaching staff and other members of the school’s Senior Leadership Team, to have been “..immense..” on a multitude of levels. I shall attempt to give a ‘short summary of its two most immediate effects and benefits.

Firstly, it enabled me to lead more knowledgeably and confidently, and address the whole school approach to teaching and learning. I promoted and the school has adopted an initiative / ethos entitled ‘Outstanding Student / Pupil’. Curriculum time has been dedicated and utilised specifically for staff and pupils to engage in an exploration of different learning styles and then review its development at the end of each halfterm.

This has raised the profile of multisensory learning significantly and has promoted a much wider use of experiential learning in and out of classrooms. In the words of the Deputy Head, “It has allowed us to touch and involve the ‘hardtoreach’ staff, which every school has..” This has then enabled us to promote and really foster a culture of ‘what to learn’, ‘how to learn’ and, most importantly, begin to instil a ‘desire to learn.’

Secondly, and possibly the greatest benefit has been the change in personal behaviours. As a result of widening colleague’s appreciation of underlying issues with behaviour we have been able to engage in an almost complete cultural shift in staff and pupils when dealing with pupil behaviour. In a recent Ofsted Report, pupil behaviour was judged as “outstanding”. While this is not entirely due to influence of new NLP based approaches adopted at school the SLT do not believe this recognition would have been achieved without the positive influence of the NLP practises we adopted.

Through modelling practise to staff and explaining techniques such as ‘second and third positioning’, and enabling pupils to explore the emotional side of their behaviour and its consequences, we are very quickly developing a more emotionally aware and controlled approach to both positive and unwanted pupil, and staff, behaviour.

The SLT have expressed that whilst the principles and ideology of a more NLP based approach to this issue may not necessarily be new but the techniques and strategies adopted certainly have been. In short spaces of time it has shown itself to give staff confidence to deescalate and resolve situations which would otherwise have been challenging, particularly with pupils who were deemed to cause behavioural problems.

On a more personal and professional level, (despite already possessing a Psychology degree) the Premier Practitioner course empowered my skills to much deeper level of understanding the human brain and people in general. This has enabled me work with colleagues and deal with some personal and professional issues. I have conducted several clientbased change sessions with colleagues which have proved successful. I am highly amused, pleased and deeply flattered to say that since my NLP training, I have been referred to, by colleagues, as ‘a guru’, ‘enlightened’, ‘inspirational’ and ‘the miracle worker’!!

I can not speak highly enough of the NLP Academy and the quality of NLP training it provides. Prior to attending any course, I did my research and there are cheaper NLP courses nearer my home in Bingley, West Yorks. This is especially true when one considers the additional costs of travel, hotel bills and food for the duration of the course. However, the standard of excellence received from Michael Carroll and his team is beyond reproach and is, in my opinion, without question well worth the money.

My first real experience with Michael Carroll was my attendance at an NLP Academy seminar entitled The Butterfly Effect’ in May 07. Following this seminar I wrote a Thank You to Michael and his team. I referred to it as the “most exhilarating weekend of my life.” As a result of this seminar, I felt compelled to attend the Premier Practitioner course. This then became the most exhilarating two weeks of my personal and professional life! To this end I am now enrolled on the Master Practitioner course for November ’07 and I am greatly looking forward to my new learnings and then applying to my personal and professional life.

My perception and so my life has changed immeasurably and for the better. Long may it continue to do so.

Thank you.

John Phelan.
(Assistant Head Teacher
Birkenshaw Middle School, Kirklees.)


  • Michael’s enthusiasm for the subject is all absorbing and consuming. It is clear that he can’t give enough, sometimes too much!

    Edith Maskell
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