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Dave McPartlin & David Bowman, judge the National Happiness Awards 2019

Dave mcpartlin & Da vid Bowman - happiness awards judges

If you are a Bowmanette, or a McPartlin Dolly (see what we’ve done there), this is the awards news for you. Enjoy the latest in our series of judge’s biographies, and learn all about our next two National Happiness Awards judges.

Dave McPartlin

Dave is Headteacher at Flakefleet Primary School in Fleetwood, winners of the Happiest Primary School 2018, one-time Christmas No. 1 Contender and Britain’s Got Talent Finalist in 2019. Dave’s #daretodream philosophy permeates all aspects of school life and his mission to develop resilience, nurture self-confidence and raise aspirations is relentless. The school employs a large number of staff to successfully support the various challenges that their children and families face, both in and out of school. A positive and optimistic culture that encourages continuous personal development and the embracing of innovation and change is at the heart of Dave’s mission at the school. Parental and community engagement is very high, staff retention rates are 100% over the last few years, pupil numbers are increasing, and standards continue to rise. Dave knows that a happy school is a successful school.

What's made you laugh a lot recently?  
I cried with laughter when I sent my other half the wrong phone number for someone to fix our washing machine. There were two Elaines in my phone book, one knew about washing machines, the other didn’t. I sent her the number of Elaine who didn’t. My other half (and Elaine) couldn’t figure out what each other was on about and it all got very confusing - turns out people who do curriculum training aren’t that good at fixing kitchen appliances.

What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you at work    
Couldn’t decide between splitting my trousers whilst on the climbing frame with the kids or turning up to a governing body meeting in fancy dress because I’d forgotten my change of clothes. 

What makes you truly happy? 
It may sound a bit cheesy, but I really like helping people feel better about themselves or to feel empowered to make positive changes in their lives.

What's the worst bit of corporate jargon you've ever heard? 
It’s not corporate jargon as such but I really hated it when a previous Ofsted chief came in to post saying "If anyone says to you that 'staff morale is at an all-time low' you know you are doing something right." What a load of rubbish – a happy workforce with clear expectations and support has to be more productive and have a greater impact. The idea that the best bosses are ‘tough’ is a load of rubbish.

What would be your superpower and why? 
I’d love to be able to control the weather – I’m not a big fan of the dark winter months but do love a bit of sledging! 

What advice would you give your younger self?
Believe in yourself, stop worrying about what other people will think and go for it.

What would fix the world?  
More thought and consideration for each other.

Who would be on the fantasy guest list of your dinner party?
Kylie Minogue for the music (honest), Derren Brown for a bit of magic, Robbie Williams for the stories, Tony Blair for a bit of politics to stir things up and Nigella Lawson to help with the food. 


David Bowman

David Bowman is managing director of Crown House Publishing Ltd, which he co-founded in 1997. After leaving university, he worked for British Gas in management services for eight years before leaving to ‘do something more meaningful with my life’. He now publishes books for teachers and school leaders which focus on promoting independent thinking and learning, and the benefits of positive education.

What's made you laugh a lot recently? 
I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue and David Sedaris

What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you at work?
There must have been many, but I can’t actually remember any.

What makes you truly happy?
Seeing family members, friends, colleagues and sports people/teams I support succeed.

What's the worst bit of corporate jargon you've ever heard?
Human capital.

What would be your superpower and why?  
Seeing into the future – I’d love to know which books will sell before I publish them! Which one is most appropriate to me? – probably calmness. I don’t get stressed by much.

What advice would you give your younger self? 
Study something you have a passion for at university, not something sensible that will get you a job.

What would fix the world?
If everyone could put themselves in other people’s shoes before making judgements about them or their behaviour.

Who would be on the fantasy guest list of your dinner party?
Jim Lovell (commander of Apollo 13) – I followed the drama avidly as a boy and it’s now my favourite film, Bill Bryson – need I say more? David Cameron – lots of interesting questions for him. Tim Henman - the hill will always be his.

What David is looking for in entries to the Happiness Awards 2019 
A person or school who is relentlessly positive in everything they do and who inspires others to be the same. Someone who looks for the best in others and encourages them to shine.

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Are organisations and companies just paying lip service?
Join some of the most interesting and respected voices in positive psychology for our Our Big Chat about…Thinking outside the tick box, inaugural webinar. Our two and half hour interactive event will look at the best mental health strategies for organisations, identifying what works and what doesn’t.

Dave McPartlin:

Dave is the Headteacher of Flakefleet Primary School.
Creating the right environment for people and communities to flourish

Sunita Hirani

Sunita is one of the BBC’s key equality, diversity and inclusivity experts.
Why inclusion is essential for mental wellbeing

Professor Sir Cary Cooper

Cary is one the world’s most influential voices in occupational health and wellbeing.
Enhancing Mental Wellbeing at Work. Evidence based strategies for creating a wellbeing culture at work.

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