About Mark Bollom

Senior Consultant and Product Developer

Mark Bollom is a senior consultant and writer with Challenging Learning. With a background in primary, secondary, tertiary, and special needs education, Mark is our perfect all-rounder.

Mark is Lead Consultant on a number of long-term Challenging Learning projects within the UK, ensuring high impact on student learning through innovative pedagogy and leadership. He works with colleagues and partners in the UK and Scandinavia, as a presenter, trainer and consultant. Mark’s work in these settings is wide-ranging, from supporting the development of effective leadership and coaching, to embedding the use of challenge, feedback, Mindset, dialogue, thinking skills and Philosophy for Children (P4C) in the classroom.  In addition to this, Mark has written a number of the Challenging Learning lesson plans and resources, which can be found in our books, online, and within our training resources. 

Mark graduated from Charlotte Mason College in Ambleside in 1996, and then worked as a teacher in a large urban primary school (3-11-year-olds) in one of the most socially deprived areas of his hometown, Swindon. He then moved to a special school for students with severe and profound learning difficulties. As well as teaching students across the 11-19 age range, Mark was also a lead teacher for the further education opportunities offered to the school’s 16-19-year-olds. A practical person by nature, Mark led environmental and health initiatives at this school and worked closely with other FE and vocational training providers.  This enabled him to both pioneer and champion external accreditation for the young adults in the school.

For a while, Mark took up voluntary work for the Youth Development Charity, Raleigh International. His most significant role was as project manager for a group of 16-25-year-olds tasked with leading a construction and social project in a wilderness setting in Namibia.

In 2004, on return to the UK, Mark took multiple roles in both mainstream secondary and primary SLD and MLD special needs education. An aspect of this work was time he spent improving provision for Physical Education and School Sport across a family of schools as a co-ordinator within the Shrewsbury Schools Sports Partnership. Multi-agency and multi-stakeholder partnership working was central to both this work and the teaching role Mark fulfilled in Special Schools.

Today, Mark balances his writing and consultancy work for Challenging Learning with a range of practical environmental work and house renovation. He is also a competitive fell runner and a long-suffering (and not at all competitive) Swindon Town FC supporter.