Founder / Director

George Matthews is a teacher with 20 years’ experience in mainstream and special education, junior and secondary, day and residential.

From 1989 - 1996, he was Deputy Head teacher of a Co-ed residential school for children from 8 - 18 years of age. Following basic training in 1989, George completed his Instructors’ course in 1993. He has also undertaken training in a variety of positive handling courses and achieved Senior Instructor status with the National Control and Restraint General Services Association (UK; violence prevention and management) in 1997.

In January 1996, George was awarded a Churchill Fellowship. He visited 45 schools / children's homes, from the Bronx, in New York, down to Tampa, Florida. The objective was to observe, evaluate and to return with good practice in the area of how adults safely manage children's anger and aggression. George has delivered courses in the management of children's challenging behaviour in a variety of educational and care settings and has spoken at a number of National Association of Head Teachers / Special Need conferences on the subject.

Asia-Pacific Director

Nick Burnett is a teacher with 15 years’ experience in mainstream and special education, junior and secondary, day and residential.

From 2000 – 2004, he was a Head Teacher of a 2-19 years’ of age State Special School in the UK and was awarded a rating of ‘excellent’ following an inspection by OfSTED  (the official body for inspecting schools) in 2004. During the OfSTED inspection, the implementation and use of the Team-Teach approach was recognised as having a significant impact on the high rating achieved by the school. Nick trained as an Intermediate Instructor and then Advanced Instructor in Team-Teach during this period of time. He was involved in running and assisting training in a range of settings in the UK. Since moving to Australia in 2004, Nick has run many Team-Teach Tutor courses in the Asia Pacific region and has run other Team-Teach courses for in excess of 3000 people.

He was the first Special School leader to gain a Research Associateship from the National College of School Leadership, which involved researching leadership in England and Australia. This has led to the publication of a book, ‘Leadership and Special Education Needs’, which received a ‘highly commended’ rating by the Times Educational Supplement and National Association of Special Education Needs Annual Book Awards in 2005. Nick has also co-authored books on 'Reducing Risk and Restraint in Asia Pacific’. He has also authored a number of articles about the use of Team-Teach, positive handling and leadership in Asia Pacific.

Nick is an accredited Restorative Practices Conference Facilitator and leadership coach, and is co-author of a book on Restorative Practices and Special Needs, with Marg Thorsborne.

Accreditation and Support

Team-Teach was established in 1997 and has professional liability coverage and a national network of Tutors across the UK.

In the UK, Team-Teach training is affiliated to The General Services Association and its courses have been accredited ( 2006, 2009, 2012 ) by the British Institute of Learning Disabilities and The Institute of Conflict Management (2015)

Intermediate and advanced trainer courses are quality controlled and assured by an external moderator, with potential new tutors having to pass both a theoretical test and a number of practical assessments. 

Tutors also receive a visual record and a teaching manual of all preferred techniques within the core curriculum. 

Photographs of techniques can be misleading and easily misrepresented which is why TT provides video files of all holds, allowing for a dynamic interpretation related to context and circumstance. 

"As Director of Team Teach, having sat through as an observer, the 6 weeks of the Gareth Myatt Inquiry, l am fully aware of the need for all restraint techniques to be risk assessed and continually monitored and evaluated. As a company, we receive and monitor 6 - 8 weekly reports from services using our ground restraints. TT techniques are not risk free, but our on going analysis of incidents and any associated injury rates for children, young people, vulnerable adults and staff over the last 15 years provides a very strong evidence base for their operational safety." George Matthews

All participants on courses receive very explicit information and advice concerning the dangers that can occur regarding restraint and positional asphyxia.

All TT techniques have undergone (2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015) a medical review carried out by independent medical experts as required by the BILD and ICM accreditation systems. 

Tutors are required to produce a summary evaluation report that addresses critical questions concerning issues around safety and the holistic, whole setting approach to behaviour management. This summary evaluation report is returned to the Director of Team-Teach for monitoring and quality control.

All tutors are required to attend prescribed refresher courses and are only permitted to train within the boundaries of their licence.

Government departments are aware of Team-Teach training, having been actively consulted concerning guidance on the use of reasonable force and helping service settings select positive handling strategies. 

Inspection bodies and the Health & Safety Executive have also commented favourably in their reports on the positive impact that the Team Teach training framework has had when adopted by leadership, management and a whole setting holistic approach.

A number of organisations have achieved the standards required by the Gold Quality Mark for Team Teach. See Case Studies & Research Area for more details. The Team Teach system of quality control and assurance was a significant factor in the achievement of a the highest level of National Training Award. See Case Study area for more details.

In the Asia Pacific, it is the preferred approach for both the WA and ACT Departments of Education and the Catholic Education Office of Tasmania, and an increasing number of Special School, Special Education Units, mainstream schools and adult disability service providers across all States and Territories. It has also been successfully implemented in a number of New Zealand Special Schools, and is also the chosen approach of The English Schools Foundation and The Boys Society in Hong Kong.

The flexibility of training in meeting the needs of particular settings has also been well received with feedback from courses showing 93-99% ratings of Very Good or Excellent in all key feedback areas.


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