Matthew Burns

Headlands School, Action for Children

Pronouns: he/him

Headshot photo of Matthew Burns from the side, shoulders up smiling wearing a blue-grey jacket and shirt

About Matthew

Welsh-born educator and leader, Matt embodies the spirit of relational and inclusive education. Matt is the principal of Headlands residential school, which is a Certified DDP Organisation. With experience of working in the UK and New Zealand/Aotearoa, he has cultivated a career that combines the principles of Dyadic Developmental Practice (DDP) with the richness of indigenous pedagogies.

Matt’s journey through mainstream and specialist education has been guided by a profound respect for inquiry and the indigenous wisdom that teaches us about dignity and belonging. This approach has helped transform our organization into a community which prioritises belonging and connectedness.

Currently, Matt is pioneering the integration of DDP with inquiry-based methods and indigenous teachings. As a network lead for the Network of Inquiry and Indigenous Education (NOIIE) in British Columbia, he is learning how organizations can work towards greater equity. Part of this work is establishing a Welsh Network of Inquiry and Equity, which aspires to bring these transformative practices for children and education and care practitioners in Wales.

Matt is completing doctoral research at Cardiff University on wellbeing in schools, and is a member of the British Curriculum Foundation steering group which aims to bring research on collaborative curriculum design to schools.