Gavin McCormack, Co-Founder of & Education Influence

Gavin McCormack is the Co-founder of and Education Influence. He is passionate about teaching and pedagogy. He has taught for over 20 years in several countries across the world. Born in England, he moved to France, Spain, Korea, and Australia, where he taught for 10 years in an Islamic school before training as a Montessori teacher where he has worked for the past 6 years.

Over his years as a teacher, Gavin has led hundreds of teacher training workshops in schools across the globe including the U.K., France, Australia, India, and Nepal. He is an advocate for innovative education practices and believes strongly in the development of essential skills in students from an early age.

He is a regular visitor to Nepal where he delivers Montessori training and programming advice. Over the past 3 years, he has trained several hundred teachers on classroom delivery techniques and lesson preparation. He currently runs 2 Montessori training centers in the country and has built 3 schools and a library in some of the most remote areas.

As a children’s author, Gavin was nominated for Australian Author of the year in 2017. He writes and distributes picture books that are designed to educate children about the important things in life; friendship, kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. Gavin was named in the top ten most influential global educators in 2019 and nominated for Australian of the year for his work in educational equality in 2018.

His favourite quote “You’ll never understand true happiness until you help someone who can never pay you back”. – Gandhi.


The word ‘Education’ is derived from the Latin word, “educare,” which means to train or to mould. For centuries we have been training or moulding our children to enter the world as workers. To show up on time, dressed in the same uniform and ready to achieve goals set by the system. The only constant in this world is change and, unfortunately, education has not been able to change as quickly as we have.

The days of teaching our children to work in factories, clock-in and clock-out, are long gone. The 21st-century world is a dynamic and flexible place with a multitude of challenges and opportunities all around, but are we preparing our children for a future we are yet to understand? We believe there is something missing. What we are failing to acknowledge is the understanding that children have a great deal to offer in this journey we call education and if only we listened to them, gave them freedom, and allowed them to experiment, we might just see the children leaving our schools ready to face the future as confident, empathetic individuals who truly know what it means to lead.

The pillars that underpin our approach to education are trust, voice, and choice, whilst delivering education with purpose and intention. Our children need to feel that they have a say in their educational journey, whilst allowing them to feel that the work they do has meaning and helps change the world for the better.

The education system is in crisis. Teachers are resigning left, right and centre, there’s a shortage of new and upcoming graduates to fill vacant positions, and the current crisis around literacy here in Australia, are just a number of problems that the global education sector is facing.

With these issues in mind, has worked tirelessly to provide teachers, parents, and children with a multitude of carefully designed resources that assist with these very issues. Our courses, teaching resources, live lessons, teaching programs, and community webinars are high quality, purposeful, and free to everyone.

Our educational courses are all based on purpose and intention. Allowing children and teachers to feel that the work they are doing is having a positive impact on the way the world works whilst still allowing children to grow academically. Our premier courses, amongst other things, allow children to work with their community to curb the effects of climate change, write, illustrate, and publish their very own picture book and even drive change in their community in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provided by the United Nations.

Teaching is a profession where creativity and connectivity are key. Both children and teachers must be given creative license to allow them to craft a learning journey that suits them and their community and everyone needs to be connected to the work they are doing. The emotional connection of the work we do is absolutely paramount. In our latest course, ‘It Starts with You,’ all the lessons are delivered from within the Arctic Circle. Lessons on polar bears, glaciers, and even walruses are delivered only meters away from the subject matter. If we want our children to be more engaged with the topics we are teaching, we must bring the world into the classroom and that is exactly what we have done. Bringing learning to life for the students and the teachers.

Our mission is to bring the magic back into teaching again. Allowing students to ignite their passion whilst giving teachers the ability to see the essential skills of their students flourish through purposeful learning and creativity. Teaching is an art and we want to make sure that everyone plays a part in painting the picture of education.

As you read this, children around the world are sitting in class writing stories. It must be the most common phrase in any classroom: ‘Children, today we are going to write a story,’ and how fun it is to be given the freedom to open up your imagination and create something unique.

With this in mind, the team at Upschool have designed a course ‘Write a Book to Change the World,’ which harnesses the power of creativity through purposeful actions. In the average classroom, children spend a long time crafting a story, drawing a picture, and editing the words and when finished, it receives a tick, a score and maybe a nice comment from the teacher. And whilst this is great, we wanted to give our children a chance to use their stories to change the world.

As a published author & co-founder of Upschool, I wanted to use my experience and expertise to bring the feeling of publishing your very own book to children all around the world. After striking a number of partnerships with amazing charities such as So They Can, Rainforest Rescue, and the Jane Goodall Institute, the team at Upschool designed a course that allows children to plan, write, illustrate, and publish their very own book for the world to read. Readers can also purchase copies of these books and some of the proceeds go to charities of the child’s choosing.

So far hundreds of books from around the world have flooded in. One particularly brilliant story was written by a 14-year-old boy from Kolkata, named Divyam. Divyam lives with his mother in one of the most polluted cities on Earth. Having heard about the course, he enrolled and during his summer holidays, he wrote a book called ‘Heaven Restored,’ a book about the hope of restoring nature. He has sold several copies of his book so far with proceeds being donated to the John Fawcett Foundation, which restores children’s eyesight in Indonesia.

To us at Upschool, this is what education is all about. Allowing the children to engage with their learning to make positive impacts on the lives of others. We believe that the emotional attachment to the work our children do has a lasting impact on how our children see the world and we want this to run like a river throughout all of our courses and resources.

First and foremost teachers need to be held in the highest regard and trusted to do the job they are trained to do. Our teachers need to be respected as professionals and experts in their field. For a very long time now we have undermined our teachers, forcing them to produce reams and reams of paperwork to prove that they can teach.

Teachers enter the profession to change the world through education. They want to teach with passion in their unique way and walk away feeling that they had some say in the way their children learned today. But as the piles and piles of paperwork pile up, the ability for teachers to think creatively and, therefore, teach dynamically, has been stifled.

The Australian curriculum is very well put together. The outcomes allow for our teachers to use their own knowledge, experience and understanding to deliver the outcomes in a way that suits them, however, the current system is designed to focus on scores, rankings, and grades and this means that standardised tests end up being the end goal. Once standardised tests are the end goal, our teachers inevitably start working towards these tests and the wonderfully open-ended curriculum is suddenly null and void. Teacher training must provide our graduates with the ability to achieve academic success without focusing on weekly spelling tests, termly exams and results.

There is more educational success than achieving a top score and once our teachers are aware that this is OK, they will feel that they can spread their educational wings and bring the magic of teaching back into their classrooms.

January 2023 will see Upschool release its highly anticipated teacher training course. A 10-week teacher training course designed to assist teachers in refocusing on what matters in the world of education. The Course is entitled ‘Education for the 21st Century.’

In order to provide our children with an inspirational education, our teachers need to be inspired by the profession they have chosen, and it is this that is the root cause of the collapse of our education system. Upschool aims to bring that inspiration back.

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