Hannah Kennedy-Jackson has always been passionate about education and the impact good teaching and learning can have on young lives.

Her journey began in adversity! As a young child surrounded by violence and negativity, growing up was never going to be easy and the possibility of success seemed impossible. This all changed when one secondary headteacher reached out to Hannah in a way which you just wouldn’t believe…and we’ll leave the rest to the keynote…

Before becoming a full time professional speaker, Hannah was studying Physical Education at Leeds Metropolitan University with ambitions to become a secondary headteacher. Unfortunately she got thrown a curve ball and was no longer able to pursue a career in sport due to illness.

Determined to work within education Hannah adopted two roles as a governor, one in Secondary education and the other in further education where she focused on curriculum and the quality of teaching.

At 19 years old Hannah started a career as a professional speaker and soon became the youngest Professional Member of the Professional Speaking Association. That’s a lot of professional!

In July 2015 Hannah was made a Fellow of the PSA, a terrific achievement shared with only around 700 speakers globally (PSA Fellows and Certified Speaking Professionals) and has been the youngest speaker to ever do so.

Hannah shares her compelling story with educational staff, students, youth groups and the general community at public events. Her ability to interact and communicate with her audiences on a personal level is guaranteed to leave your students, their parents and your staff empowered with resilience and equipped with a positive attitude towards challenges and change.

As a Professional Speaker Hannah’s target audience are young people, the staff who support them throughout their education and the parents who raise them.

Q: If you weren’t a speaker, what do you think you’d be?

This could have gone one of two ways…If my life hadn’t have changed in 2008 in the way it did, I may have ended up towing the trashed caravan I lived in at 13 around council estates, dressed like Bianca from Eastenders, parking it in the backyard of a local pub and running the place.

or on a more serious note I’d have graduated Leeds Metropolitan and worked hard to become a secondary headteacher.

Q: What was your favourite subject in school and why?

That’s an easy one, definitely PE. I was always great at it! Plus we had a really cool teacher who would steal our sweets & stand on the astro with a super soaker and drench you if you got lazy, cheated or fouled. We all got her back on her last day!

Q: If you could change one thing you did as a young person, what would it be?

I wouldn’t smoke, truant, drink alcohol in the school toilets, chew gum in front of our headteacher, set the fire alarms off when I had science, fight with other students, wear 10 rings on each hand, talk like Vicky Pollard, act like Vicky Pollard, wear huge gold looped earrings and say init at the end of every sentence, back chat my teachers or act like a clown…So my behaviour, I’d have changed my behaviour.

British Values covered

  • Rule of law
  • Mutual respect
  • Democracy
  • Individual liberty
  • Tolerance of those with different faiths or beliefs