Hilary Smith

Hilary Smith
Hilary Smith

Hilary's career began as a primary school teacher nearly forty years ago. She gained valuable classroom experience in some of the most challenging schools in Bristol before becoming a Local Authority Behaviour Support Teacher. In this role, she supported individuals and groups of children identified with emotional and behavioural difficulties, and advised teachers and practitioners on all aspects of social, emotional and behavioural needs, delivering whole school INSET and CPD training programmes as well as providing successful workshops for parent/carer groups. In 2001 she created a specialist early years behaviour support team for nurseries and children's centres and, drawing on this experience, wrote her first publication Intervening Early, with colleague Nicky Hutchinson.

After researching (and subsequently publishing) her Master's dissertation on emotional literacy, Hilary joined Bath Spa University as a senior lecturer in Education Studies and then became Programme Leader for the Primary and Early Years PGCE, extending her teaching and research profile as well as providing personalised provision for training teachers on behaviour for learning, and children's social, emotional and mental health.

Hilary is a recognised national school leader in behaviour and attendance (NPSLBA) and a qualified teacher coach. She has particular expertise and interest in emotional well-being and resilience, attachment awareness, and the effects of trauma on development and learning. She was a contributor to the national research project In Care, In School, which provided teaching materials for mainstream and virtual schools on the experiences of looked after children, and was a member of the original UK research team on emotion coaching, led by Dr Janet Rose. She believes in the transformative power of collaborative recovery systems and is a passionate advocate for relational teaching and restorative approaches for all learners.


  • 2013–2019: Programme Leader, Primary and Early Years PGCE
  • 2006–2013: Senior lecturer in education
  • 2001–2006: Early years behaviour consultant
  • 1988–2001: Behaviour Support Teacher
  • 1982–1988: Primary classroom teacher


  • M (Ed), University of the West of England, 2007
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Special Educational Needs), University of the West of England, 2001
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Primary), Bristol Polytechnic, 1984
  • BA (Hons) Drama 2:1, University of Exeter, 1980


  • "Behaviour for Learning" in Joliffe, W., and Waugh, D. (Eds(), The Beginning Teacher's Guide to Outstanding Practice – Sage, London, 2017
  • "Affective Teaching and the Affective Dimensions of Learning" (with Gilbeert, L., and Rose, J.) in Ward, S (Ed), A student's guide to education studies (3rd edition) – Routledge, London, 2012
  • "The Emotional Impact of Transfer: what can be learned from early years practice" in Howe, A., and Richard, V., Bridging the transition from primary to secondary school – Abingdon; Routledge, 2011
  • The Value of Emotional Literacy in the Early Years – M(Ed) Dissertation, 2007
  • Intervening Early (with Hutchinson, N.) – Fulton, London, 2004