Discover books to to support your professional development or personal development – or simply for your classroom bookshelf. Recommended for educators by our R.I.S.E. authors

Nic Ponsford holds a copy of the book "Skint Estate" by Cash Carraway.

Skint Estate – Cash Carraway

Recommended by: Nic Ponsford

Skint Estate is a darkly funny and powerful book that throws you straight into the world of someone ‘simply’ keeping a roof over their head, the trials of being a parent at the bottom of the social ladder and how not having money means fighting for life, rather than just living it.

A blunt but addictive memoir, this life story is also a brutal call to action for change and for empathy. With a prequel book and a film with the talent behind ‘Killing Eve’ on its way, soon everyone will have heard Carraway’s debut tale.

Don’t sweat the small stuff at work – Richard Carlson

Recommended by: Caroline Keep

I’ve been a fan of Richard Carlson’s books my whole adult life. In fact, the original ‘Don’t Sweat’ was a gift in my teenage years from a friend undergoing pain therapy (which is often recommended to help). I now give the original book as a gift to other people when I can. I know it so well I can quote the chapter headings verbatim and there isn’t a year I don’t reach for it.

However, the ‘at work’ one is a bit different. It is a way to change how you think about work to minimise stress in yourself. Often, the stresses of teaching are vast and unrelenting, so what do you do when the situation can’t change? You change. This book helps you do that. My favourite methods in it are ‘Avoid…If only, then’ and ‘Put your mind in neutral’. These books are a vast rethink on the way you live. I’d recommend anyone to get this book. You’ll be a lot happier and less stressed for it.

Caroline Keep holding a book by Richard Carlson, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff at Work".
Book cover of "The Lost Child's Quest" by James Haddell.

Tales of Trust and Treasure: Book 1 – James Haddell

Recommended by: Oliver Wright

This is the first of a series by James Haddell. Tia and her new adopted family are brilliant and it is hard not to like them. They all lend a real warmth to the story. There is a real sense of adventure about the school and its teachers. The castle has a sort of magical charm. Tia also meets her new best friend ‘Pasco’ there. Their opposite characters really match well. A lot of the story revolves around setting the scene and introducing the characters that surround Tia. There are clues along the way pointing to Tia’s mysterious past and the mysterious treasure, which all builds towards an exciting conclusion.

The Leadership Book: A step by step guide to excellent Leadership – Neil Jurd

Recommended by: Kate Sturdy

This book was originally recommended to me by @MrLPeachey on Twitter. It is written by Neil Jurd, who was an officer in the British Army and is now one of the UK’s top names in leadership development.

Having read the book, I would say that every school should own at least one copy and every existing or aspiring leader, whether in education or not, will transform their leadership having read it. It is easy to read, breaking down leadership into clear sections and it encourages self-reflection throughout. It covers what effective leadership is and how to get the best out of yourself and others. As well as how to plan, make decisions, focus effort and develop a positive team culture. It is written with authenticity, providing many real-life examples of leadership, plus tips on how to improve yourself and others.

A truly practical and inspirational read that will support and transform existing leaders as well as future ones.

Kate Sturdy holds a copy of 'The Leadership Book'.
Book cover of "Dread Wood" by Jennifer Killick.

Dread Wood – Jennifer Killick

Recommended by: Paul Hume

I have started reading this with Year 5 fans of Jennifer Killick (since loving her sci-fi horror ‘Crater Lake’ series). Dread Wood takes the scares up a whole other notch! From the opening scene, we were hooked!

The characters are wonderfully diverse and funny, each one an individual that the children could relate to. The sinister caretakers and the utterly spine-chilling creatures make this an un-put-downable read for any fans of horror.

Thank you, Jennifer Killick, for the scares. Long may they continue.

Bounce Back Jack – Sarah Griffiths with Jack Maunder

Recommended by: Sammy J.White

Bounce Back Jack is a tale of overcoming negative thoughts and frustration when learning new sports skills. Jack learns some powerful words to help him challenge his negative thoughts and he succeeds at rugby. It’s a wonderful tale of how, by trying your best, staying calm and thinking positively, you can succeed.

A great book to talk about resilience with children.

Book cover of "Bounce Back Jack" by Sarah Griffiths with Jack Maunder.


  • Kat Cauchi

    Kat Cauchi is a WeAreTechWomen #TechWomen100 2023 award winner and a 2022 Nexus Education 'Classroom and Curriculum' improvement award winner. She is the community engagement manager at NetSupport, editor of R.I.S.E. Magazine, and the host of two podcasts. Kat is a member of the Global Equality Collective, a Global EdTech author, InnovateHer ambassador and Technocamps Girls in Stem role model.
    twitter icon LinkedIn icon Website icon

    View all posts