Our Story

Bright Heart Education is a tuition agency and education consultancy that focuses on helping those students who would benefit from a more nurturing approach to realise their potential.

Special Educational Needs

Our students may include those who lack confidence or motivation as well as those with special educational needs (SEN) or those that don’t quite ‘click’ in traditional classrooms.  Our heart-based approach – the ‘Bright Heart Approach’ – involves meeting the whole person from their unique perspective with warmth to build trust, self-esteem and self-belief, before building on academic abilities.

Bright Heart was founded by Dr Ryan Stevenson and Simon McQueen with a mission to be the UK’s premier provider of tuition services for those students who would benefit most from a heart-based approach. To help achieve this, Bright Heart commissioned nasen (National Association of Special Educational Needs) to produce an online training course exclusively for Bright Heart to ensure that its tutors understand the importance of meeting the individual learning needs of all its students and will complement this through in-person nasen training.

Bright Heart provides experienced, vetted and trained tutors that are carefully matched to students and exemplify our heart-based ethos in all of their tutoring. Bright Heart provides tuition to students in London and surrounding areas in Surrey.

How it started

Through Ryan’s extensive experience tutoring for some of London’s top agencies and teaching in London schools, he witnessed first-hand the lack of individual care and attention provided to those students who needed it most. Simply put, there was too much focus on the mind and achieving short-term academic goals, rather than first acknowledging the needs of the heart in order to realise long-term potential. The former, imbalanced approach was especially problematic for those students with additional learning needs and those lacking in confidence and motivation. He found that by acknowledging the whole person first and any challenges they may have, the mind would naturally follow, and a student’s true potential could be realised. The benefits of this approach were demonstrated by the exam results his students achieved and their improved motivation for learning.

Bright Heart Education was established to replicate Ryan’s successful approach to private tuition on a larger scale and aims to avoid the ‘hit and miss’ approach of throwing an unprepared tutor into often sensitive learning situations that require special care and attention. Simon, who attended school and university with Ryan, shares Ryan’s passion for education and brings extensive financial and corporate experience to the company.

Dr Ryan Stevenson - Co-founder & Director

Ryan is an experienced tutor and has taught maths and science in London schools

Ryan has taught GCSE Maths and Science and A-Level Chemistry in London schools and Chemistry at university level. He has tutored in London for the last 8 years, including many students with special educational needs (SEN) such as dyslexiadyspraxiaADHD, anxietyASCdyscalculia and health and emotional issues. He has delivered curriculums to home-schooled students and enjoys the unique perspectives and perceptions that each young mind may bring.

Ryan holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cape Town where he was also a tutor, with research carried out at Cambridge University and the University of Manchester. Further Post-doctoral studies were conducted at Cambridge University. During a period of investment banking in Amsterdam, Ryan earned a BSc in Politics and International Relations from the London School of Economics.

Ryan draws on this broad tutoring experience to screen tutors and ensure they embody the Bright Heart Approach. He uses his expertise to ensure that clients receive well-matched tutors and that tuition is effective. He continues to pursue his passion for education through providing selective tutoring at Bright Heart. Ryan has attended training courses provided by nasen and is a member of the Tutors’ Association. He has been a volunteer therapist at the London charity, Body and Soul, for the past 8 years and has worked on a large project to connect students with nature.

Simon McQueen CA(SA), CFA - Co-founder & Director

Simon has a background in private equity and tutored finance at university

Simon has a background in private equity with significant experience providing growth capital and strategic advice to small and mid-size companies.  He has board-level experience focused on strategy, corporate development and financial oversight.  Simon has experience tutoring university under-graduate students finance. He also ran a share investment game for 2 years encouraging secondary school students from a poorer background to take an interest in the financial markets. 

Simon is a CFA charterholder and chartered accountant who holds a Bachelor of Business Science in Finance (1st class) and a B Com Honours in Accounting (1st class) from the University of Cape Town.

Simon draws on his commercial expertise to ensure that Bright Heart operates smoothly and is able to deliver the highest standards of service to its clients, students and tutors. He is also involved with tutor recruitment and placement and has attended training courses provided by nasen. Simon has a young daughter and son.

Simon McQueen director
Simon McQueen director

Simon McQueen CA(SA), CFA - Co-founder & Director

Simon has a background in private equity and tutored finance at university

Simon has a background in private equity with significant experience providing growth capital and strategic advice to small and mid-size companies.  He has board-level experience focused on strategy, corporate development and financial oversight.  Simon has experience tutoring university under-graduate students finance. He also ran a share investment game for 2 years encouraging secondary school students from a poorer background to take an interest in the financial markets. 

Simon is a CFA charterholder and chartered accountant who holds a Bachelor of Business Science in Finance (1st class) and a B Com Honours in Accounting (1st class) from the University of Cape Town.

Simon draws on his commercial expertise to ensure that Bright Heart operates smoothly and is able to deliver the highest standards of service to its clients, students and tutors. He is also involved with tutor recruitment and placement and has attended training courses provided by nasen. Simon has a young daughter and son.

John Salmon director

John Salmon - Director

John is an experienced qualified teacher and former head teacher

John is a qualified teacher with over 15 years of teaching experience. He has taught English and Spanish from primary to university level and tutored students in numerous subjects and was an SAT and Cambridge FCE tutor for several years. John has also been a head teacher, a position he used to implement many new extra-curricular activities to empower pupils. John became a Bright Heart tutor in 2018 and has had a very positive impact on his students. He was appointed as a Director in January 2020.

John holds a Master of Arts degree in Education, Concentration in Educational Leadership, from Framingham State University, Massachusetts (1st class) and a BA in Literature and Linguistics (1st class) from Universidad Nacional, Heredia. He is also a certified translator and interpreter and has worked with the U.S. State Department, UN, OECD, Pope Francis (via video conference), Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz and the President of Costa Rica.

John has vast experience tutoring students with special educational needs (SEN).  As an administrator, he has successfully managed and evaluated several programmes for the inclusion of students with special learning needs into mainstream classrooms. He has embraced the person-centred Bright Heart philosophy to instil in his students a love of learning and will continue to provide tuition to Bright Heart’s students. John will also draw on his wealth of teaching, tutoring and educational leadership experience to provide continuous professional development for tutors and to ensure that tuition programmes are designed and implemented to the highest standards.  John will also carry out student SEN / academic assessments using a holistic approach to address both academic and emotional needs.  John is the father of a young boy.

Jacqui Mackway-Wilson - Social Media Manager

Jacqui is a former early years teacher now focused on digital media

Jacqui qualified as an early years teacher. She later completed a course in teaching children with special educational needs (SEN). Jacqui’s teaching career spanned almost a decade before she launched South Africa’s first glossy monthly magazine for teachers. This was later published in Australia and New Zealand and marked the beginning of her transition into full-time digital marketing. Jacqui has two sons and is no stranger to the unique pressures that having a child with special educational needs places on families, as her younger sister Candice was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and Autism. 

Jacqui draws on her unique teaching, SEN and digital media experience to create social media content for Bright Heart that aims to provide helpful advice and inspiration to families. She is passionate about social activism, delivering talks to schools, teachers and parents on digital safety, cyber bullying and good citizenship.

Jacqui Mackway-Wilson
Jacqui Mackway-Wilson

Jacqui Mackway-Wilson - Social Media Manager

Jacqui is a former early years teacher now focused on digital media

Jacqui qualified as an early years teacher. She later completed a course in teaching children with special educational needs (SEN). Jacqui’s teaching career spanned almost a decade before she launched South Africa’s first glossy monthly magazine for teachers. This was later published in Australia and New Zealand and marked the beginning of her transition into full-time digital marketing. Jacqui has two sons and is no stranger to the unique pressures that having a child with special educational needs places on families, as her younger sister Candice was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and Autism. 

Jacqui draws on her unique teaching, SEN and digital media experience to create social media content for Bright Heart that aims to provide helpful advice and inspiration to families. She is passionate about social activism, delivering talks to schools, teachers and parents on digital safety, cyber bullying and good citizenship.

Our Philosophy

Our unique tutoring methodology, the Bright Heart Approach, puts into practice what Ryan has observed across a wide range of students. This approach, which is supported by scientific research, arises from our belief that effective tutoring not only focuses on the intellectual abilities of a person, but connects on a deeper level to achieve longer term stability and success. We also believe in ensuring our tutors are suitably prepared for meeting student’s needs – our training relationship with nasen helps our tutors to achieve this and provide our students with quality tuition.

Our confidence in the Bright Heart Approach and our carefully selected tutors is demonstrated by providing the first lesson free to our students.

Our Mission

  • To be the UK’s leading provider of tuition services for those students that would benefit from a heart-based approach to realise their potential.
  • To strive to ensure the unique needs of students are met by introducing clients to quality, trained tutors.
  • To be an alternative resource for parents and organisations that struggle to find the appropriate supplementary education for their children or students.

Our Ethos

  • We believe each person has a fundamentally unique perception of the world. This affects how they interact with others and how they learn.
  • We believe and acknowledge through our tuition that intellectual capabilities are only one part of the whole person.
  • We believe the best academic results are achieved in a learning environment based on mutual respect and warmth, good rapport, and well-prepared and trained tutors.
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