our philosophy

We want young people to have memories of outdoor life as positive as our own. So we exceed expectations to offer the most independent and challenging experiences groups can enjoy. We support participants and staff to become leaders, so schools can build their own outdoor traditions. And we keep learning ourselves so that what we offer keeps getting better. 

who we are

JASON BUCKLEY, MANAGING DIRECTOR
Jason was very active in the Scout movement as a teenager, and came back to outdoor education as the DofE Award Leader at Sutton Grammar School while teaching English. Over the last 9 years, first as a volunteer and later through Outspark, he has led over 100 expeditions and seen hundreds of pupils through the section. He is particularly interested in leader development, and is a member of Sports Leaders UK’s advisory panel for outdoor qualifications.

Jason has a variety of other roles in education. As The Philosophy Man, he works with thousands of teachers and children each year as a trainer, keynote speaker, facilitator and storyteller.  Over 13,000 teachers receive his weekly bulletin of resources, sharing stories and activities that fuse together elements of philosophy for children, outdoor education, public speaking and improv. He is an occasional lecturer for Gift Ltd, Europe’s leading provider of residential for gifted children, and a director of The P4C Cooperative, the leading website for resources for philosophy for children.

Jason’s latest outdoor interest is caving, and he is looking forward to an expedition in May to the world’s largest cave, Son Doong in Vietnam. He lives on a narrowboat in Cambridge, where he performs in musical improv group The Paper Planes.

Jason is responsible for services for KS3 pupils, such as DofE tasters, for bespoke personal development programmes and for maintaining Outspark’s distinctive ethos across all staff and expeditions.

Contact Jason: jason@outspark.co.uk

DAN BIDDLE, EXPEDITIONS DIRECTOR
Dan did DofE and an Award in Basic Expedition Leadership course whilst a pupil at Sutton Grammar School.  Despite repeated “talks of doom” from Jason about the difficulties of building a full-time career in the outdoor industry, that’s what Dan has done, combining work with Outspark with international expedition leadership postings for other providers. Dan knows the DofE Award inside out, having spent 18 months as Buckinghamshire County Council’s DofE Expeditions Advisor. 

Dan is responsible for the assessment and management of risk across the whole company, staff selection and monitoring, and expedition planning. In his other role as an international expedition leader, he has handled extreme medical situations and has kept a group’s morale up during a gruelling 56 hour journey when Nairobi airport caught fire! He is especially interested in leader development with responsibility for Award in Basic Expedition Leader courses and our Instructor Development programme.

Contact Dan: dan@outspark.co.uk

DAVE SMITH, DIRECTOR
Dave is another ex-Sutton Grammar student who is now in his final year of medical school. He has spent eight weeks working in an A&E unit in rural Tanzania, and has some amusing but unprintable stories about overcoming the language barrier. Dave enjoys climbing and winter walking. 

Dave has responsibility for finance, medical, logistics, purchasing and personnel matters.

Contact Dave: dave@outspark.co.uk