In defence of educational traditionalism: Things I believe that you probably don’t (yet)

Talk description

Adam considers himself a traditional teacher. There are a number of things that Adam believes which are perhaps out of step with most people attending or speaking at the Rethinking Education Conference. In this talk Adam will go over a number of points of contention and controversy around hot-button issues like behaviour, curriculum and student autonomy.

About Adam

Adam is a science teacher and lead practitioner at The Totteridge Academy in London. Adam is also the co-founder of Carousel Learning and is its Education Director. Adam regularly delivers CPD nationally and internationally and has written a number of student textbooks and books for teachers focusing on evidence-based practice and classroom craft.


A Curriculum of Hope

Talk description

What might a curriculum that was as rich in humanity as in knowledge look like in practice? In this keynote, Dr Debra Kidd will explore the five key pillars of a Curriculum of Hope, and how they can be utilised in the classroom to create agentive, connected learners who are rooted in and contributing to their communities.

About Debra

Dr Debra Kidd has taught in schools for 29 years, working with children and adults at all phases of education. She is the author of four books, the latest of which is The Curriculum of Hope. She works with schools internationally developing curriculum and pedagogies that place humanity and compassion at their heart.


Schools for dinosaurs: Traditional education is on its last legs.

Talk description

Conventional education is dying out. New kinds of schools (and non-schools) are popping up everywhere, and young people and their parents are beginning to flock to them. The future is already here – but it is, as yet, patchy. A few diehard politicians and pundits are desperately trying to flog life into a dead horse, but their arguments for Old School are desperate and must be called out.

About Guy

Guy Claxton is a cognitive scientist specialising in the expandability of human capacities. His scientific contributions are captured in books such as Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind, The Wayward Mind and Intelligence in the Flesh. Guy’s other books, including Wise Up: The Challenge of Lifelong Learning, What’s the Point of School? and The Future of Teaching make powerful cases for the reform of education.


It’s personal: Supporting young learners to find and follow their passions

Talk description

The learning landscape of a classroom is rich in diversity. Each learner brings their unique story to the group, creating a ‘human library’ of sorts. Young learners tell us over and over again that they long to have opportunities to both discover, investigate and share the things they care deeply about. And they have the right to do so! In this video presentation Kath will share some of the insights, impacts and challenges arising from a decade of exploring personal inquiry with children and their teachers.

About Kath

Kath Murdoch is highly regarded for her work in the field of inquiry-based learning in which she has taught, written and researched for over 35 years. She is fiercely committed to working ‘on the ground’ in classrooms with children and educators as she explores the delights and complexities of bringing an inquiry stance to learning and teaching. Kath is the author of over 15 books for teachers including the best-selling ‘Power of Inquiry’. Her most recent book is ‘Getting Personal with Inquiry Learning.’


The Thinking School: Developing a dynamic learning community

Talk description

In my session, I will share the findings of my doctoral research and discuss the implementation of key strategies to enable the development of a dynamic and expansive professional learning community for all staff and students within a school.

About Kulvarn

Dr. Kulvarn Atwal completed his PGCE at the University of East London in 1999 and has worked in 4 East London schools. For the past nine years he has been Head Teacher at Highlands Primary School and is currently also Head Teacher at Uphall Primary School.


Empowering students as leaders of their own learning

Talk description

Looking to the future, how do we ensure that students have the skills set to become independent reflective learners? This session will explore how we can change the paradigm and shift to a system where students lead their own learning. All students have the potential to make progress from their starting points and to lead their own learning. As educators, we can – and should – provide the curriculum and assessment to enable this to happen. This talk will explain how.

About Meena

Meena was a former HMI (Ofsted), DfE Adviser, FE College Principal and Principal of a Secondary Academy. She now works across the British and International Education sectors, principally in India and Dubai, as Trainer, Speaker and Education Consultant. In addition, she conducts Curriculum and Leadership Reviews in schools.


Why we need change at the top: The revolving door needs to stop!

Talk description

Our school system suffers from turbulence created by the policy system that should be offering a positive direction. In conversation with James Mannion, Mick will outline the influence of politics on schooling (good and bad) and the way politicians can cause as many problems as they solve. He will also offer some suggestions for how things could be better.

About Mick

Mick Waters works closely with schools across the UK and abroad. His long career in schooling has seen him work in senior positions in schools, higher education, local authorities and national government. He has worked across the globe to advise governments at a policy level or in schools.


The side-effects of school

Talk description

As a clinical psychologist, each day brings me more requests from parents, asking for help for their children. Distress, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of learning and an ongoing sense that their voices don’t matter. These unwanted effects are located in the young people and their parents, and so rather than addressing the root cause, the government has introduced fines and punishments for those who don’t comply. We need to take side effects seriously. We can’t ignore them just because we’d prefer that they weren’t happening.

About Naomi

Dr Naomi Fisher is a clinical psychologist and mother of two young people who have never been to conventional school. She is the author of the book Changing Our Minds: How Children Can Take Control of Their Own Learning. In her clinical work she specialises in trauma and autism.


Time to reset the English Schooling system: We need to trust teachers more

Talk description

Sir Tim Brighouse argues that there have been two distinctly different ages affecting the English Schooling system – one of ‘optimism and trust’ and the second (which we are still in) of ‘markets, centralisation and managerialism’. He will argue that there are clear signs that we are moving into a new age of ‘ambition, hope and collaborative partnerships’. That will only be achieved however if certain key reforms are implemented to remove ‘failure-inducing practices’ from the system. In conversation with James Mannion.

About Tim

Sir Tim Brighouse is a well-known and influential British educator. He was the Schools Commissioner for London between 2002–2007, where he led the incredibly successful London Challenge. Tim was knighted in the 2009 New Year Honours list. With Mick Waters, Tim recently co-authored ‘About Our Schools: Improving on Previous Best’.


What if young people felt confident and empowered in our schools?

Talk description

My session is about young people playing a major role within the education system, and having ownership over what they learn, how they learn and when they learn it. In this interactive presentation, we will consider how the system is configured currently, my lived experience as a young person within the education system, and some solutions that I feel are needed to give young people more voice and more choice within the education system.

About Yumna

Yumna is a student, campaigner, writer, poet and public speaker, who uses creative approaches to generate social change, namely, revolutionising our global food, healthcare & education systems. Previously the Youth MP for Birmingham, Yumna ensures that young people’s voices are directly embedded within decision making and governance. Yumna works with organisations focussed on transforming the education system into one that is equitable, decolonised and foregrounds the views of learners.



Education for immigrants and refugees

Talk description

For decades, the UK has been a hub for immigration and refugees. But when young immigrants or refugees come to the UK in their adolescent or preteen years (as we have seen a lot of in our generation due to the Ukraine war and Afghanistan) they have special educational requirements which schools often struggle to provide for. It’s time to dig deep into what makes up this unique part of our education system, how it has developed and how it could improve even more in the future.

About Aaban

As a British Pakistani Pashtun Member of Youth Parliament, I have grown up seeing a lot of my fellow Afghan Pashtuns being either supported by or neglected by the education system. As I got older, and more refugees and asylum seekers arrived in our country, I started to see how people from other backgrounds such as Ukraine and Syria often struggle within the education system, as well as being supported by it.


Journeys into Leadership

Talk description

A presentation to outline the journey that myself and lots of leaders have experienced when moving into leadership, offering guidance and support from my experiences. There is a focus on building relationships, context and change management that leaders and those looking at their first leadership role can hopefully take something away from. I will draw on the work of Simon Sinek, Dylan William and Mary Myatt to identify how important the role of a middle and senior leader is and how to navigate the role of leadership based on the work of these figures.

About Adam

Adam Woodward has taught for 15 years in both the state and independent education sectors. Currently, he is the Director of Studies, responsible for the development and implementation of the curriculum, at an independent school in Sevenoaks. He is passionate about improving his own practice and curriculum development, and has recently written for TES and been a guest on several educational podcasts speaking about both of these areas.


Happiness is the meaning of school

Talk description

This talk by teacher and award-winning author, Adrian Bethune, will argue that the purpose of education should be to improve the happiness and wellbeing of pupils now and in the future. Adrian will share insights from the science of wellbeing and show how schools can be at the epicentre of societal change, creating a healthier, happier, more caring and sustainable society.

About Adrian

Adrian Bethune is a part-time teacher at a primary school in Aylesbury, Deputy Chair of the Well Schools strategic board and the founder of Teachappy. In 2012, he was awarded a ‘Happy Hero’ medal by Lord Richard Layard at the House of Lords for his work on developing wellbeing in schools.


Getting Ready For Work

Talk description

Adrian Lyons, an HMI for over 16 years, was Ofsted’s national lead for business and enterprise and led a major survey around enterprise education in secondary school, evaluating how well schools prepare young people for the world of work. In this session, Adrian will argue that preparation for work should not be the only goal of an education system, but it should certainly be part of it.

About Adrian

Adrian Lyons FRSA was one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Education for over 16 years. For more than six of those he was Ofsted’s national lead for economics, business and enterprise. He is now a consultant working with several multi-academy trusts, providers of initial teacher education/ training and the Edge Foundation.


ACE Voices: Bridging mainstream and alternative education

Talk description

Founded in 2011, ACE Voices is a family of play-centred community projects. We specialise in empowering people, communities and the wider natural world to thrive through the creation of open, inclusive, transformative community play spaces involving music and the arts, outdoor education, intergenerational relationships and leadership mentoring. During this session, we will reflect on our mission at ACE Voices to create intergenerational communities of learning that bridge mainstream/alternative education.

About Alec

In 2010, Alec had the whisper of an idea to leave his full-time job teaching singing and choirs, and to create an organic tapestry of projects that could help people of all ages to connect with each other and our wider natural world. Now in 2022, this vision has come to be known as ‘ACE Voices’. Rachel joined ACE in 2016, and her work with young people to develop their vocal confidence and singing has been instrumental in supporting our overall vision/strategies and bringing to light the centrality of play in everything we do.


The power of cognitive conflict: Epistemic inquiry as an approach to teaching science


Talk description

The concept of Epistemic Inquiry was inspired by and is a fusion of the lesson methodology of Cognitive Acceleration through Science Education (CASE) and the ideas of Derek Hodson (2014).

About Alex

Alex Black has been a teacher for 37 years, and has spent the last 30 years in an International School in Zurich, teaching students and coaching teachers from early primary age through to grade 12. He has many years’ experience of teaching IB Diploma Biology, Theory of Knowledge, and middle years Science.


Helping students set up THEIR Ladder

Talk description

As we emerge slowly from Covid, all teachers will be facing challenges in supporting student wellbeing, resilience, ambition and success. Bernie’s punchy session shares tips for making young people more confident in applying knowledge and skills in new ways at school and beyond. He’ll use 17 years of experience in schools and the research, tools and tips contained in his recent book The Ladder to explore new strategies to embed careers into school.

About Bernie

Bernie started Innovative Enterprise in 2006 and so far the company has worked with 160,000 people. He is a Director of National Careers Week, a Fellow of the Professional Speaking Association, a TEDx Speaker and an entrepreneur. Bernie is a passionate advocate for equality and specialises in discussing domestic abuse and male violence against women and girls as well as values-based education through PSHE, Relationships and Sex Education and empathy workshops.


A culture of wellbeing: why we must put positive mental health at the heart of the ethos of schools.

Talk description

The presentation will serve as a rallying call to action for a significant cultural shift within schools towards a culture of wellbeing; one wherein students are encouraged to always put their mental health first and are taught to hold rest in equal regard to work. We need to give young people & teachers the dignity of a healthy work-life balance, so that no one in education is under the ridiculous amounts of pressure they are now.

About Andrew

Andrew Speight served as the Member of Youth Parliament for Blackpool between March 2019 & March 2022, and now serves as the representative for the North West on the Youth Parliament’s Steering Group. His paid employment is as a Youth Advisor to Blackpool Council, lending hislived experience to the development of an Employment & Skills strategy for young people.


Restoring our Schools

Talk description

As a PhD researcher and former deputy headteacher of a secondary school, And will share his research and experience of supporting our schools post-COVID. He will speak about how we can take this opportunity to create the conditions for better relationships and increased teacher agency and motivation to make pedagogy more liberating, democratic and transformational.

About Andy

Andy Williams was deputy head at a large school in south east Wales for over a decade and was seconded to work across local authorities and the police and a championship football club to build organisational systems that promote and enhance quality relationships.


Rethinking Education: Coaching one teacher at the time

Talk description

Coaching has been around for decades. It has been proven as an effective tool to improve people’s lives, confidence, skills and ways to move forward. But what happens when coaching is adopted in schools not as a method or tool, but as a culture? I will talk about the relevance and positive impact of introducing a coaching culture in schools – not only for students, but also for teachers and headteachers.

About Angela

Angela has over 25 years experience in educational environments as a teacher, mentor, trainer, coach, leader and consultant. mainly in Latin America. Since 2017 she has combined her two passions: Education and Coaching. She works with schools and teachers worldwide helping them adopt a coaching culture, transformational leadership and well-being.


The importance of early years: Have we forgotten the foundations of learning?

Talk description

Where does learning begin? Join me in exploring what the foundations of all learning and development are, how we can ensure children have the best grounding in their education and what the implications are of not prioritising the early years. If we want to encourage the younger generations to be forward thinking, innovative, open-minded, critical and curious, we need to start to build up these values, skills and attributes from the very beginning.

About Angelica

Angelica Celinska is an early years education advocate, and is the Editor of the Early Years Educator Magazine. She has worked in various early years settings for ten years, including private nurseries, childminding, primary schools, local authority childcare settings and outdoor learning provision. Her current work involves early years publishing, events management and research.


Self Directed Learning Communities in the UK

Talk description

This presentation will give you a glimpse into the exciting world of self directed learning communities in the UK. This is a small but fast-growing movement of communities wishing to offer young people a truly autonomous yet collective educational experience. This is the cutting-edge of democratic education in the UK.

About Artemis

Artemis D. Bear (they/them) is a parent, home educator, registered childminder, Forest School Leader and qualified teacher. An engineer by training, their background is in environmental policy but since becoming a parent, education has become the focus of their intellectual curiosity.


Rethinking success in education: Transforming schools from top grade factories to democratic learning environments

Talk description

In this presentation, I aim to challenge the current status of students within school institutions, and argue that schools must be places which allow students to exercise democratic functions. Young people must be granted more agency and independence in regards to how their school community is run.

About Asma

I am a 19 year old University student passionate about the potential of education to enact social change. I have served as Deputy Youth MP for my borough between 2018-2020, and have since worked with education charity The House of Fairytales on the ‘Great Imagining Project’ which is designing an alternative plug-in curriculum that incorporates creativity, climate justice, and the digital demands of our time.


‘What’s important for us to talk about today?’ Open Dialogue at Korowal School, Australia

Talk description

What happens when you bring the social network around a student together to talk without an agenda and ask ‘What is important for us to talk about today?’ We will present an overview of ‘Open Dialogue’, explaining what led us to adopt this approach and how we have adapted it in a school setting. We will hear from students, families, teachers and health practitioners who have participated within these network meetings, and share the findings of recent research undertaken at our school – warts and all.

About Barbara & Sarah 

Barb Fitzgerald is Principal at Korowal. With a background in performance, directing and writing, Barb is a teacher and an educational leader, advocating for creativity in schools. Sarah Farrell-Whelan is a Senior Social Worker who has worked in the child and youth mental health domain for 15 years, and has completed The Open Dialogue Psychotherapy, Clinical level Family Therapy 3 year training. As Wellbeing Coordinator at Korowal, Sarah is a systemic therapist with a desire to bring this approach to enhance wellbeing practices in health and education.


Family Matters: how parent-child relationships support learning

Talk description

We know that a parent’s support for their child’s education matters (Sylva et al 2010) but what does this look like in practice, whether at home or in partnership with school? In this exploratory workshop we will think about what we mean by the ‘home learning environment’ and the ways in which the relationships in our family can provide the foundation for good emotional and mental health.

About Bea

Bea has three young children whose curiosity and individuality ensure that she continues to contemplate the way we conceptualise education. As a Primary teacher, and subsequently directing Teach First’s work in East London, Bea became interested in school culture and the importance of staff wellbeing to support learning.


Create your own international online learning community

Talk description

In this workshop you will learn 5 essential elements of building a successful online learning community so you can connect and learn with educators across the globe to collectively learn and deepen your practice in your educational special area of interest.

About Becky

Becky Carlzon is an optimistic primary school teacher, who specialises in the Learning Power Approach (LPA) and building online learning communities. She has adapted the LPA successfully when teaching in the UK, Argentina and Thailand over the last 12 years. As well as teaching primary children, Becky has used the LPA to teach English to 3- to 73- year olds, finding that no matter your age, experience or background, you can always stretch your capacity to learn.


The Next Big Thing in Education

Talk description

Why is schooling prone to producing successive Next Big Things? Personalised learning… forensic data analysis… curriculum reform… Each can instigate helpful changes. But they usually rise to a prominent peak before inevitably crashing as they fail to live up to the hype which propelled them. Why does this happen? How can we live and work within such a system? And how can we respond better to the dynamic which produces an endless stream of Next Big Things?

About Ben

Ben is an Assistant Head Teacher at MGGS in Maidstone, Kent. He has a particular interest in teaching and learning and educational research. He has written various research summaries and reports, including one on teacher workload for the DfE. Ben is a serial collaborator, working on projects including a comparative learning app; a primer on psychology and behaviour change; and regularly works with schools supporting CPD.


Guardians of the future: How can teachers prepare students for a climate changed world?

Talk description

Participants will work in groups to briefly explore what climate change means for the world, then in more detail what this might mean personally and finally the implications for students, in terms of the knowledge, skills and dispositions they might need to thrive in the unpredictable world they will inhabit as adults. We will then collectively categorise their outputs and use them to critique the government’s climate change education strategy and propose alternative priorities.

About Berry

I completed my PGCE as a Geography teacher (with distinction) in 2021. I trained at two Outstanding schools, yet my experience in both was of a curriculum with all the important bits taken out. I concluded that I did not want to teach in a system where I could not help young people to make sense of the world around them and prepare them for an unpredictable future.


Impossible Fantasies of Heroism

Talk description

Government presents teachers and education as heroic – morally, economically, socially. A powerful fantasy. But we are never good enough. Government gives the solution in the form of neoliberal reforms. Innovation is therefore restricted. What would happen if we reimagined teachers as curators, or as gardeners, rather than as heroes? Could this be a fundamental shift that allows progressive thinking into mainstream education?

About Bertie

Bertie Cairns has been working in education for 16 years in the state sector and in the private sector. He was most recently a deputy head in a small school that was the first to introduce meditation to education in 1975. To think more deeply about education but from a very different angle to education masters, Bertie recently took a year out to read for an MSc in Organisational Psychology at the LSE, for which he was awarded a distinction.


Lord of the flies – the 21st century

Talk description

In this talk, I will raise the suggestion that our schooling system is designed to exclude parents and carers from their children’s education. I will encourage us to reflect on whether this design choice was made in support of our children’s education or for other economic or political ends.

About Carmel

Dr. Carmel Kent is a Lecturer at the Institute of Educational Technology (IET), the Open University, UK. Carmel’s research focus is on parents’ involvement in children’s education, online learning communities, interactivity and social learning, on using computational methods for learning analytics, and on ethical AI for educational applications.


Curriculum Design: Purpose, process and agency

Talk description

This workshop will support participants to consider the purpose of school. It seeks to engage participants in a series of provocations about what curriculum means to them and how to move from prescription to autonomy when considering curriculum design. It will encourage personal reflection, collaboration and discussion. We will share ideas for increasing professional development and the role of school leaders in enabling agency.

About Cat & Ty

Catherine Kucia grew up in Newport where she currently lives with her daughter, Lola-Rose. Cat is the Headteacher of Jubilee Park Primary School in Newport and had the privilege of opening the school in 2017. Ty Golding grew up in a small valley’s mining town, spent a period of time living in South Africa and has served in the Armed Forces. Ty is the Headteacher of Holton Primary School, in South Wales.


Developing emotional agility, curiosity and compassion through non-violent communication

Talk description

This workshop invites participants to tap into the resourcefulness of their mindsight, practising non-violent communication that fosters understanding and change at individual and relational level, turning education environments into safe spaces for learning.

About Catrinel

Holding pathways of development and training that span two countries, different cultures and lived political regimes, Catrinel has a decade of experience working with a range of Virtual Schools in London leading on the educational achievement of children and young people who face different degrees of adversity, and actively promoting non-violent means of system transformation.


Establishing A School Wide Coaching Culture

Talk description

Self Determination is a key driver in human beings. In this workshop we will introduce you to the what, why, how of establishing a whole school approach to developing self-determination through coaching and mentoring. The world has changed, the time is now for education to respond.

About Chris

Chris has over 30 years experience in education as a teacher, senior leader, headteacher and executive headteacher. He has worked in both the UK state and Independent sectors. Chris is an agent for change and has brought innovation to his schools with huge success. His work focuses on how technology can be used to make learning personal, the impact of coaching and mentoring on schools and how a learner focused learning pedagogy can transform learning.


Promoting Student Academic Success through Nurturing the Mental Health of All: An Innovative Approach

Talk description

This presentation will share an innovative approach for preventing school failure and promoting students’ academic success and social and emotional well-being for students, teachers, and families. This approach engages all key stakeholders and provides comprehensive support using a preventive and supportive approach. The presentation will highlight this innovative model in NYC, its success and lessons learned.

About Chun

Dr. Chun Zhang, a teacher trainer for over 2 decades, is a professor in the Graduate School of Education at Fordham University in NYC. She has published widely in culturally and linguistically responsive practices, inclusion and diversity, and teacher effectiveness. Danica Goyens-Ward is a Doctoral Student in Innovation, Curriculum and Instruction at Fordham University. For the past 16 years, Danica has been a classroom teacher at Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School, serving as a cultural responsive lead educator for the school community.


Developing learning dispositions through in-house Internships

Talk description

It is increasingly recognised that the learning dispositions required for young people to thrive in their future careers are not effectively developed through a narrow focus on academic qualifications. In this session, I will outline how our ‘in-house internships’ programme has been designed to develop broader skills and attributes.

About Claire

Claire Badger is the senior teacher in charge of teaching and learning at Godolphin and Latymer School, a post she has been in since 2015. She has a keen interest in developing evidence-informed practices within schools and recently completed a Masters in Teaching and Learning with the Institute of Education, focusing on developing metacognitive skills in sixth form students.


Co-regulated learning: An introduction to the Human Hive

Talk description

An introduction to Human Hive Education, an exciting and adaptive approach to teaching and learning; it’s human-centred, collaborative, and self-directed, putting psychosocial wellbeing at the heart of every educational experience.

About Darren

Darren is a singer, coach, trauma therapist and trainer working internationally as a facilitator and project leader in the fields of personal, cultural and community development. Darren is co-founder of The Human Hive a CIC working with individuals and organisations to make a more welcoming, inclusive and sustainable world.


Leadership for Sustainability: Saving the planet one school at a time?

Talk description

Based on my recent book, this session will explore why we need leaders for sustainability in schools and how this relates to real ‘School Improvement’. It necessitates new perspectives on the role of education so that schools cease to be part of the Business As Usual agenda.

About David

Dr David Dixon has been the headteacher of three schools in areas of considerable disadvantage across 20 years. Developed a ‘Green Leader’ as part of a doctorate undertaken from the University of Lincoln. For the last two years, David has delivered workshops for Lewisham Humanities Hub on Geography, History and Sustainability, whilst writing the book ‘Leadership for Sustainability: Saving the Planet One School At A Time’ (Crown House).


“I don’t want to go to school”: A mother’s journey

Talk description

A presentation about a mother’s journey navigating the education system and everyday life with a child who can’t go to school. Using Eliza Fricker’s wry and detailed illustrations, this talk provides insight to both parents and professionals wanting to hear the story and experiences from the author of Missing The Mark.

About Eliza

Eliza is an illustrator, author and mother. Her first book The Family Experience of PDA: An Illustrated Guide to Pathological Demand Avoidance was published Nov 2021 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Deceptively simple illustrations give way to endearingly perceptive and detailed observations, which are often irreverently humorous and highly emotional.


An inclusive discussion among ‘square peg’ families with barriers to attendance

Talk description

A circle-time discussion on the challenges faced by families with barriers to attendance. An opportunity to share your story, to listen to others, and to engage in some blue sky thinking around what needs to happen in order for Square Pegs to thrive.

About Ellie & Paul

Ellie Costello is a director at Square Peg CIC and believes every child is unique. Square Peg pushes back against our one-size-fits-all education system which fails a third of all children and pushes increasing numbers out of it into the margins, Ellie’s family included. Paul Tyack is a parent of two teenage children. One child is autistic and one is neurotypical. He is also a teacher and education consultant.


Rethinking movement in educational spaces

Talk description

This inspiring talk considers the benefits of being able to move naturally within a learning environment. We will explore how to create environments for students and teachers which give permission for more natural physical movement within schools and other educational settings. We will discuss the importance of movement for wellbeing and the implications for learning, informed consent and healthy development.

About Emily

Emily Doe is an inspirational speaker and movement educator, helping people find more freedom and less pain in movement for the past 13 years. She is the founder of Movement Foundations and Director of Not-For-Profit community organisation Movement Foundations School Program. Emily’s passion for this topic stems from her work as a movement educator/therapist, and her experience and concern as a mother of two young children who she believes sit too often, and from too young an age, in chairs at school.


Comparative judgement as a facilitator for peer feedback in primary STEM

Talk description

Comparative judgement has risen as an alternative assessment method for assessing competences and performances. This process results in a collective professional consensus with high reliability and can be facilitated by digital tools providing promising results on how to facilitate increased affordances for teachers’ assessment practices to improve learning. This session provides an overview of comparative judgement and how it can be applied to providing peer assessment for students and teachers alike.

About Eva

Dr Eva Hartell is currently Head of Research in Haninge and researcher at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. Eva is involved in several national and international practitioner-based research and development projects such as ATS STEM and K-ULF, working closely with teachers and schools with the purpose of bridging teaching and learning in STEM education.


GPS Pathways to Learning: Bringing literacy to the community

Talk description

In 2021, a small group of committed community pioneers in Pennsylvania gathered to study a ground-breaking work about early literacy awareness. Based on these conversations, we embarked on opening the very first decodable bookshop based in a barbershop in the US. The GPS Pathways to Learning team (Faith Borkowsky, Tre Hadrick and Geoff Vaughan) will talk about the work we have initiated and how this can be replicated in any community around the world.

About Faith, Tre & Geoff 

Faith Borkowsky is a literacy tutor and consultant based in New York, USA. Tre Hadrick is a school counselor and literacy pioneer based in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Geoff Vaughan is a university lecturer and teacher based in Hungary.


There is no age limit on change

Talk description

I believe that discussions about young people should include young people. Too often, we see conversations about improving our education system being discussed by a panel of people who have no idea what modern-day education is like. I will discuss my role as the Member of Youth Parliament and how people often hold prejudicial assumptions against young people, who are deemed immature and are often not given a say in decisions that affect their lives.

About Hannah

I am the Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) for North Tyneside. Previous to this I have been on my local youth council for 7 years. In my time on the youth council I have been involved in a range of initiatives, for example: helping improve the training of school nurses, being part of the Tyne and Wear Youth Transport Forum, and being part of an Enterprise Education committee called Today’s Problems Tomorrow’s Leaders. Currently, as the MYP I am focusing on reforming PSHE lessons to better prepare young people for their later lives.


Expedition mentality: How adventurous journeys in education help develop students’ self-efficacy

Talk description

This session focuses on the particular impact that adventurous journeys have on developing self efficacy. This session will take the audience through a rich journey of experiential, adventurous learning, through the eyes of students and through personal experience. We will look at how to create a perfect experiential environment that builds self-efficacy. Outdoor education – and adventurous journeys in particular – should be a central part of every school’s ethos.

About Hannah

As a teacher, outdoor educationalist and lecturer, Hannah has worked all over the world supporting the delivery of Outdoor education within the curriculum and extended expeditions. Hannah has a Masters in Outdoor Practice, as well as an International Post Graduate Certificate in Education. Hannah is also an active International Mountain Leader professional, Sea Kayak Guide and rock climbing instructor.


Mapping Personal Learning Journeys

Talk description

Using practical tools to guide parents and educators through mapping children’s learning. This technique is ideal for those who direct their own learning and is suitable for any age and stage as a way of recording interests, and pathways when reflecting on a child’s education.

About Heidi

My name is Heidi Steel and I live with my husband and four children in South East England. I am a former teacher turned unschooler who moved beyond the traditional paradigms of the classroom when I became disillusioned with the education system. I have been unschooling for over ten years and currently have four children who have always been unschooled and are happy living and learning as they go.


Celebrating Strengths

Talk description

Strengths-based education is a student-centred approach to teaching that helps students identify, articulate and apply individual skills relevant in their learning needs. A Strengths-based curriculum offers an empowering opportunity for young people by providing them with the tools they need so as not only to learn but thrive!

About Helen

As a highly experienced Consultant, facilitator and coach, I have gained a reputation for engaging and inspiring audiences while facilitating a variety of bespoke in-house courses across the country. The courses I design and deliver are based firmly in the roots of positive psychology using a learner-focused style to enhance communication skills, attitudes and attributes and social/emotional intelligence to enable people to navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well, and achieve their goals.


Wear the cape, ditch the mask: Why neurodivergent teachers are super teachers

Talk description

This session will break down what it means to be neurodivergent and how neurodivergent people make wonderful teachers, through the innate skills and emotional intelligence we possess as well as many other traits and characteristics. It will focus on how we are able to give holistic support to children and young people, empathising and acting as role models. We will discuss what inclusive schools need to do to support neurodivergent students AND staff, and what happened to me when I removed my ‘mask’.

About Helen

Helen is a neurodivergent teacher in mainstream education with over 20 years’ experience in the classroom and as a senior leader. She has a diagnosis of ADHD (combined type) and draws on her lived experience to provide the best possible support for young people and their families, as well as being an advocate for women and girls with ADHD.


The need for a new Human-Centered Education

Talk description

This session will make the evidence-based case for a grassroots progressive revolution in education, rooted in empowering individual educators through teacher action research and creative noncompliance while developing a toolkit for understanding and organising sustained, systemic change.

About The Human Restoration Project 

Nick Covington and Chris McNutt are the co-founders of the Human Restoration Project, a progressive education non-profit dedicated to radically student-centered classrooms. Before founding HRP, Nick taught high school social studies for 10 years; Chris is a former social studies and digital design instructor.


LEARNING. To save our planet.

Talk description

If we are to tackle issues such as climate change, social problems (eg the loneliness epidemic), physical health issues (eg obesity) etc, etc. people (individually and collectively) need to learn better. And education, as currently institutionalised, is part of the problem not part of the solution.

About Ian

Prof Ian Cunningham is the founder of Self Managed Learning College and of the Centre for Self Managed Learning. Dancer – including member of Three Score Dance Company. Writer – last book ‘Self Managed Learning and the New Educational Paradigm’. Cyclist. Metal worker – City and Guilds qualified welder.


Three steps to creating a high-performance culture in your school

Talk description

A great culture within a school is always intentional. It includes everyone in order to deliver the best learner outcomes possible. A culture that promotes innovation, consistency, high performance and continuous improvement only works when everyone is on board and fully committed. But how do we go about building, embedding and sustaining a high-performance culture? This workshop will explore three ways of building and strengthening your school culture in order to ensure extraordinary results.

About Ioan

Dr Ioan Rees is a psychologist and CEO of SYCOL, a company that supports schools, academies and further education institutions in developing the mindset, discipline and culture of high performance. Grounded in psychology, the SYCOL approach accelerates success, nurtures talent and creates alignment between strategy and culture by supporting leaders and including all staff.


The age of consent: what might education without coercion look like?

Talk description

The world is teeming with examples of people coercing one another, using any means necessary to get their way. Given that we educate young people primarily through coercion – is this surprising? Is a more consent-based education system possible? What might this look like? Let’s get together and think it through!

About James

James Mannion is the Director of Rethinking Education and the host of the Rethinking Education podcast. Rethinking Education specialise in improving outcomes for young people and adults through self-regulated learning, practitioner inquiry and implementation science. With Kate McAllister, James is the co-author of Fear is the Mind Killer: Why Learning to Learn deserves lesson time – and how to make it work for your pupils.


Cultivating creative and civic capacities

Talk description

Our future depends on the creative minds of our children. Our current system is designed to produce compliant and conformist thinkers. Our communities tend to value antiquated notions of school success. We need to reimagine how we define and measure success. How might we cultivate our students’ creative and civic capacities, towards a more just and sustainable world? If we create a culture where our students are able to think like an artist, a designer and a change agent, then we will empower our students to challenge the status quo.

About Jason

Jason Blair believes the creativity of our children will change the world. A 20-year veteran arts educator, every day he steps into his arts studio he learns from the creative geniuses he teaches. He believes that to empower students to tap into their creative capacities, educators must nurture their own growth as creative change agents. To empower creativity in his students, Jason has established himself as a creativity specialist, capable of empowering the creative mindset to illuminate innovative ideas.


Home education with freedom and flexibility

Talk description

As a home education company, HomeLife Academy (HLA) currently has 43,000 students worldwide who are free to learn however they learn best. HLA provides an official US diploma, transcripts, record-keeping and counseling assistance to families all over the world. In this session, Jill will share some success stories and explain how home education can provide a viable path to high school graduation. She will also explore the importance of goal-based planning and learning.

About Jill

Jill Neiss is the Director of Global Development with HomeLife Academy, a company that has been in the home education business for about 20 years. Through this role, Jill has seen the exponential growth of home education worldwide. She home-educated her four children, all of whom went on to universities and are living very successful lives.


Why we want to change the current OFSTED framework

Talk description

A presentation by a group of youth researchers, about how the current OFSTED inspection framework is insufficient. Our presentation includes finding from our own research, and our proposal for an alternative inspection framework. The final draft, and a documentary film, can be found at

About Joel

Hamza and Joel are students that have currently finished year 13 and hoping to go to university. They have been apart of states of mind since 2020 and would like to change the way OFSTED inspects schools. They are both passionate about change within the education system and would like to see education to be more student-focused.


Magical Leaders: Teaching young people how to think, not what to think

Talk description

Magical Leaders, an innovative, peer-led approach to learning and teaching 21st-century skills, uses a virtual world to foster ambition, entrepreneurship and add new value to society. Originally developed in Ireland with pupils aged 10-14, the programme is now being successfully trialled with schools in England and overseas. This approach encourages parental engagement and enables young people to locate their learning within their lived experience and broaden their horizons as they explore different challenges and opportunities.

About John

John Rees is a highly experienced school leader, advisor and teacher trainer, and the UK representative of Zeeko. Based at NovaUCD, Zeeko aims to empower young people through education and support educators in teaching the next generation of leaders through education programmes, research and resources.


The unconscious bias that stops us reimagining education

Talk description

What happens when a dyslexic ADHD dad spends 13 years home educating his two sons – one with ADHD and other with dyslexia? They find the unconscious bias that stops us reimagining education. If we want to reimagine education we will need to confront this unconscious bias.

About Jon

Jon has used 30 years of trying to find out what, if anything, psychologists agree on. This includes a lifetime with his late psychologist father, Paul Thorne, and 10 years home-educating his two children.


Agile Learning Centres: Consent-based education

Talk description

What happens when consent is the foundation of learning experiences for children? This talk will introduce the key concepts of Agile Learning Centres and tools that can be adopted in any setting with kids to enable their participation. In this talk, we will dive into ways that we can support children’s autonomy and why we really need to. Following the session, participants will gain insight into methods which enable children’s participation that can be adapted to suit any setting.

About Jyoti

Jyoti Imix is an author, academic researcher, playworker, therapist and advocate for children. She’s on a mission to change the landscape of childhood. Her book ‘What To Do About School’ is a translation of thesis about alternative education with a particular focus on self-directed learning. Her research took her all over the world, visiting radical settings which she examined from a child-centric perspective.


Cost of the School Day: Pupils’ Perspectives on Poverty and Education

Talk description

Based on action-research carried out with pupils, parents and school staff through Child Poverty Action Group and Children North East’s UK Cost of the School Day project, this session will explore how schools can change policies and practices to be more inclusive for those experiencing poverty.

About Kate

Kate is the Project Lead for CPAG’s UK Cost of the School Day project. This project puts children in the lead of ‘poverty proofing’ their schools and seeks to identify and address financial barriers to education. Kate has spent the last three years at CPAG working across the UK to understand how poverty affects participation in education, and what can be done about it.


Ready for School – Reducing barriers to learning in a time of social adversity

Talk description

Every child, and every family, is located in a human ecological system: Family and friends, community services, organisations and networks, wider society. The session looks at the neuroscience of stress and trauma and focuses on the power of connection to counterbalance adversity.

About Kate

Kate has been a social worker for fifty years, and a trainer for thirty years. Over the past decade, Kate has concentrated on translating the insights of current neuroscientific research on brain development and function into accessible knowledge and practice skills for carers and practitioners working with children and young people, and for those who support them.


Introducing the Sustainability Compass

Talk description

In this workshop we will discuss sustainability and how the Sustainability Compass, a simple systems thinking tool, can support us to embrace complexity and have conversations across the whole community about shaping a better world. The Compass is a powerful and versatile thinking tool which emphasises interconnectivity and supports us to think critically and deeply about any topic.

About Kath

Kath Lane is an educator with over twenty years experience working in the UK and internationally. She worked at Green School (Bali) and for United World College of South East Asia. She has a Masters in Educating for Sustainability from Antioch University, and has been working with Compass Education for several years facilitating face-to-face and online courses and workshops.


Walking on the Moon

Talk description

With an extraordinary soundscape of beats, Lox (10) and Kath will explore how self directed projects explode from small sparks of inspiration – and we have lots of sparks in this workshop! Taking the example of moonwalking, Lox will challenge your brain and body to deeply connect and ignite your inner dancer.

About Kath & Lox 

Lox is ten and a self-directed home-educated drummer/dancer/surfer/skater/designer/contributor to Rethinking Education podcasts and campfire conversations. Kath is a home-educating mum of four young boys and the founder of Soweni, a self-directed learning community in Cornwall. She also has an MSc in Anthropology of Learning & Cognition and is a qualified teacher.


Parent Power: Empowering parents to create educational change

Talk description

Parent Power is a programme that trains and supports parents to campaign on issues of educational inequality impacting their local community. In this session we will be hearing directly from participating parents, as well as looking to the evidence to understand the wider impact on parents, children and local communities.

About Katie

Dr Katie Jones is the Research and Evaluation Manager at The Brilliant Club, a national charity that supports less advantaged students to access the most competitive universities, and to succeed when they get there. Katie will be joined by Parent Power leaders from across the UK.


Little things parents can do that make a BIG difference

Talk description

Children spend only 20% of their time at school. The role of parents at home is massively influential in raising confident, thoughtful and well-rounded children. This workshop will show how Little conversations at home can make a Big difference to life outcomes. Bring your speaking voices to practice in small groups!

About Kavin 

Kavin Wadhar is a dad of two kids and founder of KidCoach – helping families have quick, fun and thought-provoking discussions at home. Through the questions and frameworks in his app, his flashcards, his podcast (and soon to be released) his book – Kavin has been working with thousands of families to get their kids talking and thinking in fast and fun ways.


Preparing learning heroes

Talk description

The session will start by making the case for the Learning Hero. The concept of a learning hero is one I have adapted for learning from Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. Like Campbell’s hero, our Learning Hero sets off on a challenge using what they already know to take on a quest from which they will return with new knowledge and understanding.

About Kevin

Kevin Hewitson is a teacher, consultant, author and speaker with regional, national and international experience. THroughout his career, he has maintained a desire to understand ‘Why?’ when it comes to teaching and learning. He is recognised for being able to take concepts and ideas and match the language to the needs of learners, teachers and leaders.


The pro’s and (a few honest cons) of EOTAS (Education Other Than At School)

Talk description

What is EOTAS?
Who benefits from EOTAS programmes?
What would an EOTAS programme look like?
Why is EOTAS so beneficial for neurodivergent children?
What are some of the challenges of EOTAS?

This session would be beneficial for parents and educational professionals alike.

About Laura 

Laura Kerbey is the founder of Positive Autism Support and Training (PAST) and KITE Therapeutic Learning. She has been working with autistic children and young people for over 20 years. Laura works as an Educational Consultant working with schools, colleges and universities.


What you told us: Children and young peoples’ experiences of life and learning during Covid-19

Talk description

In this session, we will share the findings of a research project exploring the experiences of children and young people during the Covid-19 pandemic. As well as sharing the themes which emerged from the research, we will outline how we used psychological theories to understand what the children and young people shared with us. We will also share the questions we generated about how to guide positive change and innovation in education.

About Lauren

We are a group of Educational Psychologists who are passionate about hearing and sharing the views of children and young people. During the pandemic, our research explored the experiences of children and young people, and the impact of Covid-19 on their lives and learning. We collaborated with Educational Psychologists across the country, gathering over 7,900 responses and forming the Pupil Views Collaborative Group. We are: Dr Maddi Popoola; Dr Sarah Sivers; Dr Sarah Wendland; Dr Lauren Baggley. On behalf of the Pupil Views Collaborative Group.


The Black Curriculum and black history in society

Talk description

We will look at Black history in society with a focus on:

  • Societal and structural change
  • The Black Curriculum’s relevance to wider sectors – TBH365
  • The impact and change that learning Black history provides in:
    • Schools
    • Education sector
    • Country
    • Global ‘North’
    • Global ‘South’

About Lavinya

Lavinya is a writer, activist, and Founder and CEO of The Black Curriculum. She is currently writing her first book, ‘Omitted’ due to be published in March 2023 by 4th Estate. Lavinya was recently named as one of the Sunday Times 50 Women of the Year and was awarded Trailblazer of The Year by Hello Magazine, as well as featuring in Vogue, and GQ for her activism.


The fresh face of an age-old educational philosophy

Talk description

Charlotte Mason was a revolutionary British educationalist in the late 19th century, who stood on the shoulders of giants and pioneered a new way for children to learn. The early 1980s saw a resurgence of her work within the American homeschooling movement, and this has since spread all around the world. In this session, we will explore what makes Mason’s philosophy a stand-out movement that is still relevant today, as well as offering tools to implement her methods in the classroom or at home.

About Leah

Leah Boden is long-time home educator of her four children. With a background in youth and children’s work for the LEA as well as various charities, she has taken to the page and the stage in recent years with her knowledge and passion to weave Charlotte Mason’s educational wisdom into the 21st century home. Leah writes, speaks, podcasts, hosts coaching sessions, and runs workshops sharing the beauty of a Charlotte Mason approach to childhood, motherhood, and education. She is the author of the upcoming book Modern Miss Mason, launching January 2023 with Tyndale Momentum.


An Introduction to Let’s Think in English: A cognitive acceleration programme

Talk description

Let’s Think in English (LTE) is a teaching programme for ages 5-16 which helps young people develop the reasoning skills needed for success in English and more widely in education and life. LTE is based on 30 years’ research at King’s College London which shows that structured development of pupils’ cognitive skills raises their attainment, agency and self efficacy. Leah Crawford and Michael Walsh will introduce the theory behind LTE and will share the impact of the programme on teachers’ and students’ enjoyment, confidence and skills.

About Michael & Leah 

Michael is the lead tutor for Let’s Think in English and a Trustee of the Let’s Think Forum. Michael created and co-developed the Let’s Think in English programme with Laurie Smith. Leah has worked with the Let’s Think in English team since 2013. As an LA Inspector/adviser, she worked on Secondary and Primary pilot courses in Hampshire and has since built a thriving LTE network across the county.


Inspecting the microcosm to inform the macrocosm: reflections and observations of young people in the education system

Talk description

The education space is a microcosm of wider culture. It is the arena in which cultural ideas and ideals become internalised within a young person’s framing of the world. This presentation explores observations from working in secondary and higher education, and how these observations can be utilised to inform a richer, more representative learning experience for all young people.

About Lewis

Lewis Wedlock is an activist, academic and social psychologist. His work centres around exploring and challenging structures that limit pathways to expressing magnificence. He is currently one of the UK’s youngest lecturers and has recently delivered a TEDx talk on masculinity.


Non-formal approaches to education: Exploring Inclusion, diversity and equality

Talk description

Sharing our experiences working in Lewisham schools exploring inclusion, diversity and equality. The aim has been for young people to make sense of their individual and collective past and present through understanding their identity, how they relate to others and others relate to them, through dialogue.

About Lewisham Young Mayor Team 

Young Mayor Team:
Nick - Intercultural dialogue trainer, 20 years working across International projects and in Lewisham
Katy - youth worker working in and youth democracy and non formal learning in Lewisham
Jacob - former Young Mayor and youth worker engaging young people in critical dialogue, citizenship and politics.


Why teaching about the early years is relevant for all schools

Talk description

Science shows us that the first years of life have a lasting impact on long-term learning, health, and wellbeing. So why don't we teach the knowledge and skills that could help promote healthy brain development in the early years? This session will describe the SEEN programme, designed to support schools in making this change.

About Louise

Louise has a background in education, policy, research, and public engagement. She worked for 15 years as a science teacher, and PSHE and wellbeing lead. Prompted by her own child struggling in school, Louise moved to education research and engagement at the University of Oxford, working on mindfulness, mental health, early neurodevelopment, and clinical neurosciences. Louise believes all young people should learn about the brain and its link to health and wellbeing.


Reflections on two years of running a non-fee-paying democratic school

Talk description

Setting up a brand new non-fee-paying democratic school… Without statutory funding… With a collaborative decision-making structure and a team who had never met each other… In the middle of a pandemic… With one year to get through OFSTED… is possibly the definition of madness. Nearly two years down the line we’ll give you a little insight into our journey; the highs, lows and grey hairs. The bits we got right, the bits we didn’t, and the endless questions that we’re still figuring out.

About Lucy & Tom 

Lucy is the Founder and Director of The New School, a non-fee-paying democratic school in Upper Norwood, South London. Lucy has spent a number of years researching what a school model of education could look like when it is structured in a way that values relationships, equity and inclusion. Tom is a Class 3 (ages 9-12) teacher at The New School. After working outside of education for a year he joined the team setting up The New School and has been there since it opened its doors in September 2020.


The Parent Knack

Talk description

Parents are traditionally eyed with suspicion by the English teaching profession - but it's missing a trick. When you get it right, parents can build your school roll and massively improve the wellbeing and learning of all students. The session will look at groundbreaking ways in which parents can help schools, with reference to the pioneering Meet the Parents project founded by the speaker.

About Madeleine

Madeleine Holt wears many educational hats. As a former Newsnight correspondent, she identified an information gap: prospective parents were relying on out-of-date playground gossip and needed to hear it from current parents and students instead. She set up Meet the Parents in North London a decade ago in response to seeing some parents automatically assume the local schools were no good. Madeleine was also the producer and narrator of the recent documentary ‘Above All, Compassion’ about XP School in Doncaster.


Engaging and scalable climate education must be at the forefront of climate adaptation and resilience

Talk description

Only when everyone understands the true scale of the climate emergency will we be able to act at the scale necessary. In this session, I will be talking about the role of climate education in pushing the world into a green transition. I will present the fantastic climate education tool that is the Climate Fresk - a scientific, collaborative and creative workshop designed to raise awareness and educate in a fun way about climate change.

About Maë

Maë is a climate change advocate and co-founder of the UK Branch of The Climate Fresk. She also works as a climate education expert at Kite Insights where she contributes to building the Climate School. Recognised for her ability to make change possible. She was awarded with one of the UK's highest Youth Awards for her Outstanding Commitment to Sustainability at UCL.


Should students see each other's work? Rethinking feedback in the classroom

Talk description

In classrooms around the world, students continue to sit in rows and work independently, but that's certainly not what work looks like today. How can we possibly prepare students for tomorrow, using pedagogies from the past? What if instead, using digital technology, schools could harness new methods that maximise engagement, metacognition, collaboration and feedback, to accelerate student learning and bypass the flaws of the old system?

About Mandala

Mandala Barab graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a dual BA in philosophy and humanities, then hopped to New York City where he joined the NYC Teaching Fellows Program. Now, as a mature teacher, he is rethinking some of the implicit assumptions in education, and innovating new methods inspired by systems-thinking, neuroscience, data science, and machine learning.


Unravelling the fear reflex and how it hinders learning: Introducing the Alexander Technique

Talk description

Alexander Technique introductory workshop. A practical session with body mapping, games and discussions about how we perceive thinking and how it relates to our bodies. The Alexander Technique is a technique about 'how to do what we do', so essentially it is about movement, perception and learning.

About Maria

Maria Gorska-Saj is a musician, a choral conductor and an Alexander Technique teacher. She works with The Avon and Somerset Constabulary Male Voice Choir and the Fairford Choral Society. After obtaining two MA's in Poland and Wales in choral conducting, she became a certified Alexander Technique practitioner in Bristol. She works with children, adults and elderly people and helps them learn music and re-learn movement in a most effective and pain-free way.


Blueprint for All: Advocating diversity

Talk description

Blueprint for All rethinks education through careers programmes; we believe talent is everywhere, however opportunities are not, and we can change the outcome for many. We want our free programmes to provide people of diverse ethnic heritage(s) and/or from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds with skills and knowledge to build their aspirations.

About Maria

Maria-Faith Mendoza (Maria) is an outreach and educational specialist, who restructures old approaches of education to be more inclusive, diversified and create equity. With an MRes in Sociology, Maria uses new cultural-sociological approaches to find solutions for those who are from low socio-economic backgrounds, to empower change and strive towards a future that values talent and harbours it.


Working smarter, not harder in primary education

Talk description

In this session, I will work through a range of daily issues that can be rethought, remodelled and recreated to save teachers time, effort and energy and yet still maintain standards and meet all statutory and external pressures we all face. Everything that I will share will be based on real, lived, daily experiences from my own classroom. Overall, my session will be one where we all remind ourselves that life in school should (and can) be fun, if we allow ourselves a bit of time - just 40 minutes - to stop, think, reflect and then be spurred into action.

About Mark

Mark has been teaching for 26 years, in both the secondary and primary sectors, including numerous leadership roles, and has taught in both state and independent institutions. As an Independent Thinking Associate for 9 years, Mark has worked with thousands of staff to reimagine how education can be delivered, based on his personal mantra, 'If it's not good enough for my daughter, it's not good enough for anyone else's child.'


Don’t judge a book by its cover

Talk description

Making School Work -

In this session, Mark will share five approaches to teaching and learning and behaviour management that any teacher can use to engage disconnected young people, known as the 5 B's: Be There; Be You; Be Better; Bend It; Badge Less. He will draw on individual case studies, including the voices of young people, and a wide experience of school behaviour policy and current research and recommendations to deliver an engaging and practical training session.

About Mark

Mark is a teacher, school leader and coach of 23 years. He has spent the last four years delivering a turn-around tutoring programme to permanently excluded students across the West Midlands, as well as working with schools and universities to train staff at all stages of their careers.


Perspectivism and curriculum: Why one viewpoint is never enough

Talk description

Curriculum design can close down debate or enable multiple conversations to take place; this talk will examine the possibilities that a knowledge-rich curriculum can open up for pupils as they get to grips with their own viewpoints on the world.

About Martin

Author: Trivium 21c: Preparing young people for the future with lessons from the past; Trivium in Practice; Curriculum: Athena versus the machine; Curriculum Revolutions: A practical guide to enhancing what you teach. Education Consultant. Teacher.


The New Creatives: Amplifying the voices of young people through the Arts

Talk description

New Creatives is a programme for 16-21 year olds who have an interest in the Arts but may not have a clear idea of what paths to take. Some of our young people have not had the best experience within the education system. Such difficulties were compounded during COVID/lockdowns when many of them had left school. In this session, Mr Gee will lead a gathering of thought where past experiences are expressed and future solutions sought after.

About Mr Gee and the New Creatives 

Mr Gee is a performance poet, and the lead artist for an educational programme for young people called ‘New Creatives’. It is based at Rich Mix Arts Centre in Shoreditch and is supported by the Mayor’s Young Londoners Fund, Backstage Trust, Margaret Killbery Foundation and The Allan Trust.


Transforming education into a space of social justice and human liberation

Talk description

In this session I will share how the 3 Ms (metacognition, moral purpose, malleable intelligence) frame and drive our approach to disrupting, interrupting and transforming entrenched trajectories for marginalised groups of pupils.

About Naheeda

Naheeda Maharasingam is the headteacher of Rathfern Primary School in Lewisham. She is a Local Leader of Education (LLE), an Evidence Lead in Education (ELE), a Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching (FCCT) and the Leader of Rathfern Teacher Research Network. She is also the steering group lead for the Embedding Race Equality work across all Lewisham schools.


Education for interthinking: How talk helps us create a ‘hive mind’

Talk description

Much of the education system is focused on the learning of individuals. However, recent research now supports the view that the essence of human intelligence is collective. Human beings have a unique ability to think together - to interthink to get things done. However, this needs to be developed through educational support. In this session, I will explain how and why school-based education should enable young people to work effectively with others to solve problems and get things done.

About Neil

Neil Mercer is Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge and Director of Oracy Cambridge: the Centre for Effective Spoken Communication, at the Cambridge college Hughes Hall. He is a psychologist whose research has focused on the development of children's spoken language and reasoning abilities, and the role of teachers in developing these skills.


A freak accident: Homeschooling as a path toward empowerment

Talk description

In 2013, my son (then 8 years old) had an accident resulting in a brain injury. After a stilted return to school, he had a psychological breakdown. My pleas for help during this incredibly difficult time went unheard. Devastated, angry and overwhelmed, I removed my son in September 2014 and home educated him for the next 7 years. This was a painful but ultimately positive and successful endeavour. I will discuss how it is important to trust the child, to lower stress and demands to a level the child can cope with, to tune into your own intuition, and to be careful who you listen to.

About Nicola

Nicola Leyland is an autonomous home-educating mum of two, dealing with the aftermath of a brain injury and the journey towards empowerment.


Voices from the ecosystem: Exploring what happens when we really listen to one another

Talk description

In this session, Max and Nikki from The Visionaries will host a talking circle of diverse voices from within the educational ecosystem. We'll learn from one another and collectively explore what is at the heart of the future of education. Like nature, we can grow through embracing and intentionally leaning into our diversity…

About Max & Nikki

Max Girardeau and Nikki Levitan co-founded The Visionaries out of their passion for and commitment to support young people and those working with young people to discover their visionary potential, empowering them to play their part in building a healthier, more just future. They guide transformative, nature-based programmes that help individuals discover their innate gifts, take ownership of their lives and lead the change they wish to see in the world.


Pride, Belonging and Accountability

Talk description

Creating an organisational culture where a group of people can collaborate, grow, learn and succeed is dependent upon how everyone feels about that culture. Pride and connection are the strong drivers that will cement the difference between a successful culture and one that fails to bring about the change we need to see.

About Ollie

Ollie is a teacher, trainer, facilitator and performer. Following his degree at St Mary's University, Ollie taught Drama in secondary schools as well as co-founding the street theatre company Absolute Characters. Ollie then set up an education company delivering inspiring and motivational workshops for young people.


Design Thinking: The 21st century pedagogy

Talk description

Our current education system is not providing students with the learning environment they need. But we can adopt a new approach to learning and teaching, which provides our children with what they need to become well-rounded, resilient, successful, and innovative people. Join this session to learn about Design Thinking - a transformational pedagogy for developing confident, successful, well-rounded people.

About Ortal

Ortal is a passionate educator that empowers teachers and parents to create tomorrow's innovators. She started her career as a computer scientist and worked for top global hi-tech companies such as IBM. Working at the forefront of this cutting-edge industry helped her understand the impact of technology on the future of work. Ortal saw the gap we have in education and the way to bridge it.


Building your career in education

Talk description

This workshop will help participants to reflect on the four elements of career development in education:

1) Principles on which balanced career development can be based: fulfillment, longevity and well-being;
2) A sound strategy for breadth and depth;
3) Wise tactics when deciding when to move and which role to aim for; and
4) 'Bringing a good game' on interview day with its twists and turns and ongoing draw upon your stamina.

About Paul

Paul Hammond is Secondary School Improvement Advisor at the Barking and Dagenham School Improvement Project. He is also an associate for 20 schools in the Eastern region on behalf of PiXL, the national collaborative that provides support for schools around assessment, curriculum, and leadership.


Facing the future: Embracing blended and hybrid learning

Talk description

This session will be a chance to consider a future world where online and face-to-face education are more hybrid and blended - where technology allows more personalised and bespoke access to "learning pathways". It would look at solutions that are rooted in pedagogic not technological solutions. Technology is not going away and the young people we are engaging in learning are technologically aware and expectant - these are things to be embraced and shaped not ignored.

About Paul

Paul Hopkins is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Hull having worked in the primary, secondary, inspection, advisory and HE sectors both in the UK and internationally. His main areas of interest are technology enhanced learning and epistemic enquiry.


Dropping a virus into the system: Triggering change from within education

Talk description

COVID-19 has shown that the biggest changes come from the smallest things. In this session, we will explore how enabling tiny changes in how schools work is delivering seismic shifts in what's possible, from homogenisation to personalisation. This session will explore real change driven by outliers.

About Paul

Paul Rose is a proud father and lucky husband. Paul's career has been largely unplanned. He fell into education by accident; his then girlfriend (now wife) was training to teach and nudged Paul out of the bingo hall and into the classroom. Seven years after starting teaching, Paul became a headteacher.


How to embed sustainability across the whole curriculum

Talk description

This session will explore the ‘Ministry of Eco Education’ curriculum which brings together the best resources from more than 160 charities and organisations into one free and cohesive curriculum. The curriculum provides every child with the climate and nature education young people need.

About Paul

Paul Turner is a radical geographer and teacher as well as social and environmental activist. Paul helped set up the 'Radical School Geography' group and 'Teachers For Climate Action' who organise online events to bring together educators and encourage them to engage their students more critically with the world around them.


Spaces of Possibility

Talk description

House of Imagination offers an alternative, creative approach to learning and researching experimental sites for pedagogical innovation. We engage artists, researchers and educators in creative and reflective practice that places creativity, compassion and wellbeing at the heart of a future pedagogy - prioritising freedom, agency, creativity and imagination. This session will explore a re-imagined educational alternative for more hopeful and creative futures.

About Penny

Dr. Penny Hay is an artist, educator and researcher, Reader in Creative Teaching and Learning, Senior Lecturer in Arts Education, School of Education; Research Fellow, Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries; Bath Spa University and Director of Research, House of Imagination. Signature projects include School Without Walls and Forest of Imagination.


Governance by enquiry

Talk description

School governance is complex and ever-changing. Governors often find themselves struggling to understand how they can be strategic, have an impact on the school and steer clear of operational mission-creep. Here is a way to organise your governance that will maintain interest and impact, and will ensure that governance is dynamic during meetings. Attendees will learn about the concept of governance by enquiry, will consider the structures and routines of their own governing board, and will explore how they might initiate their board's first governance enquiry.

About Penny

Penny Rabiger is a long-serving governor and trustee. She was a teacher in democratic and alternative schooling for over ten years in Jerusalem and returned to the UK in 2007 to join The Key for School Leaders where she was Director of Business Development. She has since worked with education organisations on their journeys from start-up to grown-up including Challenge Partners, Lyfta and Tranquiliti.


Play workshop: Unleash your creative self and make yourself heard…

Talk description

In this hands-on workshop, we will present the collaborative work between professional creatives and children aged 10-14 in the Hackney Young Voices project and invite some of them to share their experience and support the workshop as mentors! We will explore together what creativity really means, what creativity is in each of us as we create a giant banner to represent ourselves as a group through words, drawing and collage. Facilitated by Katherine Mengardon.

About Playspace

Katherine Mengardon is the parent of two children with ADHD, but also an education specialist developing resources, books and programmes for schools and families. She is the founder of PlaySpace, a consultancy providing play-based creative expertise. She was Chief Educator at and has written several children’s books for HarperCollins.


Let's talk about oracy

Talk description

This session will explore the benefits of a high-quality oracy education and discuss research, real life experiences and practical strategies from classrooms up and down the country and practitioners that are embracing the benefits of teaching oracy explicitly to their students.

About Rachel

As a former teacher and middle leader in Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH), Alternative Provision and mainstream schools; Rachel Ratcliffe has seen first-hand the benefits of explicitly teaching students the skills to effectively communicate and the nuances within that communication. In SEMH alternative education, Rachel truly saw the benefits of active listening - and being able to say what you really mean - on young people’s mental health and wellbeing.


Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in schools: An authentic approach

Talk description

The session will describe the phases that the London Screen Academy went through during an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) reboot. EDI is a part of the School Development Plan and it is entwined in the school's ambitious mission and vision. The key for the group who lead this area, The Ethnicity Inclusion Committee (EIC), is to ensure that they don't move too fast for purpose, or indulge in tokenistic activities for the wider school community. The EIC works with students, staff and industry to influence curriculum, policy and community life.

About Rafael

Rafael Alleyne is an Assistant Principal responsible for pastoral care, inclusion and personal development. Sakhile Shann is the Industry Curriculum Leader, bringing a wealth of knowledge to LSA after her time in the film industry. Maya Allen is the Philanthropy Manager, working with funders and students.


The importance of vocational subjects

Talk description

Many young people nowadays who are less academic are getting forced to sit exams and end up failing. The harsh truth is that it’s the government’s fault for building an education system that only caters for people who are 'smart' in school, and is rooted in classism and discrimination. In this session, we will share our own research and personal lived experience to discuss the importance of vocational subjects as a way to enable all young people to succeed.

About Rebecca, Amaan & Fayiza

Rebecca Russon is a 15-year-old student from one of the most economically subjugated areas in Sheffield, where she lives and represents nationally with the Youth Parliament as a Youth MP for Sheffield. This talk will feature two additional speakers: Amaan Saqlain, Youth MP for Rotherham (aged 17) and Fayiza Islam, Youth MP for North Lincs (aged 16).


Engage your learning voices - light up the dark!

Talk description

Join Steve Saville and Rebecca Thomas from New Zealand, as they lead you into a world of possibility that can enable you to respond to your community's needs using the power of narrative pedagogy, humour and fun.

About Rebecca & Steve 

Steve and Rebecca have been passionate educators within UK and NZ systems and enjoy sharing their 'kete' (basket of knowledge) with others. Steve was foundational principal at Rolleston College in the aftermath of the Christchurch Earthquakes. Rebecca has worked passionately in the recovery and wellbeing space and enjoyed walking alongside inspirational leaders like Dame Alison Peacock.


Rethinking Education in Wales

Talk description

An overview of the overhaul of the national curriculum in Wales which will begin in September 2022 and has stemmed from years of planning and preparation. Can the promise of a school-based, bespoke curriculum focusing on Knowledge, Skills and Experiences come to fruition and really impact the way we teach our young people in mainstream education? Or will the reality fall short?

About Rebekah

Rebekah Bawler is a teacher and leader in a South Wales comprehensive school, with almost 20 years experience in a range of subjects and leadership roles. Over the past few years she has supported teachers and leaders from many schools with their own digital development through face to face sessions, conferences, teachmeets and articles.


The tools to diversity in your school

Talk description

How to take steps towards becoming a truly diverse and inclusive school - both short term and long term. In this session, I will help people understand what diversity is and what it looks like in practice. We will use a case study of a real school to understand what to do - and what not to do.

About Rhia

Rhia is a Teacher of Sociology and Criminology at a school in London and Head of Year 12. She has a background in Youth Work and has a great deal of experience working with children. Black Teachers Connect was established in 2018 as a result of Rhia’s experience when applying to train to teach.


Future Makers: A whole-school approach to creativity

Talk description

Our future society and economy will depend on creative individuals if it is to thrive. Rob Watt, Artistic Director and Monay Thomas, Creative Associate of Theatre Centre will talk about Future Makers, a programme liberating how young people, teachers and artists think and work together to embed critical and creative thinking.

About Rob & Monay

Rob Watt is a critically acclaimed director and facilitator. He's currently the Artistic Director of Theatre Centre and regularly teaches at Central School of Speech and Drama. He is also the chair of SAVVY Theatre and an Associate Governor at Addey and Stanhope. Monay Thomas is an actor, writer, and theatre-maker from Southeast London. She is an Associate Artist at Sounds Like Chaos Theatre Company and a member of the National Youth Theatre.


The new normal? Online schools: A permanent and powerful schooling alternative

Talk description

Everyone experienced online learning during the pandemic. Whilst some have enjoyed a return to physical classrooms, for others the disruptions and distractions within 'bricks and mortar' schools have reversed their progress. What role do online schools now have? And could they play an important part in tackling the challenges facing the traditional education system?

About Robert

Rob Leitch is an adoptive father to four children, and Executive Headteacher of My Online Schooling, having previous served as a Headteacher and senior leader across a range of mainstream school contexts in the UK. Rob is also a Multi-Academy Trustee, a former Chair of Governors and previously served as a local authority Cabinet Member for Education.


Connecting across division: young people reflecting on a state-private school exchange

Talk description

In this youth-led session, students from both state and private schools will introduce the new Roots Futures Programme, share their experiences of connecting across the divide and run a short workshop to share their vision of a bigger story to which we all belong.

About Roots Futures

Roots are based and work across Britain as a small team made up of ex-teachers and social change-makers. The Root Collective is a growing group of young people, from across the country, who have met and engaged with us and one another through our exchange programmes.


The individual and societal benefits of a diverse academic curriculum

Talk description

We are driven by the belief that a diverse education for all children can help to challenge damaging prejudices and stereotypes, benefiting our pupils and our whole society both academically and pastorally. Providing every student with a diverse and academically rigorous education is possible if schools have the right guidance. In this practical workshop, we will support participants in beginning the process of creating and teaching an academic and diverse curriculum. This will include strategies for differentiating complex academic texts for pupils of all abilities and needs.

About Rosa & Wendy 

Diverse History UK is an LGBTQ+ and female-owned business. We provide consultancy and resources to help schools diversify their curriculum. We know from experience that it is possible to include a truly diverse curriculum which explores lesser-told narratives from around the globe, all within the constraints of the National Curriculum and government impartiality guidance. Diverse History UK wants to help schools move away from single story narratives and towards teaching more inclusive and honest global histories.


Da Vinci Life-Skills: A biophilic education movement

Talk description

Together, Rosina Dorelli, Zach Reznichek and Farhaan Mir, have built the Da Vinci Life-Skills curriculum and assessment model, supported by young people, teachers and academics. It is a vision for the future of education, a new model in which a polymath like Leonardo Da Vinci could flourish. Da Vincian Learners are insatiably curious, take risks and learn through all their senses and from their mistakes. They appreciate the interconnectedness of all things and nurture their intuition, creativity, relationships and practical abilities as well as their academic critical thinking skills.

About Rosina

Rosina Dorelli is the Co-Founder and Director of Da Vinci Life-Skills. She has a background in furniture design, portraiture painting and 20 years experience in teaching creative expression, art and design technology to learners of all ages in schools, colleges and beyond. She has dedicated her life to making education more creative, inclusive, ethical and sustainable.


Shaping values-led school improvement with the Index for Inclusion

Talk description

The Index for Inclusion is a book, a CPD programme and a philosophy of school improvement. Written by Prof Tony Booth, drawing on 40 years' experience working with thousands of schools around the world, it starts with the question, 'how should we live together?' and then sets out a framework of inclusive values that helps education institutions and their communities shape a humane and intelligent response. After a brief introduction, workshop participants will work in groups with the Index to choose and explore a shared improvement priority.

About Rupert & Serena

Rupert is Associate Professor at the UCL Centre for Educational Leadership. His educational practice and research has three themes: values-led school improvement; improving the quality of educational dialogue; developing responsible leadership and democratic practice. Together, these address his core question: "How do we challenge and support young people to act in accordance with their values?" Serena is a foster carer and therapeutic tutor, supporting children in schools and at home to overcome challenges posed by the school environment and being human. She retired from headship in 2021 to begin fostering and to complete her postgraduate studies in psychology with Glasgow University.


Best for the World

Talk description

We are an Indonesian school based in Jakarta with an international curriculum. This video session will explore and share some of our practices. Beginning with our innovative middle school studio programme, our student representatives will guide you through aspects of our middle school and high school programs, interspersed with interview clips of teachers commenting on their practice.

About Ryan Campbell and the Komodo Dragons

The Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS) was established in 1951 to cater to the children of a growing expatriate community in Indonesia's capital. Over the decades, our own diverse community of students, staff and faculty members from across the globe - the mighty Komodo Dragons - grew to take up three expansive campuses equipped with innovative learning facilities.


What's the point of school?

Talk description

We hear so much about school from the perspective of adults - teachers, parents, politicians. But what do children think about school? And what role will it really play for them - not just on paper, but in the fabric of their lives? This will be a report from the half-way point of a project (to be published by Penguin /Bodley Head in 2024) that has involved me visiting schools around the country and talking to kids, parents and experts about the real function of school in British society.

About Sammy

Sammy Wright is a Deputy Head of a Secondary in Sunderland, author of the prize-winning novel Fit, and ex-member of the Social Mobility Commission.


Making every voice heard through oracy


Talk description

The session will seek to draw attention to the need for all stakeholders in education to be able to understand and appreciate the significance of oracy (speaking and listening) skills in preparing our young people for life outside of the classroom.

About Sarah

Sarah Davies is the author of Talking about Oracy which focuses on the development of effective communication beyond the parameters of the classroom. She is currently an Assistant Head Teacher at a secondary academy in the north-west of England.


Head, heart and hands: A different kind of curriculum vision

Talk description

School 360 is a brand new primary school in Stratford, London, under the Big Education umbrella. This session explores our curriculum journey so far, its successes and challenges, and reflections on our future direction.

About Sarah & Andi

Sarah Seleznyov and Andi Silvain are Co-headteachers at School 360. Andi was formerly Deputy Head of the Middle School at School 21, London. Andi is an advocate of the arts and prior to teaching, she worked in television and theatre. Sarah formerly led the London South Teaching School Hub, based in Southwark. She has also worked in school improvement, for the National Literacy Trust and at UCL Institute of Education. She is studying for a PhD at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.


Education: The centrality of well-being

Talk description

My session seeks to reconnect the aim(s) of education with the intrinsic value of human well-being. It proposes to understand well-being as a holistic notion, and suggests that such an understanding is a key to guiding the ways we go about curriculum, pedagogy and educational evaluation, as well as how we co-create schools as learning communities.

About Scherto

Scherto is a Research Professor and Director of Global Humanity for Peace Institute, University of Wales Trinity Saint David. She also coordinates the UNESCO Collective Healing, Social Justice and Global Well-Being Initiative and chairs the G20 Interfaith Forum's Education Working Group. She is a Senior Fellow at the Guerrand-Hermes Foundation for Peace, and a Life Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (FRSA).


If you can't see it, you can't be it! The importance of diverse role models in developing character

Talk description

This session will explore why diverse role models are so important in shaping the people we are, what we achieve and how this can in turn positively impact our mental wellbeing and the communities we are part of. Discover how we can harness the power of storytelling about amazing people, past and present, to support character development at home and in school.

About Selena

Selena Whitehead has 25 years' experience in education, starting as secondary school coordinator in Hong Kong for a Vietnamese boat people school. She then worked for Save the Children in Cambodia, compiling a record of child-based services after the Khmer Rouge era.


The power of diverse human stories to support human flourishing

Talk description

In this session we will explore how immersive human stories from around the world provide a powerful and captivating way for students to experience new contexts and narratives, and offer educators a compelling way to nurture character education and deliver impactful social and emotional learning.

About Serdar

Serdar Ferit is an optimistic, creative and resilient leader and the co-founder of Lyfta. He is a former teacher and film-maker who, along with his colleagues, is working to support teachers to nurture empathy, global citizenship and cultural capital through powerful, immersive stories.


Using a coaching approach to support staff and student wellbeing

Talk description

This session will take attendees through how a coaching approach can support both staff and student wellbeing. Having worked with many schools, this session will draw on real examples of what we've seen work with schools across London and the South East. Our approach is rooted in research and backed by evidence which supports the impact of coaching.

About Sophie

Sophie Bartlett runs award-winning charity Yes Futures. Having run programmes supporting wellbeing and personal development in many schools, Sophie brings experience from across the education sector. Sophie has real energy and passion for prioritising soft skills and wellbeing in schools, recently winning the Fair Education Alliance's Intrapreneurship Award.


What is Consent-Based Education and should it be on your radar?

Talk description

Schools historically and today depend on a culture of coercion and control in order to function, but is that the only culture, or even an ethical culture for young people to live and learn in? In this session, Sophie Christophy will share about the transformative theory and practice of consent-based education.Find out what consent-based education is, how it makes the world of difference to the experience of learning and education, and what you can do to help make your setting and practice more consent-based.

About Sophie

Sophie Christophy is an education activist and innovator, and co-founder and co-lead facilitator of two education settings based on principles of consent, self-direction, and education positivity. You can find out more about her work here:, and the settings that she co-runs here:


Doing the right thing in a flawed system: What does integrity mean to us?

Talk description

We all want to treat the children in our lives with respect, humanity and love, yet we often find ourselves falling short. In a society that expects us to suppress young people's thoughts and feelings for the greater good, how can we preserve our integrity and follow our own compass? Working in small groups, participants will share their experiences and attempt to answer the question: how can we model integrity to the young people in our lives?

About Stan & May

Stan Pinsent is a teacher at School 21 in London. He is interested in how we can take the drudgery out of childhood and empower young people to become authors of their own lives. May Ling Thomas is a transformative coach and home-educator. She wants to bring the joy back to parenthood and is interested in helping everyone become more heart-led in their relationships with young people.


Schools need to be creating the healthy consumers and sustainable food producers of the future

Talk description

Stephanie Slater, CEO of School Food Matters, draws on 15 years of experience of running fully-funded food education projects in schools to underline the importance of the next generation's understanding of and engagement with food, both to maximise their learning potential at school (both malnutrition and bad nutrition impact directly on attention and learning potential), and to ensure as a society we understand where food comes from, why we need sustainability, how to cook and how to make healthy choices.

About Stephanie

Stephanie Slater is Founder and Chief Executive at School Food Matters. What started as a grassroots campaign to improve food served in her children’s primary school soon grew and came to the attention of policy-makers. In 2012 she was invited to join the School Food Plan's panel, tasked by the DfE to create an action plan to help head teachers improve school food. She now leads the School Food Review, calling on government for funding and policy reforms so that no child misses out on good nutrition at school.


Critical Thinking: Why is it so difficult to teach… and what can we do about it?

Talk description

Starting with a discussion of key issues and beliefs in the critical thinking education debate and highlighting the relevance of critical thinking to life after school, Stephen will share real life examples of how teachers in primary and secondary schools have tried to encourage students to think more critically in their classrooms.

About Stephen

After a short career in advertising, Stephen qualified as a secondary school teacher in 2000 and taught Geography and Business Studies in three secondary schools in Essex between 2000-2010. During that time he also completed his Educational Leadership MA. He then spent a few years as a consultant before taking up a Headteacher post in a football academy in Sierra Leone. He is currently Senior Tutor and Director of SCITTS & International Programmes at The University of Buckingham.


Life at the sharp end of government policy: Reflections on 17 years of headship

Talk description

My session will focus on three main areas: academisation; high stakes accountability and league tables; and the impact of Ofsted and the constantly changing inspection framework. I will draw on my personal experiences of these policies and how they have affected school leaders and school communities. I will share my thoughts on alternative ways we could develop education policy for our children and young people.

About Stuart

Stuart was a Headteacher for 17 years from 2003 to 2020, serving four different schools in two different local authorities. He finished his career at Bower Park Academy and successfully led the school from Special Measures to Good in just 14 months. He is a member of the National Executive of NAHT and Chair of the Secondary Sector Council. Since retiring he has been involved in consultancy work in the Essex area.


Stories from Out of School: What lessons can mainstream schools learn from 'non-traditional' educational spaces?

Talk description

An interactive, collaborative and creative workshop designed to share stories of how 'non-traditional' educational spaces have developed novel and/or unconventional approaches to inclusive and democratic education. Participants will be invited to share their own stories and respond to key prompts regarding the possibilities and challenges of mainstreaming these approaches in schools.

About The Learning from Elsewhere Collective

We are: Angus Scott Miller & Helen Stanley (Participation Manager & Artistic Director, Lewisham Youth Theatre), Antone Penrose (Founder/Managing Director, The Movez Movement), Ebinehita Iyere (Founder/youth practitioner, Milk & Honey Bees), Liam Leftley (Home educator & former primary school teacher), Freya Aquarone, Sharon Gewirtz, Meg Maguire, Charlotte McPherson & Hannah Walters (Teachers & Researchers, King's College London).


Debate: 'Teach like a champion' vs an enquiry approach: is there a middle ground?


Talk description

Therese and Emma lead the academics at a new Senior School that is trying to think beyond the national education system. They have taken very different routes in their teaching careers, which has led to very different experiences of classroom approaches. This debate, chaired by Jenny Hampton, will consider the value of those approaches plus the development of a middle ground to benefit all learners.

About Therese & Emma

Therese Andrews is Director of Curriculum Innovation at the new Thomas's Battersea Senior School in London. She is leading the development of a forward-thinking and outward-looking curriculum with a strong set of values. Emma Oliver is Director of Teaching and Learning at the new Thomas's Battersea Senior School in London. She is leading the development of teaching and learning pedagogy and practice.


What is the point of teaching ethics? Moral development in the RE classroom

Talk description

The aim of this presentation is to suggest that how ethics is taught in Religious Education (RE) in English schools is often not concerned with the moral development of pupils. In contrast, I offer an approach to teaching ethics within RE that focuses on pupils themselves considering their own moral development.

About Thomas

I am a Teacher of Religious Studies at a state grammar school in Birmingham. I have a degree in Theology and Religious Studies from the University of Cambridge as well as a PGCE and MEd from the same institution. I have recently completed a teaching fellowship with the University of Birmingham on the teaching of climate change as a 'cultural issue' within the RE classroom.


What does success mean to you? Pupil perceptions of success in the English education system

Talk description

Educational success is an essentially contested concept, in that it will never be possible to arrive at a universal definition. This session reports on a participatory research project with secondary school pupils in England. The project used photo-voice projects and interviews to explore what success meant to these pupils as well as the factors that influence their perceptions of success in education.

About Thomas

Originally a physics teacher, Thomas stepped out of the classroom to study for an MSc in Comparative Education. He currently does research on assessment, equity and exclusion, both as a research assistant, as a freelance researcher and for his PhD. Although he is English, he has lived, worked and taught in Zambia and currently lives in Zimbabwe, where he is carrying out his PhD research.


Introduction to Mantle of the Expert: Immersive learning through dramatic inquiry

Talk description

In this interactive workshop, we will explore the dramatic-inquiry approach to education invented by Dorothy Heathcote called Mantle of the Expert. In Mantle of the Expert, the teacher and the students work in collaboration to create a story that creates an engaging context for learning and makes the students' learning meaningful. Inside the fiction, students take on the role of a team of experts with power and responsibility. The teacher works in collaboration with the students to create an engaging, purposeful context for curriculum learning.

About Tim

Tim Taylor is a teacher-trainer with over twenty years’ experience using and developing Mantle of the Expert in classrooms inside the UK and abroad. Tim is a visiting lecturer at Newcastle University, manages, and is the author of A Beginner's Guide to Mantle of the Expert.


Our evolving Curriculum of Hope

Talk description

In 2019, we began a curriculum design journey with Dr Debra Kidd. Driven by our school values - curiosity, courage and connection - along with a resolute determination to confound the polarised views of education that reflect the world at large, our curriculum is knowledge-rich but keeps humanity at its heart. During this session we will share the evolution of our planning process, examples of projects and our successes and failures along the way. Co-facilitated with Debra Kidd.

About Tina

Tina Farr is the Headteacher of St. Ebbe's Primary School in central Oxford, and was formerly Headteacher at Carswell Primary School. Their mission is to nurture 'Wise, compassionate citizens with the power to make a difference,' through strong relationships, helping each child to uncover their personal genius and creating a highly engaging curriculum which matters.


The Thinking Space: A Mindfulness and Arts Therapy workshop

Talk description

A Reflective Practice workshop that invites participants to look at their roles and relationships within the workplace through a creative lens. We will use Mindfulness and Arts Therapy techniques to cultivate a safe environment where participants explore and share their own thoughts and feelings about education.

About Toby

Toby Cooper is a dramatherapist and Creative Arts Supervisor working in Special Needs Education, with a particular interest in supporting the wellbeing of educational staff and offering opportunities to reflect on practice creatively. With a psychotherapeutic background, the idea of prioritising and attending to his own wellbeing is highly important.


Who’s afraid that they are indoctrinating?

Talk description

The content of the curriculum is becoming more politicised, and this is generating considerable anxiety amongst teachers. This session will explore the debate over indoctrination within English education. We will examine some different ways of thinking about indoctrination, as well as two controversial case studies: Critical Race Theory and British Values.

About Toby

Toby Marshall is an A Level teacher of Film Studies and is also a writer and researcher on educational issues including indoctrination. He is most interested in the relationship between politics and knowledge within education and is currently writing a book entitled A Short Guide to the National Curriculum for Student Teachers.


Dreaming of an Edutopia: Challenges, opportunities and threats

Talk description

In this session, I will explore the advantages and disadvantages of both our current knowledge rich, instructive paradigm and its contrasting, more skills orientated and project based alternatives. I will unpick our obsession with measuring and raising academic standards, but be equally scornful of the nebulous concept of '21st century skills.' I will propose an innovative structure of the school day, school week and curriculum from 7-14, and re-imagine a range of pathways from 14-19.

About Toby

Toby transcended his socially privileged school education by accidentally becoming a pharmaceutical scientist. He was later the Director of an educational charity before succumbing to the joys and frustrations of the classroom aged 41. He loves teaching and attempting to inspire and nurture the next generation of scientists, and is increasingly interested in philosophy, the importance of the arts in education and fundamental educational reform. He also co-hosts the excellent Late Late show on Teachers Talk Radio.


The impact of COVID on education: A student’s perspective

Talk description

A session including a talk from the Youth MP of Wakefield who recently completed his GCSE exams. This year round, exams were different due to COVID. This talk is about what lessons we can learn from it and how to make education better in terms of recovery from the pandemic.

About Toheed

Toheed Khan is the Youth MP of Wakefield and has been involved in many different campaigns. He was recently interviewed on TV by channel 5 and GB NEWS for his work. He leads an education campaign in Wakefield with the support of his local MPs and Councillors.


Creativity Matters: The value of imagination in a learning environment and determining a child's development.

Talk description

The Institute of Imagination is a dynamic charity and social enterprise based in London working nationally and internationally with partners such as The LEGO Group, Micro:bit and British Council. We design and deliver award-winning creative learning experiences across the arts, sciences and digital technologies. This talk will examine the real world challenges that we face and how our new theme of Save Make Reinvent allows for interaction and experimentation in the classroom to allow children to imagine solutions for immediate challenges.

About Tom

Tom Doust is the Executive Director of the Institute of Imagination. A social innovator, Tom has spent his 23-year career designing and delivering creative multi-stakeholder programmes with children, young people, families, schools and communities across the education, design and cultural sectors. He is the founder of the social action charity Envision and led a national education programme with the Sorrell Foundation.


The cost of a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to attendance

Talk description

The political and cultural conversation around attendance places high expectations on schools and parents and carers. Narratives around attendance are rooted strongly in the notion that poor attendance leads to poor academic attainment and the 'cost' of this. These narratives can be particularly damaging for SEND children, have wider implications for the mental health of all young people and stifle the creativity required for diverse and inclusive education. A challenging presentation asking questions of a zero tolerance approach to attendance and considering the alternatives.

About Tom

Tom Vodden is a teacher, trainer, consultant, school governor and SEN parent with over 25 years' experience in mainstream and special education. He has taught in schools in England and Australia and runs projects for young people permanently excluded from school.


Telling a Different Kind of Story

Talk description

Listen to a ‘nature connection storyteller' and discuss the concept that everything we need to teach in Primary Schools can be found either within ourselves or right in front of us, in our local environments. In addition to practical tips about ‘restorying’ and teaching empathy, participants will take away a thought-provoking experience and a deeper understanding of their own beliefs and ideas as they are invited to rethink education from a self-directed, empathetic perspective.

About Tracy

Tracy has been a primary school teacher/leader for 30 years, working with a wide range of children, from London's East End to war-torn Sri Lanka, from the Andean volcanoes of Ecuador to those of the United Nations in Vienna. Her Masters in 'Outdoor and Experiential Learning' (2018) was the catalyst she needed for rethinking and 'restorying' education.


Less can be more: Rethinking the use of time in schools

Talk description

Based upon Vaughan’s PhD research, this workshop is a timely discussion on how we structure the school day/week. Three important findings from this PhD study challenge common assumptions about time use: 1) Departments with lower average hours tend to have better results; 2) Teachers with heavy timetables are more likely to quit; 3) More class-time for students yields smaller benefits than might be thought. Put together, these results must provoke us to wonder why we are using time the way we are. Come to discuss rethinking time in your school.

About Vaughan

Vaughan is a secondary school teacher, head of department and former vice principal. Whilst working part-time he has completed a PhD in Education at the University of Cambridge, studying the use of time in schools.


Deliberate disruption required: Issues of gender and ethnicity

Talk description

We need to disrupt education so women, especially women from underrepresented groups, are supported to achieve leadership roles throughout education. Diversity and equity are as much a concern as the retention crisis so let's explore all the ways we can bring about a change in the face of leadership in education.

About Jules & Vivienne

Jules Daulby is a senior leader in a special school in the South West of England and a Co-Founder and Global Strategic Leader of WomenEd. Vivienne Porritt OBE is a co-founder and Strategic Leader of @WomenEd. She is the co-editor of 10%braver: Inspiring Women to Lead Education and Being 10%braver.


What we want OUR education to look like

Talk description

This session will be a panel discussion with young people from very different educational backgrounds. We will all draw on personal experiences to really provide evidence to the statistics that we all keep banging on about... that education is truly flawed! In the same vein, the panel will also centre on how we can fix these issues, again drawing on personal experiences.

About Lottie, Yumna, Ollie, Asma, Ayomide, & Zoy

Lottie Cooke is a Pupil Power Network Member, Young Journalist and Student who has been working to uplift the voices of young people and their desires for a better, more equitable education system. Their work started at the age of 16, when they first joined Pupil Power and had the realisation that they were not the only one who was so frustrated with the system.