Decoding the Future: Navigating AI in Education

Peter Goodyer MBA FRSA

Chair of HMC AI/EdTech Working Group and Headmaster, Bede’s.

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Good school leaders are by their nature reflective, adaptable, strategic and resilient. Education is, however, facing an unparallelled challenge and leaders are finding themselves in the position where they need to manage the fastest growing and changing technology in human history – AI. School leaders will need to navigate this landscape and plan for its risks and possibilities, and support staff carefully in order to create an environment where schools can begin to use AI in ways that will support pupil success and teacher expertise.

The HMC AI/ EdTech working group  was formed to try and support in this, with its remit to explore how AI and EdTech can be used to enhance provision for pupils and staff within HMC schools.  The group, made up of  25 school representatives of the different regions and school types within HMC, aims to gather and share best practice across schools as well as disseminating useful resources and CPD opportunities to the membership. As well as this, the working group programme of work includes developing an understanding of the GDPR issues, risks and risk behaviours associated with AI use, and to provide support, suggestions and guidance around its use, helping to ensure that any AI adoption is for the benefit of pupils and teachers. Alongside this will be exploration of how AI can improve school business processes and how it can be employed to enhance teacher training.

The working group also aims to establish links with external experts and stakeholders to explore how AI can be utilised most effectively in all aspects of education, including curriculum innovation and assessment, for the benefit of the sector as a whole. As part of this remit, members of the HMC Working Group for AI/Tech had the privilege of joining a small delegation, co-ordinated by our colleagues at ASCL, on a visit to Google’s London Headquarters, where our primary objective was to gain insights into Google’s approach to AI in education.

The visit commenced with a warm welcome from Google’s education team, which shared valuable perspectives on the integration of AI in classrooms and schools. The discussions revolved around leveraging AI tools to streamline administrative tasks, tailor learning experiences, and reconsider assessment. The visit included an enlightening tour of Google’s offices, providing a glimpse into the dynamic and collaborative workspace, an environment clearly designed to inspire creativity and collaboration, whilst simultaneously removing barriers to productivity.

The visit was not only informative but inspirational; the integration of AI into educational technology highlighted the potential for transformative changes in teaching practices.

As we continue to get to grips with an evolving landscape of AI and EdTech this experience has given the working group a number of valuable insights, along with a deeper understanding of the possibilities that AI presents for education. We look forward to sharing and applying learnings through the HMC AI/EdTech Working Group and network in our ongoing efforts to enhance educational provision within schools.

Peter Goodyer MBA FRSA, Chair of HMC AI/EdTech Working Group and Headmaster, Bede’s.


13 December 2023