2 October 2023 - 4 October 2023
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon
Estelle started her career as a teacher in an inner city multiracial comprehensive school where she taught for 18 years. In 1992 she was elected as Member of Parliament for Birmingham Yardley and in 1997, she was appointed a Minister at the Department for Education and Employment becoming the Secretary of State in the Department of Education and Skills in 2002. She followed this with 2 years as a Minister at the Department of Culture Media and Sport.
Since then, Estelle has held a number of posts in education. Estelle has been a member of the House of Lords since 2005 which she combines with her work as the Chair of the Birmingham Education Partnership. She also helped to establish the Association of Education Partnerships.
She as is a member of the Pinnacle Multi-Academy Trust, a trustee of the Sunderland AFC Foundation, a director of the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, a member of the advisory group at the Museum of Science and Industry and a trustee of the Royal Institution.
Ben Walden is an international speaker and workshop leader in the realm of education.
He has been a main keynote speaker at many conferences in Europe, Asia, the Americas and Australia. He also works with many individual schools, looking at themes of leadership and inspiring communication with both staff and – especially – students.
In the 1990’s he played several leading roles in London’s West End theatre and as a member of the inaugural company at the new Shakespeare’s Globe. He has also spoken on leadership and the arts at many business conferences, including at both Harvard and Columbia Business Schools.
Charlene Lyons is currently the CEO of Black Sheep Brewery and thoroughly enjoys the excitement and challenge that comes from running a large independent brewery in the heart of North Yorkshire. Charlene is passionate about leadership and firmly believes it is a privilege to lead such a dynamic organisation within the ever changing and complex industry that is hospitality.
Charlene is an accomplished management consultant and founder of Lyons Consultancy, a company that works nationally across many business sectors to deliver various solutions from change management and business restructuring to business strategy and marketing engagement.
Charlene volunteers for several charities and serves as the Vice Chair of Governors at The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) and as part of her role within GSAL is a director of GSAL Enterprises Ltd and Chairs the External Relations Committee. Charlene is passionate about education, and firmly believes every child has the right to exceptional education, regardless of wealth.
Charlene graduated from university with a First Class Honors degree and alongside her career, Charlene and Ben they have three children, age 18, 14 and 10.
David Olusoga is a British-Nigerian historian, author, presenter and BAFTA winning film-maker. He is Professor of Public History at the University of Manchester and a columnist for The Observer. He writes also for The Guardian, The New Statesman, The Voice and BBC History Magazine.
He presents the long-running BBC history series A House Through Time and wrote and presented the award winning series Black & British: A Forgotten History and the BAFTA winning Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners. Among his other presenting credits are The World’s War, and The Unwanted: The Secret Windrush Files, Extra Life, a Short History of Living Longer and the landmark BBC arts series Civilizations.
He is the author of seven books including – Black & British: A Forgotten History, which was awarded both the Longman-History Today Trustees Award and the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize. The World’s War, which won First World War Book of the Year in 2014. Black & British A Short Essential History which was a Waterstones Book Of The Year, Non-Fiction winner at the Quiz Writers’ Choice Awards 2021 and Book of the Year, Children’s non-fiction at the 2021 British Book Awards. The Kaiser’s Holocaust: Germany’s Forgotten Genocide and the Colonial Roots of Nazism, Civilizations: Encounters and the Cult of Progress and A House Through Time.
David is a recipient of both the British Academy’s Presidents Medal and the Norton Medlicott Medal For Services to History. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, The Royal Society of Literature, The Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Historical Society. He also sits on the Scott Trust (the body that acts as proprietor of the Guardian Newspaper).
Dr Andy Hodgkinson is a Programme Leader in UCL’s Centre for Educational Leadership. He leads on the programme design and content development of the Centre’s suite of National Professional Qualification Leadership Programmes; teaches on a number of the Centre’s post-graduate courses and undertakes research in educational leadership. Prior to this he was the Simon Industrial Follow at the University Manchester where his research focused on system leadership and curriculum design.
Before working in higher education Andy was an executive leader within the education sector with a proven track record of outstanding leadership in both public and private sector contexts, including executive headship and local authority roles. He is an experienced advisor on system transformation combining national and international policy to drive system wide improvements at school, local, regional and national levels improving outcomes for pupils at a micro level and improved system delivery pathways at a macro level.
Simon joined HMC in August 2020 following nine years as Head of the King’s School in Macclesfield, where he was also a pupil. In that time, he led the Foundation’s 2020 vision, which transformed the split-site diamond school into a fully co-educational school operating from a new campus in one of the country’s largest school improvement projects. After reading history at Christ Church, Oxford, Simon completed a doctorate on mid-nineteenth century Prussia at the universities of Oxford and Bonn. His first permanent post was at Loughborough Grammar School, after which he became head of history and humanities at Oakham School. Moving to Haberdashers’ Boys’ School in Elstree as Deputy Head (Development), he was allowed to dabble in most areas of school life. Simon has been Chair of Trustees at the Macclesfield Music Centre and involved in various groups supporting the town’s regeneration. He was a member of HMC’s PD Committee as well as Chair and Secretary of the North West Division. He is a governor and former ISI inspector.
Jaz Ampaw-Farr, a world-class reframer and influential speaker, artfully blends humor and storytelling, leaving audiences transformed and ready to take action. She advises international governments on education policy and triumphed over adversity, becoming a teacher, comedian, and keynote speaker.
Jaz’s theme is embedding resilience and challenging conventional thinking for positive change. A captivating presence with global reach, she was awarded Speaker of the Year. Her extraordinary life inspires genuine, hardworking, and riotous empowerment.
Jonathan Simons is a Partner, and Head of the Education Practice, at the strategy and public policy consultancy Public First, which works with some of the biggest organisations in English education to help them address policy questions, shape their message and engage with government.
Jonathan has spent the past eighteen years working in and with government on education issues – eight years in government including 2.5 years in the No10 Strategy Unit; as the Head of Education for the think tank Policy Exchange; and working in international education for the global charity Varkey Foundation. In these roles, he has written extensively on all elements of the English education system and is a frequent conference speaker, media commentator, and columnist.
Jonathan is a Trustee of Education Development Trust, a Member of Astrea Academy Trust, and the co-founder of Ark Greenwich Free School. He sits on advisory boards for UCAS, Royal National Children’s SpringBoard Foundation, and the Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities (CEPEO) at UCL.
Pat Sowa is a former Head who has developed a rare depth of expertise in mental health and wellbeing for staff and students. She is sought out for her clarity of insight and humanity as well as her knowledge of wellbeing and pastoral care. She has a deep understanding of suicide prevention and bereavement support. She influences policy and practice both at local, regional and national level and works with a range of education settings across both the Independent and state sector at all stages.
Her work is dedicated to encouraging and empowering leaders in education to measure success not only in academic terms but in how well those in the community thrive: wellbeing in action.
Pat works as a Leadership Coach, Pastoral Consultant and Mental Health First Aid trainer in schools. She is a member of the Northeast Regional Suicide Prevention Advisory Group and contributed to the development the North Yorkshire Self harm and suicide Prevention Pathway developed by The North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Board.
In 2020, Pat became a number one best-selling co-author of the powerful memoir ‘Take my Hand’ which explores the impact of physical and mental illness in young people. It gives insight and practical advice to educators and others supporting families in times of great difficulty. Pat says “We wrote the book to help others avoid what we went through. It’s the book I wish someone had given to me.”
In her inspiring keynote ‘Homage to H’ she invites us as educators – Guardians of the Future – to influence, and even shape, the kind of society we would like to see.
Pat is a trustee of Parentkind, an advocate for Papyrus, Prevention of Young Suicide and a newly appointed Governor of The Grammar School at Leeds.
“You taught people so much, nudging each of us to consider the way we work with young people and the expectations we make of them. Your presentation was utterly compelling, hard-hitting yet rooted in humanity” Geoff Barton, General Secretary, ASCL
“You have changed lives today…I think that might be your superpower!” Dr Karen Edge, UCL
Professor Qing Gu is Director of the UCL Centre for Educational Leadership and Professor of Leadership in Education. She is the Past Chair of the British Association of Comparative and International Education (BAICE), a member of the Research Standing Committee of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES), and a member of the Research Evidence and Impact Panel for the Leadership College for UK Government. She is a Senior Research Fellow at the Asia Pacific Centre for Leadership and Change (APCLC) and Honorary Professor in the Department of Education Policy and Leadership at the Education University of Hong Kong. She has served as Editor and a member of the Editorial Board of many high impact journals in education. She was conferred the Award of Fellow of the Royal Society Arts (FRSA) in 2016 and the Award of Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) for her contribution to social science in 2022.
Professor Gu has directed and co-directed many government and research council funded projects in the areas of teacher professional development, school improvement, and systemic reform and change. These include the evaluation of Teaching Schools (2016) and the evaluation of Research Schools in Opportunity Areas (2021). She is currently leading a £1.8m UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded project Schools as Enabling Spaces to Improve Learning and Health-Related Quality of Life for Primary School Children in Rural Communities in South Africa. Some of her books have been translated into Chinese, Japanese and Spanish.
Steve Munby is a self-employed consultant and speaker on leadership and on system reform. Based in the UK, he works with governments and with groups of schools around the world.
Steve has worked in education throughout his career. He was Director of Education in the Merseyside borough of Knowsley in the UK, responsible for 80 schools. For 8 years he was Chief Executive of the National College for School Leadership in England. This was followed by 5 years as Chief Executive of Education Development Trust, an international not-for-profit education organisation working in Asia, India, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Steve is also the facilitator for the ARC summits (education systems from around the world committed to equity, excellence, well-being and social justice).
He is Visiting Professor at University College London, Centre for Educational Leadership and Honorary Visiting Professor at Liverpool Hope University. His book “Imperfect Leadership – A book for leaders who know they don’t know it all” was published by Crown House in July 2019. His latest book, co-authored with Marie-Claire Bretherton, – Imperfect Leadership in Action- A practical book for school leaders who know they don’t know it all” was published in April 2022 (Crown House).
He was awarded a CBE in 2010 for services to leadership in schools and children’s services.
Sue has been Principal of The Grammar School at Leeds since April 2016, having been Principal of the British School of Brussels for five years prior to that. Sue always wanted to teach and, after graduating from Liverpool in English, she studied for her PGCE at Durham, with the NPQH from the IoE and MEd from Buckingham following later. She began her career in the North East, the place of her birth, at Westfield School in Newcastle. She was then approached to join the founding staff at Emmanuel College in Gateshead, one of eight City Technology Colleges established by the government in the late 1980s, where she set up the library and was second in the English department before becoming Head of Year. From there, Sue moved to Sutton Grammar School for Boys where she became Head of Key Stage Three, moving to The Holy Trinity CE School as Deputy Head Pastoral in 1998. The family move to Brussels saw Sue appointed to The British School of Brussels, first as a Deputy Head Academic, before moving to Vice Principal and Head of Senior School and then, in 2011, to Principal. Sue is an experienced school governor, involved in several Leeds partnership projects and has served in various roles in the churches she has attended. She was also involved in national politics in her youth and still maintains an (unhealthy?) interest. More edifying – she is an avid reader and loves the theatre, from the toughest dramas to grand opera. She is married to Martin, has two adult children and is also a doting grandma.
Anand Mahadevan is the Executive Director of Canadian Accredited Independent Schools which accredits and supports the best independent schools in Canada. An award winning classroom teacher and school administrator with experience in both Ontario and Alberta, Anand has worked in both AP and IB schools. In 2015, Anand received the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence for his work as a science educator. His educational training is eclectic: a B.A. in Biology and German, a M.Sc. in Neuroscience, an MFA, a B.Ed. and an Ed.D., reflecting his interest in the liberal arts and sciences. Anand is interested in data informed approaches to school improvement that leverage collaboration and in-school knowledge sharing to benefit all learners.
After over a decade of teaching in the UK and overseas, Chris spent 18 years leading schools in the UK, Asia and New Zealand before joining RSAcademics. His experiences over the last twenty years include running one of the world’s largest international schools, and sitting on and setting up governing bodies in three continents.
After attending Merchant Taylors’ School in Liverpool, Chris won a scholarship at Oxford and graduated with a First Class degree in English Language and Literature. Following teaching spells in Australia and the UK, Chris became Head of English in St. Paul’s School, Sao Paulo, Brazil, before becoming Deputy Head at Stowe for six years. Two Headships followed: Bromsgrove in the UK for ten years (2,000 pupils) and UWCSEA in Singapore for five (5,500 pupils). Chris also sat on the UWC International Board for four years during which time four new schools were established. On leaving UWCSEA, Chris became one of the founders of Green School International and was founding CEO of the New Zealand Green School where he took the School through accreditation and established the first board.
Now back in the UK, Chris brings deep and broad experience to the International Appointments team.
Daniel was appointed Managing Director of the Repton Family of Schools (formerly Repton International Schools Ltd or RISL) in February 2021. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience of running high-performing schools, and possesses a truly global outlook and instinct.
Having led the establishment of international schools for North London Collegiate School in South Korea and the UAE, (as well as leading the bid to establish NLCS in Singapore), he understands the challenges and needs of start-up projects, particularly those with a pre-existing UK ‘brand’ – with detailed expertise in the areas of franchise/management agreement, school design, quality assurance, marketing and admissions, recruitment of staff, and the establishment of a coherent educational vision and ethos. He led NLCS Dubai as Founding Principal from 2016 to 2019.
He currently sits on eight governing boards for Repton family schools in the UK and internationally, and is Chair of Governors for St Wystan’s School and Vinehall. He has served as a governor for a London state Primary and a Cambridgeshire Multi-Academy Trust.
Debra Forsyth has been dedicated to education for over 30 years since starting her career teaching Chemistry in London. A move to the emergent city of Abu Dhabi in 1987 ignited Debra’s life-long passion for international education. She has since capitalised on the opportunity to work with children and educators from around the world in a variety of fascinating locations, including Muscat, Damascus, Vienna and Sharjah. Debra has worked across a wide range of educational systems and establishments and held a variety of senior leadership and advisory roles.
Debra most recent school leadership position was as long-standing Principal of Dubai’s prestigious Latifa School for Girls, where she also served as Deputy Director to the Task Force charged with the school’s reconception. In 2021 Debra was awarded a UAE Golden Visa for her contribution to Emirati education.
Debra has committed herself to the wider development of education across the region through her work with BSME. As a school member she helped to set up BSME’s Accreditation System, training as a BSO Accreditor and completing numerous inspections across the region. Debra served for four years on the BSME Executive Committee, and for two years as a Director before taking up her current role as CEO and Director of BSME in 2022.
Chris has more than twenty years’ experience leading independent schools. He was an architect of coeducation at Pulteney Grammar School in Adelaide before leading Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School in northern NSW from 2005 to 2014. From 2015 until joining AHISA as its CEO in January 2023, Chris was Head of Governance at the NSW Association of Independent Schools. Prior to those appointments Chris was a Junior School Head in Sydney. He has an Honours Degree in English from the University of Sydney, a Master of Education Policy (International) from the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. In 2021 he completed a PhD at the University of Sydney, developing the concept of ‘value-embedded learning’ by applying dynamic systems theory and adopting electroencephalogram research methodologies.
John started his working career in banking (The Midland Bank – or now HSBC) before pursuing his teaching qualification at The University of Wales, Trinity College in Carmarthen.
He took up his first appointment as a teacher in 1976 (wow – 47 years ago!!)
In 1986, John embarked on his International career in teaching/leadership in Hong Kong, and has since worked in Malaysia, Indonesia and Laos as a Headmaster of a number of schools . He now works out of Bangkok as the inaugural CEO of FOBISIA (Federation of British International Schools in Asia) which has a membership of nearly 100 premier British International Schools across 19 countries in the continent of Asia.
John has received awards for his passion and dedication to international education from Ms Julia Gillard, previous Prime Minister of Australia, Mr. Thongloun Sisoulith, The President of Lao PDR, and in the 2020 New years Honours list, John was awarded an MBE by Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his services to International Education overseas.
Lebogang Montjane integrated St Peter’s Preparatory School in 1978 and later completed his schooling at The Stony Brook School in New York. Lebogang holds a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Government and History from Connecticut College, a law degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Master of Arts degree in Politics and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Lebogang began his legal career by clerking for Chief Justice, Pius Langa at the Constitutional Court. As an admitted attorney since 2003, Lebogang specialised in Competition Law and served three terms as a Commissioner on the Confidentiality Commission of the United Nations Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
Lebogang was appointed as the Executive Director of the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA) in January 2014. He is a trustee of the Anglican Educational Trust and was appointed by the Archbishop of Cape Town, The Most Reverend Thabo Makgoba, to be a member of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa’s Task Team on Discrimination in Anglican Schools. A former member of the Executive Committee of the Wits University Convocation, he now sits as a Governor on the University of the Witwatersrand Foundation. Lebogang is also a member of an international steering committee drafting Guiding Principles on Educational Pluralism.
Leigh Webb is CEO of ISC Research, the world’s leading provider of data, intelligence and research expertise on the international schools market.
Educated at Charterhouse and Durham University, Leigh was an equity analyst in the City of London for four years. Since then, his business career has encompassed retail, sport and distribution. Leigh joined ISC Research as CEO in 2016 to lead the company during a period of substantial investment and development within the international schools market.
ISC Research has tracked the world’s English-medium international schools market since 1994 providing market data and intelligence, identifying development opportunities and facilitating school/investor partnerships. It is a trusted research partner for schools, investors, education suppliers and sector specialists.
As an educationist Tim Middleton has been dealing with young people’s failures and enjoying their successes for over forty years in Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa and Scotland while as a sportsman he has been playing, coaching, officiating, administering and watching competitive sport for almost fifty years around the world.
Tim is currently the Executive Director of ATS (Association of Trust Schools) in Zimbabwe, having previously served as the Headmaster of Gateway High School in Harare as well as serving as the founder Head of Petra High School in Bulawayo and the Principal of Baobab College in Lusaka. He is a former national hockey player for Scotland as a result of which he was inducted into the St Andrews University Sports Hall of Fame.
He is the author of a number of books, including “Failing to Win”; he is a regular contributor of articles for magazines and newspapers while he is also a popular motivational speaker at educational, sporting and Christian conferences, workshops and functions. He is a ‘stirrer’ and ‘starter’ and loves puddings.