Speakers

Andy Cope

Andy Cope

Teacher, Best-Selling Author, Happiness Expert and Recovering Academic, Art of Brilliance

Andy is a qualified teacher, wellbeing expert and ‘recovering academic’. His Loughborough University thesis was 12 years in the making and the reward for grinding out his PhD is that he gets to call himself a ‘Doctor of Happiness’.

The good doctor is lucky enough to work with some very large businesses, including DHL, Kelloggs, Hewlett Packard, Astra Zeneca, Lego, L’Oreal, Nationwide and UEFA. Recently, he has tailored his workshops to meet the needs of children and teachers and now delivers to audiences from age 8 upwards!

Andy’s books are frequently on the best-sellers list. ‘The Happiness Revolution’ was released in June and he’s currently working on a writing project with Bear Grylls.

www.artofbrilliance.co.uk
andy@artofbrilliance.co.uk
@beingbrilliant

Rich Hurst

Rich Hurst

Education Advisor – Sustainability, Durham County Council

Rich is an Advisor for Education Durham with responsibility for global sustainability education, and part of the personal development team. His role is varied as he leads on school engagement for the Climate Emergency Action Plan and strategically coordinates the ECO2 Smart Schools energy programme for the Authority. He also manages an EU funded energy retrofit programme called REBUS. In addition, he supports the regional charity OASES to broker opportunities and new projects benefiting schools in the region.

Rich has worked in County Durham for 25 years and in that time has supported local, regional, national and international initiatives connected to schools in the broad sustainability agenda. He is passionate about helping children and young people understand their power and opportunities to be active citizens and to make a difference in the world.

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/rich-hurst-ESD

Graham Vials

Graham Vials

Partner at Ward Hadaway Law Firm

Graham is a Partner and heads up the Education team at Ward Hadaway, leading a large team of lawyers across our offices who are dedicated and passionate about providing a full range of legal services to the education sector.

Ruth Whiteside

Ruth Whiteside

Trainer and Coach, Children's Emotional Language and Thinking Ltd

I was a teacher and senior leader for twenty years in primary education in the North East. Whilst teaching, I undertook my M.Ed at Newcastle University where I was able to pursue my interest in the performativity agenda in the UK school system and look at ways to mitigate the impact of that on teachers and senior leaders. One such mitigation was applying the concept of emotional intelligence to support both self and others. Currently, I work with colleagues in the teaching profession, as well as police, youth workers, social workers and health professionals, to explore how harnessing the power of emotional intelligence can help us to support our children and young people, particularly those who have experienced adversity and trauma.

Grant Bilton

Grant Bilton

Financial Advisor, Wesleyan

Grant provides specialist financial advice for Teaching professionals across the North East.  He’s worked in financial services for the last 10 years and been with Wesleyan since 2018.
He can advise on all your financial options, including mortgages, insurances, investments and personal pension. He has an extensive knowledge of your TPS or LGPS pension schemes.
Whilst he's not working you'll find him training at his local CrossFit gym, or down the beach with his dog Max.

Matthew Smith MBE

Matthew Smith MBE

School Business Manager at Sheringham Woodfields School

Business Manager for 13 years, working within Complex Needs. Chair of the Norfolk Association of Business Managers and the Norfolk Special Schools Association. Awarded an MBE in 2019 for services for Education and Fundraising. Have secured over £4million for the schools I work at and support.

Catherine Kelsall

Catherine Kelsall

Schools Engagement Lead, DfE

Catherine Kelsall is a former School Business Manager with over 24 years’ experience of working in a Special Needs Primary School and was an associate governor at the school. Catherine has worked for the Department for Education’s Schools Commercial Team since July 2017 as a Schools Engagement Lead. The team’s role is to support delivery of the Schools’ Buying Strategy.

Ben Hardy

Ben Hardy

Stakeholder and Engagement Manager, DfE

Ben Hardy is a Stakeholder and Engagement Manager in the Schools Commercial Team at the Department for Education. The team's role is to support the delivery of the Schools' Buying Strategy.

Before joining the DfE, Ben was part of the leadership team at Schools North East, a school-led regional network for all 1,150 schools in the region. In his role as Relationship Manager, Ben was responsible for developing and implementing effective engagement with a wide range of stakeholders including CEOs, CFOs, Head Teachers, School Business Professionals, Local Authorities and other charitable organisations. He worked closely with schools, Multi Academy Trusts and clusters to support Schools North East to identify and address the key challenges they face. Prior to this, Ben worked with leaders and governors at schools, MATs and LAs across the country for The Key.

Ben is Vice Chair of Governors at a primary school in Newcastle where he is link governor for curriculum and Special Educational Needs.

Stephen Mitchell

Stephen Mitchell

CEO, Oak Multi Academy Trust & Director, Keystone Knowledge

Stephen Mitchell is an experienced school and MAT leader, having been a CFO, COO, and CEO of a range of different organisations.

He is passionate about sector led initiatives to raise the standard of management in education.  He writes regularly in sector magazines, and at regional / national conferences.   Stephen gained his MBA with a thesis about "improving the quality of management" in education.
Prior to getting into education, Stephen worked in humanitarian disaster relief projects, - (some would say an ideal proving ground for education!), and is very focussed on ensuring children are at the heart of everything we do.

Rebecca Lambton

Rebecca Lambton

Director, iTchyrobot

Rebecca has over 25 years' marketing experience and over a decade of working with schools in areas of marketing and communication.

Jonathan Whittle

Jonathan Whittle

Catering Consultant Tenet Education Services

Jonathan has over 30 years of expertise in catering and hospitality across the public and private sectors. His experience includes roles as Events Manager at Stockport Council, Head of Hospitality at The Lowry in Salford, Conference and Marketing Manager at Leeds University and Head of Catering at the University of Bangor

Alex Green

Alex Green

Programme Manager, Ashden (Ashden proudly run the Let’s Go Zero campaign)

Alex is the Schools Lead for Ashden and leads on Let’s Go Zero 2030, a campaign that supports UK schools working together to be zero carbon by 2030. She managed Ashden’s sustainable school awards and peer to peer LESS CO2 programme for 7 years before launching the Let’s Go Zero campaign in 2020. Alex has a Masters in Environmental Management from the University of Cape Town and has previously worked running an environmental business awards scheme for a local authority, supporting small businesses to cut carbon and regulating industry at the Environment Agency.

Nickii Messer

Nickii Messer

International Speaker & Author

A well-known national and international conference speaker, author, and contributor to educational publications, Nickii is keen to help school leaders at all levels develop the skills and confidence to embrace the complex challenges facing schools today.  With many years experience as a school business leader across three school phases, Nickii was instrumental in working with the National College to launch the SBM role and associated training programmes. In 2009, Nickii formed her company, All The Geese, to specialise in training, developing and promoting school business management and leadership.

You can follow Nickii on Twitter @NickiiMesser and LinkedIn, and for more information visit  www.nickiimesser.com

Louise Levy

Louise Levy

CEO, The Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust

Louise is Chief Operating Officer at a large and growing Multi Academy Trust in the North East. She has been at Cardinal Hume for the last 11 years and overseen the growth from a single school to a Multi Academy Trust of 17. Louise is also a director of Education Mutual.  Louise is also on the Schools North East SBM Council.

Tracey Gray

Tracey Gray

Education Management Consultant

Tracey is a Fellow of the CIPD, Fellow of ISBL and is a qualified ILM Coach.  Tracey has significant experience within the field of Business Leadership incorporating Strategic Human Resource Management, Health & Safety, Finance, Income Generation, IT and Technical infrastructure, Estate Management/Leisure and Community.  Throughout her career she has ensured that students and staff are well supported to achieve their potential within a safe environment which is sustainable and financially stable.

Tracey became a founding Director for Education Mutual in July 2018 which was set up ‘for schools by schools’ and seeks to promote ethical and affordable solutions around staff absence and well-being for its members.  Education Mutual now has over 1000 member schools who are working towards becoming more efficient and sector-led.