Speakers

Amanda Spielman

Amanda Spielman

Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, Ofsted

Between 2011 and 2016, Amanda was chair of Ofqual, the qualifications regulator. From 2005 she was a founding member of the leadership team at the academy chain Ark Schools, where she became Research and Policy Director and an education adviser to Ark, the education charity. She previously spent more than 15 years in strategy consulting, finance and investment at KPMG, Kleinwort Benson, Mercer Management Consulting and Nomura International.
She is a council member at Brunel University London and has previously served on the boards of a number of organisations including the Institute of Education, STEMNET and Wales Millennium Centre, and has been a governor of two schools.
Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI) is statutorily responsible for Ofsted’s inspection and regulatory work. She is able to draw on the full range of our inspection findings to report on the quality of education, children’s services and skills, locally and nationally. She is responsible to Parliament for the organisation, staffing and management of Ofsted, and for ensuring the efficient and effective use of our resources.

Russell Hobby

Russell Hobby

CEO, Teach First

Russell joined Teach First as CEO in September 2017 building on more than 15 years developing and promoting leadership in schools. Prior to joining Teach First Russell was General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), which represents over 29,000 school leaders in the UK and before that worked as a management consultant, founding Hay Group’s education practice.

John D'abbro

John D'abbro

Co-opted Member, Engage in Their Future

John is Head of the New Rush Hall Group, an organisation that works with children experiencing social, emotional and/or mental health difficulties (SEMH). The Group consists of an all-age day special school, Pupil Referral Units, an adolescent psychiatric unit, an Outreach Team and an Early Years provision called the Piccolo. The Group has a national reputation for the quality of the work it does. The school has been consistently judged outstanding by Ofsted. None of the provisions within the Group have ever been judged less than good.

John has been awarded an OBE and Honorary Doctorate for services to Special Education, is a National Leader in Education and an Apple Distinguished Educator. During his career John has given evidence to the Elton (1989), Steer (2009), Taylor  (2013) and Bennett (2017) reviews on behavior in schools and given evidence on several occasions to the House of Commons Education select committee. Most recently he was a member of the DfE Independent review of behaviour in schools.

Daniel Sobel

Daniel Sobel

Founder & CEO, Inclusion Expert

Daniel Sobel MA Ed (Psychology) FCMI FCIC FRSA is an internationally respected leader in inclusive education, he has advised the Department for Education, the European Union and governments abroad. Daniel is a well-known speaker, and has written for publications including Headteacher Update, The Times Educational Supplement and The Guardian.
He is the author of several works, including The Pupil Premium Handbook and The SEN Code of Practice Pack. Narrowing the Attainment Gap was published by Bloomsbury Press in January 2018. He regularly speaks on Educational Inclusion, Social and Behavioural Issues, Special Educational Needs, Managing Mental Health, Foster Care Children and Impoverishment at national and international conferences.
Daniel’s background lies in Education Psychology and Psychotherapy, and his hands-on experiences in education include time as a teacher, SENCo and Senior Leader/Assistant Headteacher.
Under Daniel’s leadership, Inclusion Expert has grown into one of the country’s most respected education consultancies. Daniel’s team of experienced practitioners has, to date, worked with over 1,500 schools in the UK and abroad. Testimonials from clients are near-universal in their glowing response to the impact Daniel and his team can enable - one example notes, ‘Working with Daniel is one of the few times in my career that I've not only had a lightbulb moment but an experience that changed my perceptions of learning’.
Daniel and his team together share a vision that every child deserves the opportunity to achieve their potential, regardless of need, background or ability. This vision continues to drive Inclusion Expert’s ethos, and has resulted in recognition from - amongst others - The Educational Business Awards and The Education Investor Awards.

Matt Hood

Matt Hood

Founder & Director, Institute for Teaching

Matt is the founder and director of the Institute for Teaching - a specialist graduate school for teachers. His career includes work in schools, government and education charities. As an economics teacher and school leader he has taught in challenging urban and isolated coastal schools. As a government policy advisor in the Department for Education he has worked on a wide range of policy including teacher development, special educational needs, student participation and education system design. As a Director at Teach First and Achievement for All - education charities focused on ensuring that all young people, regardless of their background, get a great education - he has been involved in the training and development of new and experienced teachers and school leaders.

Mark Lehain

Mark Lehain

Interim Director New Schools Network; Director, Parents and Teachers for Excellence

After a brief period working in the City, Mark trained as maths teacher in 2002 and then taught at a state school in Bedford. Having been Head of Department and then Assistant Head at Wootton Upper School, in 2010 he left to lead the campaign to open Bedford Free School, one of the country's first free schools. BFS opened in 2012, and he was Principal there until last summer.
Mark is currently Interim Director of New Schools Network & Director of Parents & Teachers for Excellence. When not advocating for educational reform, he can be found drinking copious quantities of coffee, running, and pretending that he knows how to manage his four young daughters.

Dr Wendy Thorley

Dr Wendy Thorley

Senior Lecturer/Specialism Strand Leader, Sunderland University

Whilst at the University of Sunderland Dr Wendy Thorley has been involved in several programmes as a consultant and programme leader, including: Applied Family Studies, Early Years Professional Status, Foundation Degree in Education and Care, BA (Hons) Education and Care, Higher Level Teaching Assistant and collaborative partnerships with further education colleges and Local Authority organisations for continuing professional development (CPD). Within her role of Senior lecturer at University of Sunderland she led her department in developing the use of technological innovations to enhance the learning experience. Her innovative use of virtual learning environments for network peer and tutor support and the collection of student feedback has been commended by external examiners. Starting her career in the NHS, she undertook a range of CPD initiatives to develop her teaching and learning expertise. She gained professional experience initially in Nurse Education prior to moving into primary education. She has held positions in Local Authority Social Services Human Resource Department (HRD) related programmes before consolidating her experience first in Further Education then moving into higher education.  She is highly regarded across voluntary and statutory organisations locally and regionally and has published a range of papers, completed national and regional consultancy roles and a number of invited key note speaker contributions.

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