Ian Wright

He brings radiance to his appearances as a TV and radio pundit and after-dinner speaker, Ian Wright has an electric personality and he will leave you believing you have known him for years.

He scored 387 goals for seven clubs in 581 league matches, his speed and shooting power devastated many defences. He is a legend at Arsenal, with whom he scored a record of 128 league goals in 221 games. The lethal striker also netted another 9 goals in 33 appearances for England.

Wright has tales about his playing days and fascinating chronicles relating to his experience in front of and behind the television camera and radio microphone. He has been awarded an MBE for his services to football and charities.

A very humble man Ian Wright will give you an insight into his life, the highs and lows the good and bad, and he uses these life experiences to motivate and encourage.

Matt Burton

Matthew Burton, or Mr Burton, rose to fame in the Channel 4 documentary Educating Yorkshire. Matt is now Headteacher of Thornhill Academy and his goal is to move it to outstanding. He was recently quoted when taking on the headship, “We have two very simple rules that any person who steps into the Academy abides by, and that we fundamentally believe are of the upmost importance: work hard, and be nice.”

The relationship that developed between Mr Burton and one his Year 11 pupils through the series, Musharaf Asghar, created one of the stand-out moments of the series. Musharaf was a bright, engaging boy who struggled with an acute stammer. His impending English GCSE required him to recite a poem, an ordeal that seemed impossible until the intervention of Mr Burton. Inspired by The King’s Speech, the teacher hit upon the idea of making Musharaf listen to some music to help his delivery. The tactic worked and in highly emotionally charged scenes Musharaf read Margaret Atwood’s poem The Moment almost without a hitch.

Workshop: Making a Difference with the Challenged Child

In this session Matt will discuss the process that he undertook with Musharaf, why every child matters and how a teacher can make such a huge difference in the lives of their students by taking one step more and thinking outside the box to push them further than even they think they can achieve.

“I had lost count of the number of times that I was told that my stammer would be the reason why I would never accomplish anything. Not only did I prove them wrong, but I made a “weakness” my strength. I pushed myself to limits that I would never have dreamed of. And when times got tough and I wanted to give up, I searched for help and guidance. That guidance was from Mr Burton. I will always forever be thankful for his support and love.”

Musharaf Asghar

Paul Howard Jones


Paul Howard-Jones earned his degree at the Graduate School of Education at Bristol University. He has published many papers with his latest being ‘Ideational Productivity, Focus of Attention and Context.’ He spends his time doing experiments exploring creativity, and applying cognition and neuroscience to better understand child and adult learning.

Keynote Speech: Evolution of the Learning Brain

How did learning evolve and what does its prehistory mean for how we learn today? In this keynote, we will travel through 3.5 billion years of history in less than an hour. We will stop off along the way to visit some distant (and not so distant) relatives. We will discover if, and how they learn – and what this has to do with our own everyday learning processes.

You will hear about whole populations of learners that live in your stomach, why jellyfish are not the best students, and why we may have more in common with marmosets than chimpanzees.

Evolutionary science can now tell us the fascinating story of how we came to learn, and provide a uniquely long-term view that sheds light on our approaches to education today.

Workshop: The Science of Learning

Our scientific understanding of learning has advanced sufficiently to provide insights into teaching and learning in the classroom. At the University of Bristol, funded by the Wellcome Trust, we have been taking a research-based approach to successfully incorporating the Science of Learning in Initial Teacher Education. This workshop will present some key concepts about the learning brain, and provide opportunities for attendees to critically reflect and discuss what these mean for understanding their own everyday classroom practice. By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • avoid common neuromyths
  • understand processes by which learning occurs in the classroom, based on state-of-the-art findings from cognitive neuroscience
  • inform your planning, implementation and evaluation of your teaching with an evidence-based understanding of the Science of Learning

Sarah Longville

CEO for Alliance of Leading Learning

Sarah is the CEO of The Marches Academy Trust and the Alliance of Leading Learning. She is a National Leader in Education and The Marches is a National Support School, supporting large numbers of practitioners and leaders across all age phases from maintained schools, academies and the independent sector.

Sarah is the driving force behind the Leadership Conferences – bringing together experts from across the education sector in motivational Professional Learning.

Sarah believes in outward facing and visionary leadership and she is intent on the Alliance of Leading Learning achieving its vision to embrace the school led system; working closely with lead partners, to provide gold standard professional learning and school improvement projects nationally and internationally.

Professor Mick Waters

Professor Mick Waters works with the schools in the West Midlands in raising standards. This work began as part of the Black Country Challenge and has continued through the University of Wolverhampton’s involvement with the development of Academies and Teaching Schools. He works with schools in other parts of the country on innovative approaches to learning and on several other initiatives to push the boundaries for making learning better.

Mick is an Honorary Fellow of the College of Teachers and supports several educational causes. He is a patron of the Children’s University which offers a range of learning opportunities beyond the school environment and of SAPERE which promotes Philosophy for Children as a route to learning. Mick is also a patron of the Curriculum Foundation, which seeks to promote a voice for the power and potential of the whole curriculum. Mick supports the National Association for Environmental Education as a vice president and is also chair of CoEd, which promotes compassionate education.

During his career, Mick has been a teacher and headteacher before working at senior levels in Birmingham and Manchester Local Authorities. He worked at a national level with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority where he was Director of Curriculum.

Mick believes that learning should be treasured and valued and that it needs to be shaped to fit with children’s lives. People in schools need to set understandings of their children alongside the learning they should meet to create learning that is irresistible.

Mick believes in being close to teachers, children and schools, and is often to be found in the classroom working with children. He has written books on the curriculum, teaching and learning, and leadership, as well as making presentations at numerous national and international conferences. Mick’s most recent book, ‘Thinking Allowed…on schooling’ was published in 2013. He is passionate about the role of education in improving life chances for pupils. He also enjoys asking adults to look at learning through the eyes of a pupil.