2021 Presenters

Adam Woodward


Years Teaching: 14
Focus: Primary Teaching & Learning
Favourite Educationalist: Kate Jones, Tom Sherrington, Mary Myatt, Clare Sealy
Favourite Book: The Art and Science of Teaching Primary Reading by Christopher Such; Retrieval Practice by Kate Jones, Rosenshine's Principles in Action by Tom Sherrington
One thing I’d change: More time and funding given to teachers to improve their subject knowledge in all areas of the curriculum rather than relying on them to do this in their own time. By investing in our teachers, we provide greater outcomes for the children we teach.
Why I teach: A very cliché response but to make a difference: knowing that children have a better knowledge and understanding of the world around them that gives them a foundation to flourish in the wider world is one of the greatest feelings and makes me proud to be a part of the education sector.

Amanda Wilson


Years Teaching: 20
Focus: Leadership
Favourite Educationalist: Sir Ken Robinson
Favourite Book: Start with Why by Simon Sinek
One thing I’d change: Get rid of Ofsted and replace with Local Authority 'inspections', where the individuals have a better understanding of the local context and have a working relationship with school leaders.
Why I teach: I work in education because every single day I have the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of the children, staff and parents that I interact with.That's my 'Why'.

Andrea Silvain


Years Teaching: 13
Focus: Primary years
Favourite Educationalist: Ken Robinson
Favourite Book: Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed
One thing I’d change: To break down the divide between progressives and traditionalists, to facilitate true innovation and maximum impact for students.
Why I teach: To help create an education system that is more expansive. One that nurtures the potential of children from all backgrounds and empowers them to know the value of their voice, their influence and to take on the world.

Angela Clough


Years Teaching: 20
Focus: currently working as a therapist, previous work with young people and families, with time spent in social services, drug and alcohol treatment services.

Favourite Educationalist: Julie Harmieson (co-director of trauma informed schools UK).
Favourite Book: The Trauma and Attachment Aware Classroom by Rebecca Brooks
One thing I’d change: More time for play! Recent studies are providing the evidence that play is integral for learning and wellbeing for not only children, but adolescents and adults. I would love to see a place on the curriculum for this, where all students have time with teaching/support staff to build those social skills, problem solving and emotional regulation skills that develop through play.
Why I teach: In my early career working within social services and drug/alcohol treatment services I worked with young people and adults who had mostly all experienced trauma and had a poor experience of education. I recognise that early intervention is key in supporting children in achieving self actualisation, therefore I could only envisage a career supporting families, children or professionals working in education.

Angela Schofield


Years Teaching: 8
Focus: Primary Leadership
Favourite Educationalist: Tom Sherrington, Mary Myatt, and Robin Alexander
Favourite Book: Transforming Teaching and Learning Through Talk by Amy Gaunt & Alice Stott.
One thing I’d change: Raise the profile of oracy education so it is seen as an essential foundation for learning and wellbeing in schools. If Ofsted included it as a focus of inspections, school leaders would be supported to prioritise it in their own schools.
Why I teach: Put simply - to make a difference. It is an incredible privilege to be in a position to support children and their families to overcome barriers and increase the life choices open to them. I love primary because we are responsible for laying the foundations, academically, socially and emotionally, on which all their future learning experiences rest. And I get to work with the most wonderful children every day - I always end the day laughing.

Atlanta Plowden


Years Teaching: over 5 years (+1.5 years as a trainee teacher)
Favourite Educationalist: Emile Durkheim
Favourite Book: The Sociology of Knowledge and Culture by Max Scheler
One thing I’d change: Narrow-minded obsessions - take heed of other perspectives!
Why I teach: To make sense of the world surrounding our students, as well as my own.

Ben Aaron


Years Teaching: 5 years -
Focus: Outreach for City University
Favourite Educationalist: Susan Hanisch
Favourite Book: Leviathan by Philip Hoare
One thing I’d change: Transition to secondary, lack of minority ethnic representation, league tables, exams, government policies, science curricula, university fees, FE college funding..... hmmm, seems like quite a bit there.
Why I teach: Because Education is social justice, and because it's huge fun.

Caroline Verdant


Years Teaching: 15
Focus: HL Teaching Assistant
Favourite Book: Being 10% Braver: Inspiring Women to Lead Education edited by Keziah Featherstone & Vivienne Porritt
One thing I’d change: I’d like to be able to change how children of colour are identified in the education system, as well as showing how they too can give back through using their voices for change, ie Social Justice.
Why I teach: I love children and find it a great way to give back to the community and society.

David Oates


Years Teaching: 8
Focus: Primary English
Favourite Book: The Art and Science of Primary Reading by Chris Such.
One thing I’d change: Extend continuous provision through Key Stage 1.
Why I teach: No day is ever boring.

Darrell Chart-Boyles


Years Teaching: 17
Focus: Secondary Leadership, English, Media Studies
Favourite Educationalist: Clay Shirky
Favourite Book: Big Gay Adventures in Education: Supporting LGBT+ Visibility in Schools. (Full disclosure: I did write a chapter for it!)
One thing I’d change: Ofsted: rather than being the DfE's winged monkeys, dispatched to put the frighteners on schools whenever the (now almost comically incompetent) Secretary of State's knee jerks in reaction to the latest Twitter/right-wing media pile-on to education, it should be led by someone who's actually spent time working in schools, with the remit to support and celebrate our profession.
Why I teach: I'm not sure I'd be any good at anything else and every day is so different! Also, despite the popular stereotypes, young people are amazing: eloquent, ambitious, politically-engaged and fascinating; working with them is (almost) always a joy.

Emily Maybanks


Years Teaching: 1
Focus: Learning Support Assistant and EAL Coordinator
Favourite Educationalist: I think it would be unfair to pick a favourite as I believe ALL educationalists are superheroes!
Favourite Book: A Quiet Education by Jamie Thom
One thing I’d change: Give EAL learners a real chance to achieve qualifications so they can fulfil their potential and achieve their dreams.
Why I teach: I work in education because, as cheesy as it sounds, education transforms young lives and being part of that is incredible. Helping a student go from not knowing any English to thriving in their lessons makes me prouder than ever.

Geraldine Rowe


Years in Education: 40
Focus: Educational Pyschologist
Favourite Educationalists: William Glasser, Paulo Freire, Garth Boomer, Chris Watkins.
What book should people Read? It's Our School, It's Our Time: a whole-school approach to collaborative decision-making'
One thing I’d change: For teachers and pupils to have more of a say about what goes on in their classrooms.
Why I teach: It's the most important job in the world. I want to contribute to a socially just education system that gives every child a fair start in life, helps them to believe in themselves and communicate their views and ideas. That 'fair start' includes giving children and young people the skills and opportunities to take part in making decisions that affect them and to become active partners in the design of their own classrooms, schools and communities.

Heather Greatbatch


Years Teaching: 18
Focus: English
Favourite Educationalist: Dr Luke Beardon and Dr Devon Price
Favourite Book: Neurotribes by Steve Silberman.
One thing I’d change: Schools need to have the freedom to be more flexible for their autistic and neurodivergent students, e.g. flexi-schooling, independent study, curriculum choices. This inevitably involves reforming the inspection system that almost always determines the direction of educational leadership.
Why I teach: I wanted to pursue a career in which I could use the subject knowledge from my degree (English Language and Literature) and also have a strong moral purpose. I didn’t find the process of learning to teach easy, but found that working with young people was immensely rewarding, and entertaining! I love the fact that no two lessons, days, classes or year groups are the same. As I have learned more about SEND, and autism in particular, I have become passionate about the pivotal role teachers have in ensuring not only that all young people achieve their potential, but also have a positive experience of school that sets them up for life.

Helen Witty


Years Teaching: 20
Focus: SEND and Inclusion
Favourite Educationalist: Mel Ainscow
Favourite Book: The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf
One thing I’d change: That the SEND Review is delivered and helps us design a working system. That we end the constant, unnecessary war that parents of students with SEND must wage just to get what should be afforded any child: an education. That SEND Law is used to hold accountable those with the keys to funding and provision, yet keep the door locked.
Why I teach: Because the quiet child, the one that sits in silence, does their work - the one we don’t always notice as much - needs a voice.

Holly Wimbush


Years Teaching: 8
Focus: Literature & Professional Mentor
Favourite Educationalist: Kat Howard; Mary Myatt; Stuart Pryke; Kate Jones
Favourite Book: Symbiosis: The Curriculum and the Classroom by Kat Howard and Claire Hill.
One thing I’d change: How we are viewed as a profession without as high a status as others.
Why I teach: I work in education because it is a joy and a privilege to share my subject with young minds who are searching to make sense of their world. My subject consistently and carefully provides opportunities to challenge their worldview.

Jess Farmer


Years Teaching: 4
Focus: English
Favourite Educationalist: Dylan Wiliam, Jenny Webb
Favourite Book: How to Teach English by Chris Curtis and any of Kate Jones' work on retrieval practice.
One thing I’d change: I think for all educators to get meaningful support, whether this is in ITT, ECT years or beyond and for that support and treatment of staff to be positive and consistent across every school. I see many horror stories of staff treatment on Twitter which just shouldn't happen and makes me feel appreciative of the fantastic school I am a part of.
Why I teach: I work in education because as cliché as it sounds/is, I want to help young people make a positive step towards making their dreams come true. I hope my students end their secondary school life with the skills and knowledge they will need in order to take on opportunities later in life.

John Gillard


Years Teaching: 18 years
Focus: 15 years in mainstream as a head of department and lead practitioner, 3 years as assistant principal in a special school for children with SEMH needs.
Favourite Educationalist: Mary Myatt
Favourite Book: High Challenge, Low Threat by Mary Myatt
Why I teach: I get huge satisfaction from seeing the academic and social progress we see children make over their time at school, and the privilege of being able to work with teachers and support staff to reflect on and improve their practice.

Justin Gray


Years Teaching: 31
Focus: Focus: Leadership & curriculum
Favourite Educationalist: Maria Montessori
Favourite Book: Humankind by Rutger Bregman.
One thing I’d change: Transition between year 6 and year 7 in order to improve understanding between primary and secondary education.
Why I teach: Because it is an exhaustingly wonderful, varied career that I love.

Katie Shakeshaft


Years Teaching: 9
Focus: English, Leadership
Favourite Educationalist: Alex Quigley
Favourite Book: Stop Talking About Wellbeing: A Pragmatic Approach to Teacher Workload by Kat Howard.
One thing I’d change: I’d like to change the view that literacy in secondary schools is solely the responsibility of English teachers, or literacy leads. Every teacher communicates their subject through academic language and with careful attention to disciplinary literacy, we can support students to thrive as they progress through school.
Why I teach: As cliché as it might sound, I want to make a positive difference to the lives of young people every day. Being a teacher can be difficult and gruelling at times, but nothing beats that ‘lightbulb moment’ in a lesson, the happy tears on results day, or the cracking sense of humour of teenagers!

Kit Andrews


Years Teaching: 26 years
Focus: ex Lead ICT for Lambeth, ex Ofsted Inspector, 23 years as SLT - currently entering 6th year of headship.
Favourite Educationalist: Mary Myatt
What book should people Read? Marvel homework books.
One thing I’d change: Increased Funding; how it is allocated, how it is designated and quite simply let us get on with the job.
Why I teach: Because I've tried other jobs; banking, pot washing, hotel staff, retail and gravedigging and none come even close to the drive I feel when doing this - nor the excitement or satisfaction. (Although a well dug grave is a thing of beauty.)

Kyrone Adams


Years Teaching: 5
Focus: Embedding an inclusive culture in the class/school
Favourite Educationalist: Blair Minchin
Favourite Book: Secrets of a Sun King by Emma Carroll
One thing I’d change: The rigour of the National Curriculum.
Why I teach: To help shape the future generations.

Laura Mudge


Years Teaching: 5 in Primary, 5 in Adult Ed
Favourite Educationalist: Tim Smit, Jenny Mosley, Maria Montessori
Favourite Book: How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & And Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
One thing I’d change: I'd like to see a shift towards encouraging curiosity, experimentation and independence in children so classes become communities of self-motivated and confident learners, rather than focusing children on jumping through the hoops of assessment as if that was the goal of education.
Why I teach: Ultimately I love working with so many different individuals who are developing their skills and discovering their varied interests. I enjoy trying to find ways to motivate them so they surprise themselves with what they can do and feel proud of their progress.

Lucy Coates


Years Teaching: 12
Focus: Class teacher, Literacy Lead
Favourite Educationalist: Dorothy Heathcote
Favourite Book: Mantle of the Expert - a transformative approach to education by Tim Taylor
One thing I’d change: No more SATs.
Why I teach: I love learning.

Martine Ireland


Years Teaching: 12
Focus: English
Favourite Educationalist: Kat Howard
Favourite Book: Curriculum: Theory, Culture and the Subject Specialisms by Ruth Ashbee
One thing I’d change: Give staff more time and more freedom over what to do with it.
Why I teach: It's ever-changing and impossible to get bored; there's always more to learn, more to read, more to try, and more challenges to face. I love the relationships that I'm able to build with young people, and trying to inspire in them some of my love for books.

Natalie Kerslake


Years Teaching: 10
Focus: Teaching Assistant
Favourite Educationalist: Steve Chinn and Judy Hornigold
Favourite Book: The Trouble with Maths by Steve Chinn and A Deep Sense of Number: Starting with Dots from the Association of Teachers in Mathematics.
One thing I’d change: Work-life balance.
Why I teach: It is a pleasure in my role as a primary school Teaching Assistant to be able to support children within their learning. This is particularly when 'the lighbulb moment' occurs and you have helped them to achieve in a particular area that they were finding difficult. No two days are ever the same and it is amazing to know what a difference I am making in to children's lives in and out of the classroom, day in, day out. I wouldn't choose any other profession to work in.

Sarah Farrell


Years Teaching: 6
Focus: Maths Lead
Favourite Educationalist: Mary Myatt
Favourite Book: Thinking Deeply About Primary Mathematics by Kieran Mackie
One thing I’d change: I'd provide every school with a fully stocked and updated library and a full-time librarian.
Why I teach: It seems really obvious, but I just really like working with children and helping them to achieve their full potential!

Shelly Cozens


Years Teaching: 13
Focus: English, Head of Careers and Cultural Capital
Favourite Educationalist: The Tattooed Headteacher (@KyrstieStubbs), Toria Bono (@Toriaclaire) and Abby Bayford (@ATT_Institute)
Favourite Book: Symbiosis: the Curriculum and the Classroomby Kat Howard and Claire Hill.Literature wise Amari and the Night Brothers by BB Alston.
One thing I’d change: I want people to realise that a child is more than the numbers on a piece of paper at the end of Y11. We should offer courses and qualifications that meet their needs and not to meet data targets.
Why I teach: People are always shocked/horrified when I divulge that I'm a Secondary teacher. Teenagers get so much bad press and they're truly amazing to work with. My aim is for everyone to love school as much as I did and to have the best possible opportunities in the future.

Siobhan Braithwaite

Years Teaching: 25
Focus: Primary
Favourite Book: Maya Angelou's Biography
One thing I’d change: Subject specific curriculum in primary school.
Why I teach: To make a difference, nurture the love of learning.

Stuart Rogers


Years Teaching: 25
Focus: Years 5/6
Favourite Educationalist: Erika Garcia
Favourite Book: Launch: Using Design Thinking To Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student by John Spencer & A.J. Juliani
One thing I’d change: I'll keep it simple - staff meetings - they go on too long and most of them could have been an email!
Why I teach: I thinking teaching is much more than just the curriculum. It is 100% about relationships and experiences and I whole-heartedly believe in sharing life experiences with the children I teach. I want children to take an interest in the wider world and become aware of things they might not ordinarily come across at home. I want them to be comfortable discussing and asking questions about anything they've seen on TV etc. I want them to question the reliability of everything they interact with in this digital age. The only way I can do that is to lead by example and create that open environment in my classroom.(And the presents...I teach because I like receiving socks and ties twice a year) =)

Tabitha Surge


Years Teaching: 11
Focus: English Secondary & Undergrad
Favourite Educationalist: Maria Edgeworth, Catherine Macaulay, Mary Wollstonecraft
Favourite Book: Practical Education by father-daughter duo Maria and Richard Lovell Edgeworth (1798)
One thing I’d change: True 11 to 18 education with a meaningful range of qualifications and training suitable for the full range of aptitudes, interests and abilities.
Why I teach: I can’t imagine doing anything else. Nothing but stand-up is so driven by performance adrenaline and flop-sweat. Nothing is funnier, more fascinating, and more exciting. No other job would let me move between French feminist theory, etymology, the history of saints in art, early twentieth century economics and late nineteenth century legal reform over the course of a day. And how else would I keep up with the latest slang or the freshest memes?

Tim Paramour


Years Teaching: 16
Focus: Primary teacher & leader
Favourite Educationalist: They all get some things right and some things wrong.
Favourite Book: Why Don’t Students Like School? by Daniel Willingham
One thing I’d change: More investment in early years.
Why I teach: To make a difference.

Toby Payne-Cook


Years Teaching: 8 (preceeded by 16 years in the science industry)
Focus: KS3 Science, Philosophy Club
Favourite Educationalists: Ian Warwick, Martin Robinson, Bill Lucas, Alastair McConville, Mary Myatt, Christian Bokhove, Ed Finch & Christopher
Inspiring Books: The School of Life by Alain de Botton et al, The Road to Character by David Brooks, The Human Touch by Michael Frayn.
One thing I’d change: The cliff edge transition at 11. I’d have more specialism in UKS2, and more generalism in KS3. Oh, and ban or at least seriously reduce the importance of GCSEs.
Why I teach: To inspire a sense of wonder at the world, to break down arbitrary barriers between subjects; to encourage deeper scientific, creative and philosophical thinking and to enjoy bouncing ideas around with young, open minds before they enter the educational lobotomy of the high stakes exam years.

Vikki Hudson


Years Teaching: 3
Focus: English, Media
One thing I’d change: Its reputation! A profession that was respected by the media, the public and politicians would do incredible things for our young people!
Why I teach: I work in education - as cheesy as it sounds - because I enjoy making a difference. Fundamentally, I love working with young people and hope that I improve some lives, raise aspirations and generate love for my subjects.

Victoria Nunn


Years Teaching: 21
Focus: SEND Neurodiversity in the classroom.
Favourite Educationalists: Lev Vygotsky
Favourtie Book: Cognitive Load Theory: A Handbook for Teachers by Steve Garnett
One thing I’d change: The exam system in order to make it more indicative of potential for neurodiverse students.
Why I teach: To improve the life chances for neurodiverse students by providing fairer access to education.

Zoe Paramour


Years Teaching: 11
Focus: currently Primary Assistant Head
Favourite Educationalist: Dylan Wiliam
Favourite Book: Why Don't Students Like School by Daniel Willingham
One thing I’d change: Reduce unnecessary workload and free up teachers to just teach!
Why I teach: Because it's the best job in the world.