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                                                                                                                                                     24/25/26 March 2021

More speakers to be announced shortly

John is the Finance Director of Robin Hood Multi Academy Trust and has been since September 2017. John has a rich financial background in schools and has worked across the West Midlands region in local authority schools, faith schools and academies including several other multi academy trusts. He oversees MAT operations as well as lead on academy conversions. John’s experience means that he has a wide overview of the educational landscape and finances and has spoken nationally on issues related to academy finances. He is a member of Solihull Schools’ Forum, sits on the Board of Members of another MAT and is also a governor at two schools including the post of Chair of Finance.

Steve is the CEO of Robin Hood Multi Academy Trust. He has a strong leadership background in education and, as well as being an NLE, has worked at a national level on a number of initiatives as well as at an international level. During the Coronavirus shutdown of schools, Robin Hood MAT (under Steve’s leadership) created #TheLearningProjects - a national editable set of resources for any school in the country to build upon and improve. Steve and the Robin Hood MAT team are interested in open, transparent leadership and collaboration within the education sector and have committed to sharing EVERYTHING the MAT does for others to use as a base to build from.

Appointed as a substantive headteacher in 2002 and executive headteacher in 2009, Simon has many years of experience in leadership. In 2003, his school was top of Kent’s performance league table, in 2006 recognised as the second most successful school in the UK, with this achievement repeated in 2009 in another school. In 2012, following the establishment of the trust, the sponsor school was among the top 100 schools nationally for sustained improvement and judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in February 2015. His leadership has been described by Ofsted as 'inspirational', 'passionate', 'very effective' and as having a 'strong sense of ambition'. Simon is as a National Leader of Education and his trust identified as one of the top-performing trusts in the country.

Matthew is chief executive of Embark Federation which is a trust of 9 schools across Derbyshire. He was designated a National Leader of Education in 2017 for the work he has done as a system leader. Matthew supported over a dozen schools across Derbyshire who are now all judged to be good or better by Ofsted. He believes that schools are ‘stronger together’ and enjoys sharing practice whilst also learning from others and helping to improve the federation. He also believes that schools should be at the heart of their communities whilst providing their children with the best possible education. All schools in the federation have an exciting curriculum which is accompanied by a rich diet of wider opportunities in Music, Sport, Science and the Arts. The trust has used sponsorship opportunities and grants to fund aspirational events for the children. 

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Laura McInerney is an education journalist, former secondary teacher, and co-founder of Teacher Tapp (the daily survey tool uncovering the secret lives of teachers). She started her career in east London comprehensives and taught for six years before being taken to court by Michael Gove for asking a difficult question about free schools (she won, eventually). Following this, Laura became a journalist, writing a monthly column in The Guardian and editing Schools Week (where her team won national awards for their hard-hitting scoops).

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Hugh is an award-winning international business leader with over 20 years’ experience enabling education and learning organisations. Over the last five years he has built the Elliot Foundation from concept to one of the most successful primary academy sponsors in the country. Over the same period he has helped other academy trusts with their organisational design and has contributed to the Bloodhound SSC project which aims to inspire a generation to study STEM subjects with an attempt on the world land speed record.

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Leora is the CEO of the Confederation of School Trusts (CST).  She was recently Director of Policy and Public Relations for the Association of School and College Leaders. She has six years of experience as a Chief Education Officer in two London Local Authorities. Leora has a wide range of experiences that reflect her passion for making a difference in the lives of children and young people. She is a committed educationalist who has extensive experience at senior executive level of working with schools to improve quality of provision and standards.

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Rosie studied acting at Liverpool John Moores University before receiving the Sir John Mills scholarship for the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London. She has five years’ experience of event co-ordinating and management and has organised a number of high-profile events for Embark schools. Rosie is proud to be representing Embark as the four core beliefs mirror what she stands for. She has a passion for providing children with opportunities they may never have experienced. Having brought in over £50,000 of income into the trust during her first year through sponsorship and grants, Rosie is playing a key role in helping the trust and schools achieve their vision and adding to what is already a rich curriculum.

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Stephen has a 20-year career history in operations and finance, working at a senior level in the public and private sectors, both in the UK and abroad. Stephen presided over the development and implementation of nationally recognised school business leadership professional standards and led the transition from the National Association of School Business Management to the Institute of School Business Leadership. Stephen works closely with the Department for Education in areas of policy reform, and his commitment to research to aid our self-improving system includes ongoing engagement with international jurisdictions including Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the US.

Additionally, Stephen is an Academy Ambassador and serves as a trustee and member for two multi-academy trusts.

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