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                                                                                                                                                     10, 11, 12 November 2021

              #oeMATs

Speakers

Laura McInerney is a columnist for the Guardian and the former editor of Schools Week. She co-founded Teacher Tapp, the successful daily survey app answered by 8,000 teachers’ lives. She was also once taken to court by Michael Gove for asking difficult questions!

Day 1 Chair

Mark is a Partner and Head of the Education team at Browne Jacobson. With over 20 years' experience as an education lawyer, he has been recommended as a leader in his field. For the last eight years, Mark has been the Chair of the L.E.A.D Academy Trust, a large multi-academy trust in the Midlands. He is a Trustee of NASEN and also a non-executive legal advisor to the National SEND Forum. He has been interviewed by BBC Panorama, Radio 4 and Sky News, and has contributed over 100 papers, articles and book chapters to education literature on a variety of aspects of education law.  'Insightful, highly responsive and knowledgeable. His understanding of issues in the education sector is second to none,' Chambers 2020.

Day 2 Chair

With 10 years’ experience in the education sector, Charlotte has recently joined Browne Jacobson LLP to head-up their London-based education practice. Charlotte specialises in advising maintained schools, academies, multi-academy trusts and their sponsors on an array of legal matters, including collaborative structures, re-brokerages, governance, data protection, admissions, exclusions and special educational needs issues. She is ranked by Chambers and Partners as a notable practitioner and has advised on over 300 academy conversions and 60 free schools to date.

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Hardip Begol has been the Chief Executive of the Woodard Academies Trust since April 2020. He spent two decades at the Department for Education, where his senior civil servant roles included responsibility for: special educational needs and disability; curriculum, qualifications and accountability reform; and independent education, safeguarding and countering extremism. Earlier in his career, he worked at Deloitte as a trainee chartered accountant, KPMG Consulting as a consultant and at the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit. He is a member of the Eden Academy Trust, a NED at the Centre for Education and Youth and was awarded a CBE for services to education.

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Nadine has been working in education for 16 years and gained her first headship in 2015, potentially as one of the youngest black Headteachers in London. This achievement reflects her passion to challenge stereotypes and redefine norms. Nadine most recently founded Aspiring Heads, an online leadership development programme aimed at redressing the racial disparities in senior positions. She is also known for taking radical steps to address Exclusions in schools and actively promotes a culture of Inclusion for all. Nadine is currently Headteacher of Van Gogh Primary School in South West London, part of Dunraven Educational Trust.

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Bradley Busch is a registered Psychologist and Director at InnerDrive. Having worked with over 300 schools, he is one of the leading experts at how to use psychological research to help improve learning, memory, motivation and performance. He wrote two blogs for The Guardian and The Telegraph and is the co-author of the best selling book ‘The Science of Learning’. Outside of education, Bradley also works with International and Premiership footballers, along with Olympians and Paralympians who won medals for Team GB at London 2012 and Rio 2016.

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Ian is the Managing Director of the Education Banking Consultancy. His previous 30 years in the banking industry, with over 15 years focused on the education and not for profit sector (with the last 10 years focused exclusively on the Academy and Independent School sectors), has given Ian a unique insight into the Academy sector. He built the Education team and proposition for Academies at a major bank in 2010 and lead the team to grow market share from 12% of academies in 2010 to over 70% by the end of 2018. His expertise can significantly improve financial efficiencies, returns and risk management in Multi Academy Trust’s. Ian is married and his children attend schools that are exploring becoming an academy. He has held voluntary posts as both a school governor and a trustee at an Education Governance charity.

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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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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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Stef has been in primary education since 1986. A primary teacher and English specialist, she was headteacher of Great Bowden Academy for 11 years before being appointed to the full-time Learn-AT Trust Leader post in 2017. She is an experienced system leader and has worked effectively in strategic school improvement contexts. Stef has a Master’s in Education Research Inquiry and is studying for a doctorate in the leadership of teachers’ professional learning. A National Leader of Education, Stef is passionate about professional learning and securing educational excellence, equity and wellbeing for every child.

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Hugh has led the Elliot Foundation, which is a thriving family of 12,500 children in 29 primary schools, since its inception in 2011. Over the same period he has supported many other school trusts with their organisational design. Before Elliot he ran education businesses across Europe for the IIR Group and Reed Global, forging partnerships with Google, chartered sector bodies and leading universities. He serves on both the British Council’s and EPI’s education advisory boards and is a council member of the Federation for Education Development.

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Mark Gregory has worked in Birmingham’s schools for over 20 years, working with disadvantaged and disenfranchised communities for the duration. For the last 12 of these he has worked for Ark Schools, first as a Senior Leader, then Principal at Ark St Alban’s Academy and now Mark works as Ark’s Regional Director for Secondary Education. Mark is also a Platinum Faculty Member of the Leverage Leadership Institute having completed his fellowship with the Relay Graduate School of Education. As a leader at Ark St Alban’s, Mark was part of the team that led the school to its first outstanding Ofsted result and to a sustained improvement in student outcomes, with the academy routinely in the top decile for student progress. At the same time, the school became an academy, moved into a new building and opened a sixth form, to better deliver its vision to send all its children onto university or the career of their choice. As Principal, Mark saw the school ranked #20 in the country for student progress, continuing the delivery of exceptional outcomes for the young people it serves. This success was built on strong student culture and a rigorous focus on teaching quality and response to data. Mark is now working with schools in the south of Birmingham after Ark St Alban’s Academy became a teaching hub at the start of this year.

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Sam oversees NGA’s policy, information and research service, ensuring it adds to the learning of the organisation and best improves the governance of schools while supporting the chief executive in leading the organisation to achieve positive change in the policy of school governance . Sam is also the policy lead for NGA’s work on multi academy trusts and specialises in MAT governance structures and schemes of delegation. His other responsibilities include overseeing the delivery of NGA's e-newsletter and bi-monthly magazine, Governing Matters to NGA members.  Joint author of the Staying in Control of Your Destiny series, Sam has been lead author on NGA's induction guide Welcome to Governance for the last three years.  Having worked in school governance for 10 years, before joining the NGA, Sam worked for a large multi-academy trust with more than 30 schools, leading an in-house governance team, supporting the trust board and it’ academy committees across a national network of academies providing training, advice and guidance. Prior to that, Sam has also worked for a local authority and in the financial services sector.

Matt is the founder and the Principal at Oak National Academy. He is a qualified teacher, founder at Ambition Institute, trustee at The Brilliant Club, Chair at Bay Leadership Academy in Morecambe and an independent adviser on teacher professional development to the Department for Education.

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Nick is an education lawyer, executive coach and board member. He has significant experience of advising executive teams and boards in the social housing, corporate and, for over 10 years, education sectors. Nick works with boards and executive teams in the education sector to help them navigate the landscape together with helping them spot and take opportunities. Clients comment that “Nick is a strategic thinker and an experienced lawyer, but above all he is a problem solver”. The most recent Legal 500 included the following testimonial, "his knowledge of the sector … is second to none. He is able to add value in any conversation and is a trusted, wise counsel." In addition to providing corporate and governance advice to education institutions, Nick also provides executive coaching support as a qualified executive coach. Nick sits on the firm’s board and in 2019 was invited to join the board of the Foundation for Education Development.

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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.

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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 background in strong educational management, now working with several organisations across the country, as well as being CEO of a high performing Trust.  He is a Fellow of the ISBL. He completed his MBA with a thesis on Improving the Quality of Management in Education.  Stephen is an accredited SRMA, supporting schools across the country, and helping schools put into place action plans which improve the use of resources and focus on ensuring better provision of services to children. Stephen is an advocate of the Sustainable Schools System, ensuring that Excellence in Teaching and Learning is paired with Operational Effectiveness and Financial Efficiency.

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Jo is Chief Executive of Shaw Education Trust which celebrates learners aged 2-25, across 26 primary, secondary and specialist academies. Jo joined the Trust from Ofsted where she worked as the Regional Director for the North West and National Director for Initial Teacher Education. Previously Jo held three secondary headships. Currently she is an NLE, and works extensively in system leadership.

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Simon O’Keefe recently retired as CEO of The Stour Academy Trust.  Appointed as a substantive headteacher in 2002, his school successes include recognition as the second most successful school in the UK, amongst the top 100 schools nationally for sustained improvement and, following the creation of his MAT in 2012, being identified as one of the top performing trusts in the country.

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Ndidi is the CEO of UK Youth; a leading national charity with an open network of over 7000 youth organisations and nation partners. Prior to joining UK Youth, Ndidi's 20 year career spans across the education, charity and corporate sectors, where she has worked as a teacher and school leader, the Executive Director of Teach First and a Vice President at Pearson PLC. Ndidi is a board Director of the youth homelessness charity, Centrepoint, The Mulberry Schools Trust, NCS, and Sky's Diversity Advisory Council. 

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Natalie is an independent Education Consultant specialising in SEND and school improvement.  She develops and delivers a wide range of training and support to schools and multi-academy trusts. She works closely with 2 MATs in the East Midlands to support strategic development of SEND and is also a trustee of Learn-AT multi-academy trust in Leicestershire. She was involved in the development of the WSS MAT SEND Review and is a member of nasen’s 0-11 Advisory Group. Natalie is the author of The Perfect SENCO and The Teacher’s Guide to SEN.

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Rob grew up in a small South Yorkshire mining village, the son and grandson of coal miners. He began his teaching career as a teacher of chemistry and held a number of posts before moving to work for Outwood Grange Academies Trust (OGAT) as Assistant Principal in 2008. He was rapidly promoted to Vice Principal before taking up his first headship in 2009. Over the next six years, Rob worked in a further eleven secondary schools across the North East, in seven different local authority areas.  When Rob joined these schools, they were all judged to be inadequate, rising to be judged Good or Outstanding under his leadership.  Two of those schools moved to be judged Good with Outstanding Leadership within their second year under his leadership.  He became a National Leader of Education in 2013 and was promoted to Regional Chief Executive (North) for OGAT in 2015. In 2017, Rob was appointed as Chief Executive of Northern Education Trust and has led the Trust through a radical transformation. Responsible for devising and implementing the NORTHERN model of school improvement, this has led to substantial and sustained improvements in student outcomes. Recently, North Shore Academy in Stockton on Tees has been judged as outstanding in all areas by Ofsted. Previously judged as Requires Improvement, and never judged to be Good, this is an extremely rare achievement; and is even more noteworthy given that the academy is located in one of the most deprived areas in the country. In addition, The Blyth Academy in Northumberland has also recently been judged Good, having never previously been judged Good in its history. All primary academies are now judged as Good or Outstanding. In 2019, 4 Trust academies were in the 20 most improved schools in England for maths and English combined outcomes. The proportion of students entering the full Ebacc suite of qualifications across the Trust has increased from 18% in 2019 to 64% currently. This work has had a significant impact on the lives of over 14,000 students and their families. Demonstrating his ability to influence change in some of the most challenging communities in the Northern region, and in schools that have historically proved very difficult to lead, Rob has rapidly transformed a Trust that was once deemed to be failing.

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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.

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David Weston is the founder and Chief Executive of the Teacher Development Trust, the national charity for effective professional development. He Chaired the Department for Education’s Teachers’ Professional Development Expert Group and advises the Department on Early Career Teachers and school leadership. David taught maths and physics for ten years in two schools in London and the South East. He is a Council Member and Fellow for Chartered College of Teaching. David speaks and writes frequently for the education sector and national media and has had a number of radio and TV appearances around teaching, teacher development and LGBT issues.

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Matthew is a Partner in the Commercial Law team, based in VWV's Bristol office. Matthew has worked in the education sector for 17 years, and with academy trusts for over 12 years. His particular expertise is helping multi-academy trusts grow and develop through developing close and long-term relationships with them. This covers everything from day-to-day problem solving through to high-level strategic support. He also has significant experience in public procurement and general commercial law.

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