As usual we intend to have an opening Question Time style panel this year. Our debate will focus around the very important issue of testing. Chaired by Laura McInerney, Kevin Courtney from the NUT and Amanda Spielman, chair of Ofqal will debate the role of testing in our schools.  One key theme for us this year is giving a voice to the silenced. As teachers we often feel silenced ourselves. But there are others who are very infrequently heard at education conferences. Those who went through the system without a fairy tale ending for example. Chris Kilkenny’s account of growing up with a mother who was a heroin addict and the way he navigated school will break your heart. And Wasim Kurdi will travel from Palestine to tell us how teachers there struggle to give traumatised Palestinian children the power and confidence to speak out.

Opening :- Chris Kilkenny @KilkennyChris


Mary Bousted – General Secretary, ATL

Nic Dakin MP – Shadow Minister for Schools

Chaired by Ann Mroz.

Debra Kidd – Organiser of Northern Rocks


Afternoon Debate:-

“Is testing damaging our children?”

Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the NUT versus

Amanda Spielman, Chair of Ofqual

Chaired by Laura McInerney, Editor of Schools Week


1. Amjad Ali – Assistant Headteacher  @ASTSupportAAli

2. Mark Anderson – author and consultant @ICTEvangelist

3. Lisa Jane Ashes – Teacher and author @lisajaneashes

4. Louise Astbury – Assistant Director and teacher Oldham Sixth Form College @LouiseAstbury

5. Danielle Bartram – Maths lead practitioner and author @MissBsResources

6. Rebecca Bell – Teacher and director of Integrate Education @integrateeducat

7. Jill Berry – Ex head and passionate advocate of leadership @JillBerry102

8. Sameena Choudhry – Founder of Equitable Education @EquitableEd

9. Sue Cowley – Ex teacher, writer and EYFS governor @Sue_Cowley

10. Paul Dix – Author, behaviour expert and co-founder of Pivotal Podcast @pivotalpaul

11. Sarah Earl – Training manager for Sound Training, sponsor of Northern Rocks.

12. Keziah Featherstone and Emma Payne – Secondary and Primary Headteachers

13. Joe Hallgarten – Director of Education, the Royal Society of Arts

14. Crista Hazel – MFL teacher and ITL associate @CristaHazell

15. Carl Hendrick (and guest!) – Director of Research, Wellington College @C_Hendrick

16. Dr Max Hope – The University of Hull and founder of the Freedom to Learn Project.

17. Paul Hopkins – University of Hull Faculty of Education @hopkinsmmi

18. Nina Jackson – Author and ITL associate

19. Bansi Kara – Assistant Headteacher and Huffington Post blogger @benniekara

20. Joe Kirby – Assistant Headteacher, Michaela School

21. Wasim Kurdi and Richard Kieran – Teacher trainer and headteacher linking Redditch and Palestine @rkieran

22. Richard Marshall – ATL Teacher Workload Workshop

23. Ross McGill – Deputy Headteachers, author and blogger @teachertoolkit

23. David McQueen – Founder of Magnificent Generation @DavidMcQueen

25. Chris Madden – BACP accredited psychotherapist working with young adults.

26. Jarlath O’Brien – Headteacher of Carwarden House Community school, a special school.

27. Alex Quigley and John Tomsett – Assistant Headteacher and Headteacher at Huntingdon School @huntingenglish @JohnTomsett

28. Sam Twiselton – Director of the Faculty of Education, Sheffield Hallam University and panel member of both the Carter Review and the government’s Behaviour Advisory Panel @SamTwiselton

29. Isabella Wallace – Teacher, author and founder of the charity Reach Out 2 Schools

Also….Rachel Orr, Debra Kidd, Hywel Roberts, David Cameron, Mick Waters and other special guests….watch this space…