How can we create learning environments that meet the needs of students, while satisfying the demands of the system?

In education we walk a tightrope. A tightrope between making learning something meaningful, useful, and enjoyable for our students, and one that generates outcomes that meet the demands of the system. Tip too far one way, and the curriculum fails to prepare students for the tests, tip too far the other, and education becomes a meaningless chore, something to be put up with rather than enjoyed.

How can we find the right balance? A balance that creates learning environments that stimulate, excite, and engage our students, while still ensuring that they develop the necessary knowledge and skills they need to excel when it comes to sitting the SATs?

No one would pretend it was easy, and the system feels particularly brutal and unyielding at the moment, yet there are small signs that things are beginning to change. Ofsted has recently announced a focus on a broad and balanced curriculum, there has been a growing acknowledgment on the stress testing has on young minds, and there are even (very) small signs that the government is prepared to bend on assessment.

Now feels like the right time to pick up the batten, dust ourselves off, and start a new lap. What do we want education to look like in the future? What are we going to do with the time and influence we have to make a difference? How are we going to walk the tightrope and find the right balance? This conference is a chance to ask those questions and spend time talking to others. It is an inquiry conference, which means an investigation, stimulated by five expert speakers, where delegates will be involved in a professional conversation and the formation of ideas, changes, and plans they can take back and trial in their schools.
If you would like more information on this event, please contact:

Expert Panel

Debra Kidd
Author of Teaching: notes from the front line. Teacher, blogger, and speaker Debra Kidd has strong views on the direction education has travelled over the last ten years – “Our obsession with measuring and certainty has driven us to a point of near despair and to moments of blind acceptance of the shiny and new”


Hywel Roberts
Author of Oops! Helping children learn accidentally. Teacher, writer, and speaker Hywel Roberts is forging a reputation as one of the most entertaining, thoughtful, and imaginative commentators on teaching and learning today – “At the heart of the world’s best teaching you’ll find one admittedly made-up word -‘botheredness”


Richard Mullender
Richard Mullender worked for the Metropolitan police first as a detective investigating serious crimes, then as a hostage negotiator. He now works as a consultant working with law enforcement agencies and government bodies. His book, Communication Secrets of a Hostage Negotiator contains important lessons for education – “When did you last listen? Really listen? Not bide your time until you could get your point across. Not plan your argument, or jump in with advice. But listen, with your full attention…”


Luke Abbott
International educator, speaker, and guru of Mantle of the Expert. Over the last thirty years Luke Abbott has worked across the world leading programmes in transformative education – “The schooling models of the past are beginning to waver in the face of the need for humanity to pervade the system and we see a new horizon for education opening up in the guise of a ‘liberated’ curriculum.”


Mary Myatt
Author of Hopeful schools: building humane communities. Adviser, writer, and speaker Mary Myatt has worked in hundreds of schools – “There are great things going on in schools. I see plenty when I talk with students, teachers and senior leaders about learning, leadership and the curriculum.”


£120 for individual delegates
£100 for group bookings of five or more
St Williams Primary School, Williams Loke, Thorpe St. Andrew, Norwich, NR7 0AJ

Posted in category: Conferences | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “INQUIRY CONFERENCE 5th SEPT 2017 ”

  1. Louise Robbins-Ferreira Says:
    May 20th, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Is the conference for the two full days 5th and 6th September?

  2. Tim Taylor Says:
    May 20th, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Hi Louise, the conference is for one day on 5th Sept.

  3. Colette Garrigan Says:
    August 22nd, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Hi what are the times for the start and end of the conference ?

  4. Tim Taylor Says:
    August 25th, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Hello Colette

    Thank you for your enquiry, the conference is due to start at 8:30 (the early start is because Mary Myatt is also speaking in London and needs to leave early) and will finish at 3:30.