International School Leaders Conference

International School Leaders Conference

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Our international school leaders conference covers themes and topics that will help you grow your school community and equip students with an education that is demanded by universities and employers, worldwide.

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Last year’s two-day conference was held at Beaumont Estate, Windsor, London in the UK, on 22 and 23 October 2019. A range of presentations, workshops and panel discussions looked at topics linked to the theme ‘developing the human skills that matter’. It's a great opportunity to be a part of the conversation, as well as consider how you can apply new insights and thinking in your school.

As part of Open Ideas at Pearson, which shares independent insights on the big unanswered questions in education, we work with some of the best minds in education – from teachers and technologists, to researchers and big thinkers – to bring their ideas and insights to a wider audience. The conference will connect with some of this work.

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Confirmed keynote and guest speakers included:

Owen Henkel
Investment Director

As Investment Director, Owen leads the Pearson Ventures investment process and manages the portfolio, serving on the board of five investee companies. Previously he worked as Portfolio Director and Efficacy Director where he worked across the portfolio to improve financial performance and learning outcomes.

Prior to Pearson, Owen worked as a consultant to ed-tech startups in Latin America, an associate at McKinsey & Co., and as Teach for America corps member in post-Katrina New Orleans.

Owen holds a dual MBA/MA at the University of Michigan, where he focuses on statistics, education technology, and impact investing. He is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Oxford, focusing on Artificial Intelligence in education, while continuing his role at the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund. His research focuses on the potential that recent advances in ‘data science’ have for improving the analysis of student-level educational performance, specifically how large scale assessment of early-stage literacy in low and middle income countries and recent advances in communication technology and artificial intelligence can be used to improve them

Charles Leadbeater
Author of the Problem Solvers

Charles Leadbeater is a leading authority on innovation and creativity. He has advised companies, cities and governments around the world on innovation strategy. As well as advising a wide range of organisations on innovation including the BBC, Vodafone, Microsoft, Ericsson, Channel Four Television and the Royal Shakespeare Company, Charles has been an ideas-generator in his own right. He wrote the first British report on the rise of social entrepreneurship, which has since become a global movement. His report on the potential for the web to generate social change led to the creation of the Social Innovation Camp movement. 

Charles has worked extensively as a senior adviser to the governments, advising the 10 Downing Street policy unit, the Department for Trade and Industry and the European Commission on the rise of the knowledge driven economy and the Internet, as well as the government of Shanghai. He is an advisor to the Department for Education’s Innovation Unit on future strategies for more networked and personalised approaches to learning and education. He is a co-founder of the public service design agency Participle.

A visiting senior fellow at the British National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts, he is also a longstanding senior research associate with the influential London think-tank Demos and a visiting fellow at Oxford University’s Said Business School and the Young Foundation. He is co-founder of Participle, the public service innovation agency, which is working with central and local government to devise new approaches to intractable social challenges.

Professor Rose Luckin
Professor of Learning with Digital Technologies & Director of EDUCATE London, UCL Institute of Education

Rose Luckin is Professor of learner Centred Design at University College London (UCL) Knowledge Lab in London. Her research involves the design of evaluation of educational technology using theories from the learning science and techniques from Artificial Intelligence (AI). She has a particular interest in using AI to open up the ‘black box’ of learning to show teachers and students the detail of their progress intellectually, emotionally and socially. Rose is author of Machine Learning and Human Intelligence;the future of education in the 21st century, published in June 2018 by the Intsitute of Education press. In October 2018, Rose co-funded the Institute for Ethical AI in Education, with social entrepreneur Priya Lakhani and Vice Chancellor Sir Anthony Seldon. Rose is also Director of EDUCATE, a London hub for education technology start-ups, researchers and educators to work together on the development of evidence-informed educational technology.

Rose holds an International Francqui Chair at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, and was named on the Seldon List 2017 as one of the most influential people in Education. She is a UFI VocTech charity trustee, a governor and trustee of St Paul’s School in London, a governor of the Self-Managed Learning College in Brighton and a member of the Cambridge University Press Syndicate (ELT & Education Publishing Committee). She has taught in the state secondary, further education and higher education sectors, and she was previously Pro-Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Laarning at the University of Sussex.

Dr John Taylor, BA, PGCE, DPhil, BPhil
Director of Learning, Teaching and Innovation at Cranleigh

Dr John Taylor is Director of Learning, Teaching and Innovation at Cranleigh, with responsibility for the development of independent learning. He is an experienced teacher, trainer and consultant with experience of working with international schools to develop project programmes. Dr Taylor works closely with staff, providing professional development opportunities and organising and leading Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in areas connected to independent learning. Dr Taylor is one of the principal architects of the Extended Project Qualification and other project-based qualifications in the UK. In recent years his work has focused on the development of thinking within all areas of the curriculum, as well as the use of project work to facilitate deeper learning.

Dr. Kristen DiCerbo
Vice-President of Teaching and Learning Research & Design at Pearson

Dr. Kristen DiCerbo is the Vice-President of Teaching and Learning Research & Design at Pearson. She leads a team of researchers and learning designers conducting new research in learning and assessment and embedding insights about how people learn into the design of digital learning environments.

Dr. DiCerbo’s personal research program centers on the use of games and simulations to understand what learners know and can do. She has published work in the areas of 21st century skills, personalized learning, and the use of “oceans” of digital data to inform learners and learning.

Prior to joining Pearson, Kristen was a school psychologist in a local school district in Arizona and then a researcher with the Networking Academies at Cisco.  Kristen received her Bachelor’s Degree from Hamilton College and Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at Arizona State University.

Karine George
Award-winning educationalist

Karine George is an award-winning educationalist, with a passion for re-imagining the future. She was a headteacher for more than 20 years in a large junior school rated as outstanding by Ofsted, England’s school inspection and regulatory body.  She is an active research practitioner, and an ardent advocate of the use of technology to support 21st century learning. Against this background, she was selected to work on the Government task force for Home Access and has reported to the department on the use of technology in schools. As a result, she has won a number of awards including Leadership and Vision for the development of information and communications technology (ICT), Third Millennium Learning, Parental Engagement and the Martin Bacon Award for School of the Year for developing a Whole Education.  

Karine is an international keynote speaker and has written articles on a range of educational issues. She is a contributing author to ‘Sustainable School Transformation: An Inside-Out School Led Approach’ (edited by David Crossley, Bloomsbury, 2013), which looks at how the rigour of traditional top-down accountability models can be combined with the engagement and buy-in of school-led “inside-out” approaches.

She has spoken for a number of National organisations, Local Education Authorites and Universities, demonstrating how the learning landscape is changing and how parents in partnership with schools can lead to greater student achievement. More recently, together with her International work, she has taken on an interim role for Surrey County Council as their Strategic Lead for Education and Partnerships.

Ashley Lodge 
Mental Health and Wellbeing Product Lead for Pearson UK

Ashley Lodge is the Mental Health and Wellbeing Product Lead for Pearson UK and also oversees Pearson’s staff Mindfulness programme. He holds a degree in Philosophy from Southampton University and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from Cambridge University. Ashley is also a qualified coach and also runs his own mindfulness and coaching consultancy. 

Carole Still, MA, CMgr FCMI, FHEA, NLP Coach, RSPP Accredited Mediator
HE Educator, UN Executive coach. PhD researcher: Intl Student Learning and Skills

Ranked number 15 overall according to the nationally recognised Guardian University League Table, Coventry is the UK’s third most popular University for international students after UCL and Manchester. Carole is Head of External Engagement at Coventry University London having previously served in a number of senior academic roles focused on skills and professional development with the University since 2010. An experienced lecturer of international students for over 20 years, prior to entering higher education, Carole spent 12 years working in the public and private sectors.

A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Carole is a passionate advocate of experiential and self-reflective learning. Her current PhD research examines a common understanding of skills among academics, students and employers. With an interest in emotional intelligence and motivation through experiential learning as a method of enabling self-reflective and self-critical learning, Carole’s research has led to the design and implementation of award winning business simulations focused on developing the graduate skills employers seek.

Carole understands the issues and challenges of leading and developing people and thrives on supporting people and organisations to have positive impacts within a highly complex uncertain and ambiguous world. Her passion for education and learning development has led to appointments as a Freeman of the City of London, Liveryman in the Worshipful Company of Educators and Executive coach for the United Nations.

The conference is free to attend. Delegates are responsible for the cost of their travel and accommodation. Please do not book your travel until the event has been confirmed and you have received your conference booking confirmation. See terms and conditions for details.

Accommodation will be available at the Beaumont Estate at the delegate rate of £105+VAT for a standard room. You will be responsible for all bed and breakfast hotel costs, including any extras you charge to your room.

Please refer to the hotel website for full terms and conditions of room booking Upgrades are available at an additional charge (Superior Bedrooms £140+VAT, Deluxe Bedroom £160+VAT, Suites from £200+VAT). These can be arranged directly with the hotel once your initial reservation has been made.

  • The cost of delegate attendance is free of charge for Pearson customers and guests. This includes attendance to all sessions, breaks and lunch between 9am and 5pm on Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 October 2019. There will be a gala dinner from 7pm on Tuesday 22 October.  
  • Delegates are responsible for arranging and paying for their own travel. Please do not book your travel until the event has been confirmed and you have received your conference booking confirmation. Pearson can not be responsible for any charges arising from cancellation or missed travel.
  • Cancellations and changes to your conference attendance should be sent by email to
  • Your personal data will be processed by Pearson in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and our Privacy Notice