Managing Staff Wellbeing & Workload - Speakers

Tuesday 28 Nov 2017 - Thursday 1 Jan 1970
America Square Conference Centre, London

Viv Grant
Executive Coach, Integrity Coaching

Viv Grant is an Executive Coach, Author and Public Speaker. She is the Director of Integrity Coaching, a leading provider of coaching services for Head teachers and senior school leaders.

Viv has been in the teaching profession for over twenty-eight years. When she was just 31 and expecting her first child, she was appointed as one of the youngest Heads in the country to turn around a failing primary school.

It was because of her experiences as a Head, that Viv developed a deep interest in approaches for supporting the emotional and psychological well-being of school leaders.

As an Executive coach, Viv now works extensively with Head teachers and school leaders, helping them to overcome the challenges of their roles, so that they are able to maintain their humanity, joy, love for the profession and the communities they serve.

Her book “Staying A Head” is the seminal work in this area. Recognised as an expert in the field, she has contributed to various books and periodicals on the subject, most recently a chapter on “Supporting Head teachers” for a newly published book “Mental Health and Well-Being in Teaching and Learning Environments”. As an expert commentator, her contributions have also been featured in The Guardian, London Live, Sky News, Radio Four, Woman’s Hour and the World at One.

Simon O’Keefe
CEO, The Stour Academy Trust

Simon O’Keefe is the CEO of The Stour Academy Trust, established in 2012 with schools based around the Canterbury area and more recently in Sittingbourne, Ashford and the Isle of Sheppey.  The Trust has grown steadily since being established and is one of the first MATs to have both faith and non-faith schools.

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 amongst 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 has recently been appointed as a National Leader of Education and his Trust identified as one of the top performing Trusts in the country.


Nickii Messer

Nickii specialises in training, developing and promoting school management and leadership.  With many years experience of senior school leadership, Nickii is keen to help school leaders at all levels develop the skills and confidence to embrace the complex challenges facing schools today.


Jennifer Richards
Headteacher, St Mark’s CE Primary

Jenni has been teaching since 1996 and has experience as a senior leader and deputy headteacher prior to joining St Mark’s CE Primary in 2012 as Head teacher. Under her leadership, pupil outcomes have improved significantly and the school was judged ‘good’ by Ofsted and outstanding leadership was recognised.
Jenni strongly believes in teaching and learning which values the whole child it provides effective learning and giving the best possible life choices for the learners in her care. She advocates Philosophy for children and growth mindset. Jenni places great value on equality and the staff within her school; she supports their professional development and how best practice can be celebrated and shared. Her commitment to the profession and the passion she shares with her colleagues to excel the children’s education and characters has resulted in a growing achievement for the children, herself and all those that she works with.

Ruth Powley
Deputy Headteacher, Wilmslow High School

Ruth believes strongly that the best way to improve educational outcomes is by inspiring teachers to ‘reclaim the pedagogy’ and use this intelligently, efficiently and proactively in their classrooms. She also has a website and blog, that provides evidence-based resources and ideas.

Tom Wallace
HR Consultant, Browne Jacobson

Tom works as an HR Consultant within Browne Jacobson’s education team, and has over 8 years’ experience working with schools, including working for a number of years with one of the largest multi-academy trusts. Tom specialises in educational HR, with a particular focus on academies. Tom has managed and led on a variety of change management projects including restructures, workforce reductions and pay reviews including job evaluation and pay structure re-design.


Sue Stirling
Wellbeing Award for Schools Consultant

I am the joint author of the NCB and National Partnership framework to guide schools in creating a whole school approach to emotional wellbeing and mental health. I am also the author and lead advisor for Optimus Education WAS award.

Professionally I qualified in clinical psychology and organisational psychology and across the last 20 years have delivered a range of national, regional and local change programmes across the public and charity sector. Previous roles have included director of a think tank, governance programme, founding partner of a culture change business. In education I was a founding member of PEN (progressive education network) regional child poverty champion, specialist advisor for C4EO (Centre for Education and Outcomes) and currently an associate with the National Children’s Bureau.

My 30 years skills and experience lie in designing and implementing organisation wide change programmes, targeted at increased performance through to significant culture change. I offer expertise in children and young people’s mental and emotional wellbeing and how to translate evidence into school practice.

On a broader basis i have a strong policy background, as a member of 3 national public reform commissions. Having myself led a number of different types of organisations I bring a practical and aspirational approach to work. I have also written and consulted on issues as broadly as partnership working, systemic change and engagement within and across organisations.



Maria Constantinou
Associate Headteacher and Inclusion Leader, St. Mary's Primary School

Maria is a Specialist Leader in Education for SEND and Associate Headteacher and Inclusion Leader at St. Mary’s Primary School in East Barnet. Alongside her role at St. Mary’s, she has worked with head teachers and senior leaders nationally, providing practical school to school support resulting in rapid change and school improvement.

Maria contributes to the UCL and IOE ‘Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants’ course for school leaders and facilitates as a member of the team. Maria has also co-written training materials for Teaching Leaders with a focus on the effectiveness of TAs and her school’s TA practice has featured in The Economist, Nursery World and The TES.


Jeremy Hannay
Headteacher, Three Bridges Primary School

Jeremy is Headteacher of Three Bridges Primary School in West London. He has worked in both Canada and England as an educator and is passionate about creating the conditions under which teachers and pupils flourish.  He believes passionately in growing schools that are characterized by cultures of trust, collaboration and happiness.  He tweets using @HannayJeremy.


Alex Prior
Principal, Etonbury Academy

Alex spent his first twelve years working in the media including television, film and pioneering on-line technologies as MD of a production company for which he was named London Business Innovator of the Year. Some guest lecturing in schools, colleges and universities led to a career re-evaluation and a move to Senior Leadership Team at Sir John Lawes School in Harpenden to develop their brand new Media Arts Specialist Status. During his time at the school he led the development of the 14-19 Diploma programme across a large part of Hertfordshire, developing and leading teaching teams across more than twenty schools and has worked with a number of others on school improvement projects. In September 2014 he became Principal of Etonbury Academy, the fastest growing school in Central Bedfordshire, and has led the school as it grows from a small middle school to a much larger extended secondary school covering the 9-19 age range. He has taken a leading role in securing approval for two new Free Schools, including the forthcoming Pix Brook Academy for Central Bedforshire.


Victoria Lockey
Head of Support Services, Etonbury Academy

Victoria has been working within secondary schools for the past 10 years in various management roles, supporting Headteachers by working on restructures, change management, pastoral, SEN, data and office management systems. She has also worked in marketing roles within multi-national organisations, as well as worked for 10 years at the prestigious Cranfield School of Management where she gained cross business functional expertise marketing executive programmes to Senior Executives and Directors. She is currently Head of Support Services for Etonbury Academy with responsibility for various support areas of the school including HR and recruitment.  This year the academy has successfully recruited 15 high performing teachers at virtually no cost!

Julian Stanley
CEO, Education Support Partnership

Julian Stanley is CEO of the national charity for all those working in education: Education Support Partnership. Julian’s career has encompassed the civil service, local government, community & economic regeneration, theatre & events managements & arts education in schools.  Julian served as Chair of the Cambridge and Peterborough Learning Trust & East London Dance Ltd & was a founder of Stratford Circus in East London. Julian regularly appears on TV and radio to comment on issues affecting teacher health, wellbeing & effectiveness, the recruitment and retention crisis, parent-teacher relations and the challenges facing school leaders & teaching staff.  Julian writes a fortnightly column in SecED & recently contributed to “Managing Teacher Workload: A Whole-School Approach to Finding the Balance” published by John Catt..


Julie Armstrong-Gregson
Executive Director, Learn Teach Develop

Julie started as a teacher in Gateshead; progressed to the senior management team of a school and then went to join Northumberland LEA Standards and Effectiveness Division as an Advisor. From here she became a Senior Lecturer in ITT and Senior Residential Tutor at Liverpool Hope University. She then moved back to the North East to take up a Programme Leaders post at Durham University along with a role as Research Centre UK Manager at the NE Science Learning Centre (developing teacher CPD programmes that fulfilled national objectives). After that she moved to the University of Sunderland as Secondary ITE Lead followed by a post as Ofsted and Partnership Lead. As the result of leading a successful Ofsted Inspection she was asked to organise a ‘Best Practice Workshop’ for Ofsted and then decided that she would move into education consultancy work.
Julie is currently working with an independent MAT (for disaffected students) with schools in Scotland, Carlisle and Leeds, with the University of Chester and Bangor developing a new ITE course to train Welsh speaking teachers and as an Ofsted consultant for Durham University. She is also a school governor and has worked as an A Level examiner and moderator.