Supporting the Progress of More Able Learners - Manchester - Speakers

Thursday 26 Sep 2019
The Studios, Manchester

Rebecca Montacute (Chair), Research Fellow, the Sutton Trust

Dr Rebecca Montacute is a Research Fellow at the Sutton Trust and author of 'Potential for Success - Fulfilling the promise of highly able students in secondary schools'. The report includes practical recommendations for teachers on how best to support this group of students, with a focus on pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Julie Arliss, Managing Director, Academy Conferences Ltd 

Julie Arliss is a highly accomplished teacher and author. She is a well-known international educator for highly able students with a gift for making the complex simple and the simple complex. She provides world-class extension activities for gifted students to extend their reach well beyond the curriculum to new areas of knowledge. She is a senior examiner for Cambridge International Examinations, founder of Academy Conferences and was recently awarded a Farmington Scholarship by Harris Manchester College, Oxford.

Kamal Bodhanker, Educational Development Officer, nasen

Kamal’s background is in Primary and Secondary English education in England and international schools. In addition to her work with nasen, she is a Lecturer in Education at University of Birmingham where she trains teachers and is conducting research into whole school wellbeing.

Fiona Carnie, Director, Alternatives in Education

Fiona Carnie is an educationalist and writer interested in educational transformation to put children first. Her focus is on building the democratic voice and participation of young people, teachers and parents. Publications include Rebuilding our Schools from the Bottom Up (Routledge 2018) and The Parent Participation Handbook (Optimus 2011).

Owen Carter, Co-founder and Managing Director, ImpactEd

Owen is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of ImpactEd, a non-profit organisation partnering with schools to support them in evaluating the impact of the programmes they run. Prior to running ImpactEd, he led a number of research and evaluation projects at education charity The Brilliant Club. Owen is a winner of the 2018 Teach First Innovation Award.

Fiona Clark, More Able Lead and Head of Dance, Marsden Heights Community College

Fiona has worked as a secondary teacher and middle leader for 25 years in East Lancashire, which is an area inhabited by mainly low socio-economic families and has a high number of disadvantaged children. She worked as a Head of Year for 20 years before moving roles to focus on the More Able and High Ability cohorts. She is widely known for raising the aspirations of the More Able and High Ability students and developing the child as a whole.

Bob Cox, Independent Consultant

Bob is an independent educational consultant. His work regularly takes him into schools where he is lucky enough to see some of the fantastic stretch and challenge provision being developed around the country. Bob’s Opening Doors series received the ERA educational book award 2017.

Michelle Feeney, Deputy TL for History, Govt. and Politics, Parliament Hill School

Michelle completed her BA and MA at UCL and her PGCE at the Institute of Education. After living and teaching abroad in the UAE and Australia, Michelle settled in London to teach history and politics at Parliament Hill School. She previously led HLP at a whole school level and is currently involved in leading Camden wide hub.

Rebecca Howell, Senior Education Consultant, Potential Plus UK

Rebecca Howell is Senior Education Consultant at Potential Plus UK, a national charity dedicated to supporting more able learners. Rebecca heads up development at the charity and manages a team of trainers, advisers and assessors. She has been working as a specialist in support for more able learners for more than 10 years, after a career in educational research and supporting school leadership teams.

Dr Marcelo Staricoff, JONK Thinking and Learning Ltd

Marcelo Staricoff (FCCT, NPQH, PhD), until recently, a Primary Headteacher. He is the creator of the ‘Joy of Not Knowing’ philosophy of education and school leadership. He is the founder of JONK Thinking & Learning Ltd, and is now working as a consultant and writing the forthcoming ‘JONK’ book and two sequels to ‘Start Thinking’, his current book.

Ian Warwick, Senior Director, London G&T

After teaching in inner city comprehensives for 20 years, Ian Warwick set up London Gifted & Talented ( as part of the ground-breaking London Challenge, which successfully worked to tackle issues of educational disadvantage across the city. LG&T have directly worked with well over 3,000 schools and 11,000 teachers nationally.