John Rees, Education Consultant, PSHE Solutions
Aformer secondary school leader, John lead the development of Health Education programme at Exeter University. Since 2006 he has worked across the UK and overseas to provide coaching and training, to improve the learning and life chances of children and young people.
David Beeney, Founder of Breaking the Silence
David has committed the rest of his working life to reducing the stigma of mental health in the workplace. He enjoyed a successful career in newspapers and magazines for over 30 years, and was MD of a regional daily newspaper and Commercial Director for Auto Trader. He always knew that he wanted to do something different at the latter end of his career, he just didn't know what that would be! He now feels he has found true purpose in life and is helping many of the leading brands in the UK to create kinder more compassionate cultures of trust. He was recognised in 2018 as one of the top 101 influencers globally on employee engagement. He is also a qualified Mental Health Counsellor affiliated to the BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Practitioners) and a trustee for Mind.
Karen Dempster, Co-founder, Fit2Communicate
Karen is a highly experienced communicator and is passionate about the power of relationships and communication in making a difference to future generations through a student's experience of school. As a parent and communication professional, she co-founded Fit2Communicate in 2014. Since then, she has worked with many UK schools and supported school leaders and the broader school community. She co-wrote a book about the Fit2Communicate school communication approach that was published in 2017. Karen is also a professional photographer and a Fellow of the Institute of Internal Communication.
Professor Jonathan Glazzard, Professor of Inclusive Education, Leeds Beckett University
Jonathan is Director of the Centre for LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Education and Principal Researcher in the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools. In 2015, he was awarded National Teaching Fellow status by the Higher Education Academy and is one of HEA's Principal Fellows. Jonathan is a researcher, teacher educator and qualified teacher. His research focuses on a broad range of topics and disciplines, including mental health, LGBTQ+ inclusion, SEN, critical disability studies, critical psychology, sociology and early literacy development.
Nickii Messer, School Business Management and Leadership Development expert, All the Geese
Nickii and her company, All the geese, specialise in training, developing and promoting school business management and leadership. A well-known national and international conference speaker, Nickii’s work often focusses on supporting school leaders to ensure improved wellbeing and resilience within their workforce. Nickii is a published author and a regular contributor to Optimus Education and is keen to help school leaders at all levels develop the skills and confidence to embrace the complex challenges facing schools today.
Patrick, Ottley-O'Connor, Executive Principal, North Liverpool Academy & Northern Schools Trust
Patrick is the Executive Principal of North Liverpool Academy, part of the Northern Schools Trust. He has been a senior leader for 25+ years, including 16 years as a Principal/Executive Principal in secondary, primary and special schools. Patrick leads and facilitates a variety of leadership programmes, including the NPQ programmes ranging from Middle to Executive Leadership courses. He is a DfE coach for the Women Leading in Education initiative. Patrick is also a Trustee of the Watergrove Trust and founding Director of Collaborative Leadership Ltd.
Justin Robbins, Co-founder, Fit2Communicate
Justin has been delivering communication professionally since 2001. His purpose of co-founding Fit2Communicate in 2014 was to make a difference to education through communication. He now helps schools and school teams work together more effectively for the ultimate benefit of their students. He co-wrote a book about the Fit2Communicate school communication approach that was published in 2017. Justin is a school governor, triathlon coach, and a Fellow of the Institute of Internal Communication. He is passionate about helping people to better understand themselves and achieve their dreams.
Steve Waters, founder and CEO, Teach Well Alliance
Steve has 30 years’ experience as a secondary teacher, Head of Department and Assistant Principal and 6 years as a local authority consultant. He founded Teach Well Alliance to support schools to implement a culture of staff wellbeing and mental health. Steve is a Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching and a member of the Council. A qualified counsellor and mental health First Aider, Steve holds the NPQH and is an online tutor and project assessor for NPQML and NPQSL. He has lived experience of burnout while teaching and is researching teachers’ experiences of mental ill-health at school. Steve’s belief is that we must make the wellbeing and mental health of our teachers a priority so that they are able to take care of our children and teach effectively.