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Leadership Conference 2024 – Resilience at the heart of school leadership

July 3 All day

We are excited to announce our fantastic speaker line-up for the Northern Lights Leadership Conference 2024!

Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards
  Great Britain’s first Olympic Ski Jumper Ranked 55th in the world, this qualified Eddie as GB’s only candidate for the Calgary 1988 Winter Olympic Games. With the UK public backing the plasterer from Gloucester, Eddie hit the slopes pursued by the international press & media. Eddie competed in the 70m and 90m events during the Games but unfortunately came last in both. Although he didn’t win an Olympic Ski Jumping medal, he did win a place in the hearts of spectators around the globe. Ultimately, the public loved Eddie due to his lack of success, but more importantly, due to his determination and ‘have a go’ attitude. He has had appearances on Let’s Dance, Winter Wipeout, Splash, The Jump and most recently Dancing on Ice.  
Leora Cruddas CBE

Leora Cruddas is the founding Chief Executive of the Confederation of School Trusts – the national organisation and sector body for school trusts in England. She has advised successive governments and sits on several Department for Education advisory bodies. She was recently the vice chair of the Head Teacher Standards Review Group, a member of the external advisory group for the Schools White Paper, SEND National Implementation Board and the Regulatory and Commissioning Review.

Paul Rusby

Paul is an educator with over three decades of experience. His extensive career spans twenty years as headteacher across three Church of England schools, earning him accolades such as the Teaching Award’s Headteacher of the Year for the North East. He has played key roles as a National Leader of Education, Primary Consultant Leader, and School Improvement Partner, with a deep commitment to fostering the growth and well-being of both students and educators in Church of England schools.

He is a member of the National SIAMS Quality Assurance inspection team, Diocesan consultant, school governor, and NPW facilitator and coach. Paul has a deep interest in spirituality. Blending together his theological training, SIAMS experience and leadership roles in schools, Paul provides school improvement coaching and consultancy support. In his role as a retreat leader, he integrates poetry, music, meditation, and landscape into quiet days, nurturing spiritual growth.

Katherine Cowell

Katherine Cowell started in her role as Regional Director for North East in September 2022.

She was previously the Regional Schools Commissioner for North. Katherine is also the Senior Responsible Officer for the Opportunity North East Programme.

Prior to this Katherine was Deputy Director within the north region from 2016. Katherine is an experienced civil servant with a broad range of experience including:

  • an area director within the Cities and Local Growth Unit
  • FE and skills policy
  • an education advisor in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit
Alex Staniforth

Alex is a record-breaking adventurer, ultra-endurance athlete, author and charity founder from Chester who is no stranger to overcoming challenges. At 28 he has already survived the two biggest disasters in Mount Everest history as a teenager. However, his biggest challenges have been closer to home: overcoming mental ill health, epilepsy, stammering and bullying since school.

Now he is committed to help leaders and students achieve their own Everest in life. He has raised over £100,000 for charity, become the fastest person to climb all 100 UK county tops, written two books ‘Icefall’ and ‘Another Peak’, and founded Mind Over Mountains, a charity to restore mental health through nature – receiving a Points of Light award from the Prime Minister in 2023.

Amelie Thompson

Amelie Thompson has worked in education for over 20 years, including 12 years as a senior leader and headteacher. She now works at Greenshaw Learning Trust as Assistant Director of Education – SEND. She is also the regional lead with Whole School SEND for Southeast South London and lead author of the Teacher Handbook: SEND. Amelie has a keen interest in how we, as leaders, build systems and create environments that enable ‘every teacher to be a teacher of SEND’ – driven by leadership that builds inclusivity into all aspects of school practice. As a school leader, she challenges herself to consistently reflect on the operational implications and implementation of this strategic vision and is strongly committed to cross-phase and cross-sector collaboration to achieve this.  

Jon Tait

Having spent over 20 years in the teaching profession and having led schools in various senior leadership positions such as Deputy Headteacher and Director of Teaching School, Jon has most recently worked for two North East Multi Academy Trusts in positions as Deputy CEO & Director of School Improvement, followed by his current role as Director of Education for Northern Lights Learning Trust. Jon is also an education author and speaker, having five books published on areas ranging from classroom pedagogy, educational research and school leadership; together with regularly speaking at national and international conferences about all aspects of education. Jon delivered a talk on the world famous TED stage in 2015, talking about ‘The Future of Learning’.

This is what last year’s delegates had to say about our conference last year:

£120.00 take advantage of our early bird offer – book now to secure your place for £120 per delegate

Leadership Conference 2024

49 Going
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Ramside Hall Hotel

Ramside Hall Hotel
Durham, DH1 1TD United Kingdom
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