Circle_what we do

Inspiring Leadership

Inspiring Leadership is now approaching its fourth year, and has already established itself as a key annual event for leaders to meet, share ideas and get inspired!


To register your interest in attending the Inspiring Leadership Conference 2017, and to receive details of the early bird rates, please email

Inspiring Leadership 2016

Inspiring Leadership 2016 was a runaway success. Headteachers and aspiring heads came together and heard from inspiring and motivating high profile speakers from the world of education, business and beyond. Were you inspired?

From 15-17 June, we hosted our third Inspiring Leadership Conference at the ICC Birmingham, co-hosted with NAHT and ASCL. Over 1300 head teachers joined us to discuss, listen and learn about inspiring leadership.


The programme was jam-packed with inspirational speakers, here are just three from this year's conference.


Lord Hague delivering his keynote speech

Lord (William) Hague of Richmond, former Leader of the Conservative Party and former Foreign Secretary shared some of his leadership lessons. These included: giving intense attention to the appointment of people around you; not letting people crowd every hour of your life; and have realistic, attainable and constant goals.

Edwin Squire tweeted:

"2 ideas/words I’m going to take away from Lord Hague's speech: varied means to achieve goals & dangers of groupthink. #ILConf16"


Steve Munby delivering his keynote speech 

Our own Steve Munby was a keynote speaker on Thursday and spoke on 'restless leadership', stating that the best leaders don’t do more of the same when they get good; they are restless, optimistic, take risks, and draw on evidence. He also highlighted an excerpt from our newly launched research report 'Rapid School Improvement' on getting a school from special measures to good or outstanding in one go. One of the more moving illustrations came from the impact of working with girls previously not in school in Kenya. 

Liz Robinson tweeted:

"Ambition not for us but for the children we serve. @steve_munby deeply moving and inspiring the room #ILConf16"


David Breashears delivering his keynote speech

David Breashears, mountaineer and director, held the audience as he talked about the experiences of his team during a climb of Mount Everest in 1996, advising school leaders not to stick rigidly to a plan if you know it's not delivering, but instead be flexible and adaptive; and to be careful about 'loss of agency', in other words not to take your team out of the decision making process.

Richard Benson tweeted:

"@davidbreashears amazingly inspiring this morning. I will cherish the team I have around me that much more. Thank you #ILConf16"


There were too many great speakers to do justice to here, so do look at our highlights video on the Inspiring Leadership website where you'll find clips including: Zainab Salbi, an Iraqi/American humanitarian, author and media commentator who has dedicated herself to women’s rights and freedom and shared her leadership journey: Humphrey Walters, who shared his leadership experiences of the BT Global Challenge round the world yacht race and working with Sir Clive Woodward to lead the England Rugby team to victory in the World Cup; and Matthew Syed, the writer and broadcaster, talked about fixed and growth mindsets in education, aviation and healthcare.


Our mascots getting ready for the England vs Wales match

In addition to our Keynote speakers, delegates attended masterclasses and workshops delivered by leading educationalists, which provided thought-provoking and hands-on sessions on key challenges offering a fresh perspective on leadership. Included in this, our own Maggie Farrar and Matt Davis hosted a workshop entitled 'Leading Local Area Transformation' where they shared our latest think piece 'Strategies for transforming local education systems' produced in association with Isos partnership.


A local dance group disguised at wait-staff took over the exhibition area for a flash mob on Wednesday 

During each break delegates filled our exhibition hall, packed with a huge range of products and services to help school and college leaders make informed choices for their schools.

But don't just take our word for it, throughout the conference and on the way home, delegates posted hundreds of tweets on twitter using #ILConf16, offering an overwhelmingly positive story of delegate experience of the Inspiring Leadership Conference.

SJLtandl tweeted:

"What's so great about the way @InspLdrshipConf is put together is that key messages emerge and are reinforced over the 3 days #ILConf16"


Zainab Salbi delivering her keynote speech

Tammie tweeted:

"Last day of @InspLdrshipConf! There has been so much to be inspired by with speakers & learning conversations. Thank you! #ILConf16"