Guest speakers

Hugh Elliott


Hugh Elliott joined the Diplomatic Service in 1989. Since August 2019, he is HM Ambassador to Spain and Andorra. Hugh joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1989. A specialist in the EU and the Hispanic world, he has served in a variety of roles in London and at British Embassies overseas. He first worked at the British Embassy in Madrid from 1991 to 1996, covering EU and economic issues. He then served from 1999 to 2002 in Buenos Aires, working on economic and political issues, and from 2002 to 2006 in Paris, working on global issues and strategic threats.

From 2006 to 2013, he worked at Anglo American plc, a diversified global mining company, where he was global Head of Government Relations, and where he worked extensively in Latin America, among other regions. He returned to the FCO in 2013 to take up the position of Director of Communication, responsible for the FCO’s internal and external communication and public diplomacy work.

From 2017 he served as Director for Europe, then Director for International Agreements in the FCO and until this year as Director of Communications and Stakeholders at the Department for Exiting the European Union. Hugh has served in a voluntary capacity as a Trustee of the British Spanish Society and as a Trustee, then Chairman of Canning House, the UK´s centre for Latin America and Iberia. Hugh read Modern and Medieval Languages at Trinity College, Cambridge.

María del Ángel Muñoz Muñoz


She began her career in the educational world as a Secondary Education Teacher in 1996. In 2006 she joined the Corps of Education Inspectors. She has been Head of Inspection Service in the Community of Madrid.

She has also worked in different positions in the Ministry of Education: as Advisory Member in the Cabinet of the Secretary of State for Education, Vocational Training and Universities; as Deputy General Director of Centers, Inspection and Programs and, currently, she is Director General of Educational Planning and Management.

Keynote Speakers


Mick Waters works with the schools in several parts of the UK and abroad. His previous work at Wolverhampton University with the Black Country Challenge has extended and developed innovative approaches to learning and initiatives to push the boundaries for making learning better. During his career, Mick has been a teacher and head teacher before working at senior levels in Birmingham and Manchester Local Authorities. He worked at a national level with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority where he was Director of Curriculum. Over several years he has been asked to work in countries across the globe either with national governments or directly with schools to develop revised policy and practice for leadership, governance and classroom teaching.

Success in schooling is driven by a good curriculum, driven by strong pedagogy. This session will consider the way effective leadership enables all staff to exploit learning to the benefit of pupils.



Stephanie Davies is recognised as one of the UK’s leading voices in the psychology of laughter and humour. She has extensive experience in developing interventions that have been applied in a variety of settings, including schools, dealing with mental health issues and helping to build effective teams. She is also an award winning comedian whose work explores the relationship between health, humour, community and the arts. In fact, so committed is Stephanie to helping schools understand how important laughter and happiness is to well-being, community cohesion and improving school results, she even inaugurated the first ever School Happiness Awards, celebrating teachers, teaching assistants, school leaders, support staff and school communities who put happiness at the heart of all they do. She is also the founder of Laughology, a training and consulting organisation built around the psychology of humour, laughter and happiness.


Sarah is a qualified teacher and holds a Master’s in Education from Cambridge University. She started her research career in Cambridge Assessment nearly 30 years ago by considering the question ‘What makes exam questions difficult’, for which she used her background in Psychology. She currently leads the Research and Thought Leadership in the Digital High Stakes team in Cambridge University Press & Assessment. Her particular research interests are in digital assessment with an emphasis on validity. She currently carries out and applies research to support assessment practitioners developing and quality assuring digital assessments. She is passionate about applying research to influence decision making and policy and is building expertise in providing timely and relevant research evidence to practitioners in agile working environments.


Les Hopper is the Product Director at Pearson. He has nearly 20 years’ experience working with educators, technologists and academics to produce market leading learning solutions. He is passionate about the power of education to change lives, and the potential that technology offers to support a high-quality education. Les currently works as Product Director covering Digital and Assessment, qualifications and publishing for Pearson’s UK

Justine Brown


Justine Brown is Head of Educational Compliance supporting Cognita schools in Spain and Italy with the practical implementation and management of Health and Safety, Safeguarding, Educational Visits and Data Protection policies and procedures.

Born in the UK, Justine has lived and worked in Spain for nearly 35 years. Following a couple of years of language teaching, she was one of the founding teachers at El Limonar International School in Murcia. She was Principal at El Limonar International School Villamartín from 2012 to 2017 during which time she completed an MEd in Educational Leadership, before transferring to the Cognita regional office.
Her first-hand experience of working in and leading schools has been invaluable in assisting other schools as they integrate into the group.

Claudia Ortiz


Claudia Ortiz, Head of Human Resources for Cognita schools in Spain and Italy, was born in Barcelona but is currently based in Madrid. She holds a Degree in Psychology and a Masters Degree in Human Resources from the University of Barcelona.

Her career began as a Clinical Psychologist at the Hospital Sant Juan de Dios, where she worked with children who had experienced abuse. Claudia later transitioned to Human Resources at Stanley Black & Decker where, over 7 years, she took on diverse roles across multiple countries and participated in their Leadership Programme.

In October 2022, Claudia arrived at Cognita, where she works closely with all the schools. Her goal is to make Cognita a great place to work, where employees feel happy and valued.

Training Course Presenters


Jenny Mosley is renowned nationally and internationally as a key UK trainer,
educational consultant and prolific author. Her unique ‘Golden Model’, interweaves key ideas and is underpinned by theory and experience. This model promotes staff and pupil wellbeing, listening systems, positive values and social times. These outcomes help early years settings and schools create safe, supportive and inclusive learning communities where children and adults feel safe, respected and listened to.

For 45 years, Jenny has been in demand for inspiring and unique talks, conferences and workshops, covering areas of expertise within staffrooms, early years settings, classrooms, dining halls and playgrounds. Her books have received worldwide acclaim and internationally, her Whole School Approach to Wellbeing and Positive Relationships has proved time and again to embed and flourish successfully within many cultures.

wendy delf


Wendy has a wealth of experience in education over the last thirty years, including working as an English teacher and school leader in secondary education. She has also worked as a Senior Adviser in a Local Education Authority where she supported teachers and leaders of English in primary schools and led a team of teachers who took part in county wide KS1 and KS2 moderation visits. During her time as an adviser, she also had the opportunity to work with the Department for Education as part of the NCA Reference Group (Standards and Testing Agency – Stakeholder forum) and as an Ofsted inspector. Wendy has provided school and system wide training through Professor John Hattie’s Visible Learning Plus programme with Osiris Education. She is the Lead Licensed Visible Learning UK trainer, working with schools across the UK and internationally, including Spain and the Netherlands. Wendy also has extensive experience supporting leaders in primary and secondary schools through school improvement partnerships and through bespoke training for middle and senior leaders. She has also delivered workshops this year on the national and international stage including hosting and presenting at Osiris’ World Education Summit, NABSS in Seville and alongside Professor John Hattie in London, Jersey, Scotland and Warwick. She also works with Bazalt Group in the Netherlands, delivering training to their team on the Visible Learning programme. Wendy is passionate about developing teacher and leadership skills so that collectively, we can maximise the outcomes for all our learners, and through teachers and leaders gaining a greater understanding of how their pupils learn.


Author of three widely selling books, Claire is an internationally renowned consultant, trainer and keynote speaker with more than 25 years of experience in education.

She has worked with hundreds of schools around the world to raise achievement and is currently supporting some of the most successful schools in the world. Claire believes passionately in ‘walking the talk.’ As well as supporting school Leaders, Claire also works with teachers in the classroom to build capacity by demonstrating her innovative pedagogies and approaches to assessment using her unique ‘Transformative Coaching’ model.

A leading expert on formative assessment, time-efficient feedback and learning environments, Claire strives to improve outcomes for all learners and to help teachers to work smarter not harder.

When she is not working with teachers, Claire is busy delivering her signature ‘Radical Revision’ Programme directly to students and their parents.



Helen O’Donoghue is Director of Sunridge Associates, an educational training and consultancy company working with schools using their own context and setting to offer bespoke training and coaching. Helen draws on her experience of having worked in and led schools in the UK and internationally, using her first-hand experience to help schools to improve. She is an experienced educator with over thirty years of practice in the field, as a result of which she is a much soughtafter trainer, consultant, leadership coach and conference speaker. She has presented at the World Education Summit and the Festival of Education, held at Wellington College. Her leadership experience includes leading two IB World schools, opening two Free Schools in London and delivering bespoke training and consultancy to school leaders in the UK and in over 30 countries around the world. Helen works primarily with middle and senior leadership teams providing bespoke training on a range of areas including building trusted teams, having difficult conversations, developing a coaching culture in school, using data to improve learning and creating sustainable structures and systems to impact on learning. She works as an Ambassador for Leadership Matters, is a British Council Ambassador, a senior consultant with ICA, an IB workshop leader, a trainer with Osiris, a trainer with ISA, a former PGCE tutor with the University of Buckingham and a member of the Leaders Council based in the UK.


Education is a world of very special people but you will meet few as extra special as Nina ‘Ninja’ Jackson. Her work in the area of mental health and well-being has had an overwhelming impact on children, teachers and parents alike. She has rescued many who were on the brink of despair and given teachers the motivation to carry on when they nearly walked away from their careers. With a background in mainstream and special needs education and many years’ experiences in schools as a pedagogical and pastoral champion, Nina has a breath-taking grasp of what makes classrooms – and all the people in them – tick.

Hywel Roberts


Hywel’s reputation as an in-demand contributor to international conversations around leadership, learning, optimism, and hope, all wrapped up in a singular, easy to remember word: botheredness. Originally a teacher, Hywel contributes to the national conversation around learning and thinking at all levels and is a very highly regarded teller of stories and a raconteur. He is also a well- respected author and contributes regularly to a variety of publications.

Hywel attained a distinction in his Masters from Leeds Beckett University focussing on Poverty and Achievement. He also contributed to BBC Bitesize during the Pandemic of 2020 acting as a content provider and script doctor. His award-winning book ‘Oops! Getting Children to Learn Accidentally’ has proved very popular with educators and families around the world and now is a feature on the reading list of many university teacher training courses. The bestselling ‘Botheredness’ was published in 2023 to much acclaim.


Andrew Hampton was a Headteacher in the independent sector in the UK from 2004 to 2021. He was the Chair of the Independent Schools Association in 2014-15 and a Director of the Independent Schools Inspectorate in 2017-2018. His work with girls in school includes being the founder and creator of the award-winning ‘Girls on Board’ programme, which has been adopted by over 1,000 schools globally. In March 2023, Routledge published Andrew’s latest book: ‘Working with Boys – creating cultures of mutual respect in schools’.

Lesley Minervini


Lesley Minervini is an Independent consultant, trainer and author with over 25 years of experience working in education. Lesley has worked with teachers throughout the UK and internationally. Lesley is well known for her passionate belief that all children should have the chance to reach their potential. This involves helping them develop, the right tools, attitudes and knowledge, through evidence informed learning opportunities. Since successfully completing the Professional Training of School Inspectors, Lesley has worked with a wide range of schools, and was praised by HMI for her work in supporting schools, in challenging circumstances, to improve the quality of teaching and learning. Lesley has a particular expertise in the area of physical education and has authored many nationally recognised resources in this field.

Lesley has a keen interest in cognitive science and how this can be used effectively in teaching, challenging teachers to reflect on their pedagogy and ensuring their practice is evidence informed.

Breakout sessions presenters


Dr. Beau Lotto is a Professor of Neuroscience, who seeks to understand and apply the
principles of perception to leadership, business and education to facilitate innovation and wellbeing in the world. He has published over 70 scientific articles and 3 books. Founder and CEO of the Lab of Misfits, which has worked with some of the world’s most creative industries – such as Cirque du Soleil. The mainstage TED talks (over 9 million views), G8 (on innovation), Google’s Zeitgeist, Wired, Davos, etc.. Contributed to many television, radio and podcast programs from the BBC to National Geographic to Discovery Channel and PBS.


Jamie Kirkaldy is OxfordAQA’s Head of Teaching and Learning Support, where he is responsible for supporting all schools teaching OxfordAQA International GCSEs and A-levels, including onboarding, teacher training and resources. Before joining OxfordAQA, Jamie was an English teacher for 11 years, including five years as Head of English at a large secondary school in Oxford, where he was also a member of the school’s Senior Leadership Team. He therefore has an insider’s understanding of the challenges schools and teachers face and is dedicated to supporting them.

James Matthers-Stroud


James Matthews-Stroud, currently a Senior External Moderator at UAL Awarding Body, brings over two decades of teaching expertise in the FE sector. He remains actively engaged in teaching, driven by his profound enthusiasm for vocational instruction in creative media. James’s commitment to innovation in education is unwavering; he constantly explores new methodologies to enrich learning experiences. By blending traditional teaching practices with contemporary approaches, he ensures students are equipped not just with technical skills but with the adaptability and creativity needed in today’s rapidly evolving landscape.


After a 16-year career as a primary teacher and ICT coordinator of Grupo Sorolla in Valencia, Ovi became a Microsoft Innovative Teacher. Next, he took on responsibility for the educational community and private / subsidized schools of Microsoft Spain. He now works with colleagues and Microsoft Partners across the 10 countries of Western Europe as Modern Classroom Solution Specialist, ensuring that students and teachers using Microsoft technology have the best possible experience.


Patrick is the Founder and Director of International Workshops. Since International Workshops’ inception in 2016, the company has presented Workshops on Online
Safety and Cyberbullying in person at over 500 Schools worldwide. Their unique style of having young musicians present to Students, means that students really connect with the message.

Parent & Teacher Workshops are presented by Patrick – for each Workshop Patricks brings
experience of presenting at schools around the world, his work with various Online Charities and his Diplomas in Cyberpsychology, Music Management and Media Production.


An authentic Wellbeing Educator with over 25 years’ experience working with all ages and cultures. Dedicated to cultivating the best in individuals. Positive, adaptable with a good sense of humor.

UK born and raised, Anita began her professional journey as a health & fitness presenter and teacher training facilitator for the YMCA’s training programme. Her passion for wellbeing led her to study positive psychology and become a certified Mindfulness Coach, Chopra Health Educator and Yoga Teacher.

Additionally, she is a qualified school teacher and has 11 years’ experience as the Wellbeing Coordinator and HS Counselor at Benjamin Franklin International School (Barcelona).

Anita creates and implements school wellbeing curriculums and leads workshops for students, teachers, leadership teams and parents.

She is a dedicated Wellbeing pioneer within education bringing simple and effective tools and strategies that prepare people to navigate our current world. Her aim is always to provide people with simple practices that connect them with each other, nature, and their own true nature.


Paul is a certified European Financial Adviser (EFPA 11884) with over 30 years’ experience in financial services both here and in the UK. I am a partner in Spectrum IFA Group, a 60 strong financial planning consultancy operating from 11 offices in 6 countries in Europe. My degree was in Business Economics and Accountancy.


Dave Strudwick is former school leader and founder. His passion is for enabling young people and adults to create possibility as they find their way. He’s worked as a teacher and leader in mainstream and specialist settings in Europe, US, and China. Dave is an author with expertise in learning spaces, pedagogy, curriculum design and well-being. He co-created, with Beau, the projects which resulted in the world’s youngest published scientists – Blackawton Bees and the i,scientist programme at the National Science Museum in London.