A vibrant conference programme, designed to inspire and inform.

‘Lessons from Cleverlands’ Conference | 1 February 2024

Join us for an insightful talk by education expert Lucy Crehan, author of ‘Cleverlands’.

Lucy will draw on her experience researching the world’s top-performing education systems to share some surprising insights on pedagogy, the philosophy underlying their high performance, and some practical school-level strategies which schools in England can consider, taking inspiration from Finland, Japan, Canada, Singapore and Shanghai.

In this talk, you’ll discover:

  • Surprising findings about what really drives success in top school systems like Finland and Singapore. Gain a new perspective on what’s possible in education.
  • The guiding philosophy behind these high-flying systems and how it underpins everything else they do.
  • Three practical strategies your school can implement around curriculum design, student support, and teacher collaboration. Walk away with actionable steps to transform your practice.

Don’t miss this opportunity to gain actionable insights from one of the world’s foremost thinkers on high-performing school systems. Attendees will gain a fresh perspective on how to support their students, clarity on best practices that get results, and inspiration to bring out the best in their students.

Each member school has TWO free places!

Conference Schedule

8:30am – 9:00am: Coffee
9:00am – 10:00am: Keynote
10:05am – 10.45am: Panel
10.45am – 11.15am: Coffee
11.15am -1:00pm: Workshop 
1.00pm – 2:00pm: Networking Lunch

Lucy Crehan

Lucy Crehan is an education explorer and international education consultant. She began her career as a Science teacher, and then spent time living and working with teachers in five ‘top-performing’ education systems; the basis for her book, ‘Cleverlands: the secrets behind the success of the world’s education superpowers’, one of The Economist’s ‘books of the year 2016’. On her return, Lucy wrote a book on teacher career structures for IIEP UNESCO, and spent a year as part of a team advising foreign governments on education reform at Education Development Trust. She now works as an independent consultant, most recently working on curriculum reform in Wales, and teaches an online Masters module on International Comparisons in Education at the University of Buckingham.

A Different Take on Disadvantage Conference | 22 March 2024

Sean Harris is an expert on the impact of poverty on our pupils. He has a different approach to tackling disadvantage using research-informed approaches to curriculum design with poverty and disadvantage in mind.

Sean Harris is a doctoral researcher with Teesside University investigating the ways in which system leaders can help to address poverty and educational inequality in schools. He is also a trust improvement leader at Tees Valley Education, an all-through multi-academy trust serving communities in the North East of England.

Full conference schedule and more details coming soon…

Each member school has TWO free places!


Sean Harris

The Deputies’ Conference
– High-Performing Leadership | 24 November 2023

Senior Leaders are the engine rooms of schools, driving school improvement whilst simultaneously building effective teams. Operational aspects of these roles, however, can often become overwhelming and pressures on time can potentially curtail this positive impact. This conference will create the space and time to reflect on what it means to be a high-performing leader and develop the skills to lead their teams. Alongside gaining insight from high-performing organisations within and outside of education delegates will also gain the opportunity to build their professional network.

Deputies, Assistant Headteachers and Senior Leaders.

Training Objectives

  • Gain insights from high-performing organisations within and beyond the world of education
  • Lots of opportunities for discussion and collaboration in interactive workshops
  • Equip leaders with practical tools that they can take away and use the very next day.

Learning Outcomes

  • To have space and time to reflect on what it is they bring to leadership
  • To develop an understanding of high-performance leadership
  • To understand the skills (and importance!) of effective line management
  • To understand how to build and lead effective teams.

James Heale is a leadership expert with a track record of success at providing one-to-one executive coaching and personalised leadership development programmes to ambitious individuals and organisations. James established Flywheel Learning in 2017, following six successful years as Headteacher of Vyners School and Executive Headteacher of the Vanguard Learning Trust in West London. Now, he serves as Director of Leadership and Development for Tower Hamlets Education Partnership, supporting nearly one hundred East London schools operating in one of the most diverse and deprived boroughs in the country. From 2018-2022, James was also Strategic Lead for the School of PiXL leadership, designing and delivering virtual and face to face leadership programmes for member schools across Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Conference Schedule

8:30am – 9:00am: Arrival and refreshments
9:00am -10:30am: Session 1
10:30am -10:45am: Coffee break
10:45am -12:30pm: Session 2
12:30pm – 1:30pm: Lunch
1:30pm – 2:45pm: Session 3
2:45pm – 3:00pm: Coffee break
3:00pm -4:00pm – Session 4
4:00pm – Conference close

Sign up for our newsletter

and keep up-to-date with all news from VNET CIC. You can unsubscribe at any time.