ASCL EDI Summit 2024

Birmingham Conference and Events Centre 

Connecting diversity and inclusion

Having a diverse school does not always mean that everyone feels included.   

The ASCL Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Summit 2024 will explore ways to ensure that everyone in your organisation is made to feel included and have a deep sense of belonging.  You will hear from a fantastic line-up of speakers whose work is rooted in research and evidence.    

In addition, you will be able to attend a number of workshops which will give you practical advice, guidance and the tools you need to deliver on this important work in your school, college or trust.
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Evelyn Forde MBE

ASCL Immediate Past President 2023-24

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Rachel Johnson


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Adam Brett

Lecturer and Researcher in Education, University of Derby

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Caroline Sharp

Research Director, National Foundation for Educational Research

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Jack Worth

School Workforce Lead – NFER

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Frances Akinde

SEND advisor and former headteacher

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John Camp OBE

ASCL President 2023-24 and CEO, The Compass Partnership of Schools

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Rachel Macfarlane

Lead Adviser for Underserved Learners at HFL Education

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Caroline Lowing

Head of School, Thornden School and ASCL Council member

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Sonia Thompson

Headteacher, St Matthew’s Primary Research School

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Hamira Shah

Deputy Headteacher, North Huddersfield Trust School

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Rich Atterton

Assistant Headteacher, The Marlborough Science Academy and Chair, ASCL LGBT Leaders' Network

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Nicky Bright

Founder and Leadership Development Consultant, Bright Lead

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Discounted fee for members of any of ASCL’s EDI Networks* - £180+VAT

*please mention this at time of booking


ASCL reserves the right to amend the programme should circumstances dictate.

8.30am     Registration, exhibition and refreshments
9.30am     Welcome
Evelyn Forde MBE, ASCL Past President
9.40am     Achieving Racial Diversity in the Teaching Profession: Barriers and potential solutions
Caroline Sharp, Research Director, NFER
Jack Worth, School Workforce LEad, NFER
10.10am     Why We Get Stuck: The issues hiding in plain sight
Rachel Johnson, CEO, PiXL
10.35am     Being an LGBT+ Inclusive Leader
Adam Brett, Lecturer and Researcher in Education, Unversity of Derby
11.00am     Refreshment break and exhibition
11.25am     Workshop Session 1
Each workshop is 30 minutes, delegates can attend two sessions
11.55am     Movement time
12.00pm     Workshop Session 2
Repeat of Session 1
12.30pm     Lunch and exhibition
1.15pm     Workshop Session 3
Each workshop is 30 minutes, delegates can attend two sessions
1.45pm     Movement time
1.50pm     Workshop Session 4
Repeat of Session 3
2.20pm     Taking Practical Steps Towards Becoming An Anti-Racist School 
Rachel Macfarlane, Lead Adviser for Underserved Learners, HfL Education
3.00pm     Refreshment break and exhibition
3.20pm     Delegation Feedback: What have we learned and what can ASCL do moving forward? 
Facilitated by John Camp OBE, ASCL President
3.45pm     Keynote
Evelyn Forde MBE, ASCL Past President
John Camp OBE, ASCL President
4.05pm     Conference close

Workshop Session 1 (11.25) and 2 (12.00)
Sessions are repeated

Race Equity in Special Needs Education: Insights for school leaders
Frances Akinde, Education Consultant and SEND Adviser
This session will focus on supporting leaders striving to achieve race equity within the context of special needs education. Frances will explore how race intersects with special needs, emphasising the importance of understanding and addressing these intersections to ensure that all our students are supported to reach their full potential. 
Frances will share her insights and experience gained over twenty years in education, to guide leaders in fostering a truly inclusive and equitable environment for all students with SEND, particularly those from UK minority groups.

Leaders will leave with a better understanding of how to address the double challenges UKME SEND students face due to systemic discrimination and bias in education.

Frances is a local authority inspector and advisor, former headteacher, SENCO and specialist teacher (speech, language and communication). She has held leadership positions in mainstream primary/secondary, alternative provision and special education. 
Leading and Flourishing with Excellence and Equity
Sonia Thompson, Headteacher, St Matthew’s Primary Research School
In this session, Sonia will unpick some of Ron Berger's strategies and metaphors as exemplified in her book, Berger's An Ethic of Excellence in Action, to focus in on how an equitable culture was created at St Matthew's School. She will examine how evidence-informed practice can underpin and support the implementation of diverse and inclusive actions, within any school setting and across any phase.  
Success for girls in STEM subjects
Speaker tbc 
STEM subjects, including physics, computer science and maths suffer from a gender imbalance. When girls are presented with options, too few choose to study these qualifications, despite girls tending to gain higher grades when they do.  

Funded by the Department for Education, two national projects aim to address this problem. By developing inclusive curricula, improving teaching practices, reducing bias and creating a sense of belonging in the subject, both aim to improve gender balance and support attainment by girls.  

Find out how your school can maximise the impact of role models, including near-peers, boost family engagement with STEM subjects and future careers, and present positive GCSE and A level options to girls that prevent them dropping subjects in which they can, and should, succeed.  

Outcomes include:  

  • Awareness of the reasons why girls lose interest in some STEM subjects, and how the situation can be tackled, to inform strategic planning. 
  • School-wide approaches to equity and inclusion, and concrete measures that subject leads can implement .
  • Information relating to funded programmes that help you address this important issue.

Workshop Session 3 (13.15) and 4 (13.50)
Sessions are repeated

Authentic Leadership and Stoicism
Caroline Lowing, Head of School, Thornden School
Hamira Shah, Deputy Headteacher, North Huddersfield Trust School

Modern school leadership is rapidly changing, ever-evolving and has become incredibly fast paced with all of us working in hectic school environments. As leaders we need to keep our heads and respond but how do we retain our sense of selves and how do we approach the modern dilemmas we face in schools by using the wisdom of the ancient Stoics? A light-hearted look at leadership with some ready-made and pertinent leadership lessons to take away with you.
Raising Awareness of the Peri/Menopause
Nicky Bright, Founder, Bright Lead
Everyone knows someone going through the peri/menopause and by increasing awareness, we can address our biases and aid teacher recruitment and retention. As the fastest growing demographic in the workplace, awareness of menopause has never been so important. 
In this workshop we will deepen understanding of the perimenopause, especially among those who are either not yet experiencing it, or never will, so they can best support themselves, and/or those around them, to ensure an environment is created where everyone feels they belong, and aid retention.
Navigating 'Minefields': Myth-busting the politics EDI in schools
Rich Atterton, Assistant Headteacher, The Marlborough Science Academy
This session seeks to move beyond sensationalist headlines and corrosive politics to examine meaningful EDI policy and practice.  We will look the challenges of implementing EDI strategy and separate fact from fiction using the governments 'Political Impartiality in Schools' guidance.   The session will focus on practical advice, mapping out reputational dangers along the way.

Suitable for all senior and aspiring leaders working in schools, colleges and trusts across all phases.

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