Keynote Speakers

Sir Anthony Seldon

Sir Anthony Seldon, FRSA FRHistS FKC, is a contemporary historian, commentator and political author, known in part for his biographies of John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. In September 2015, he replaced Professor Terence Kealey as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, the first private university in Britain.

Anthony was the 13th Master of Wellington College. In 2009, he set up The Wellington Academy, the first state school to carry the name of its founding independent school. Before that, he was Head of Brighton College.

Anthony is the author or editor of over 35 books on contemporary history, politics and education, was the co-founder and first director of the Centre for Contemporary British History, is the cofounder of Action for Happiness, is a governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company and is on the board of a number of charities and educational bodies. He is also both honorary historical adviser to 10 Downing Street and a member of the First World War Centenary Culture Committee and the co-founder of the G20 Group which brings together the Heads of leading independent schools from around the world.

Anthony was knighted in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to education and modern political history.

Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

Sarah-Jayne studied Experimental Psychology at Oxford University and then joined the Wellcome Trust Four Year PhD Programme in Neuroscience at UCL. She took up a Wellcome Trust International Research Fellowship to work in Lyon, France, with Dr Jean Decety on the perception of causality in the human brain. This was followed by a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship and then a Royal Society University Research Fellowship at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Sarah-Jayne has been awarded a number of prizes for her research. She is actively involved in Public Engagement with Science: she frequently gives public lectures and talks at schools, has worked with the Select Committee for Education, and acted as scientific consultant on the BBC series The Human Mind in 2003. She gave a TED talk at TEDGlobal, Edinburgh, which has had over one million views. She was one of 80 young people featured in The Observer, one of ‘40 under 40’ academics highlighted in UCL magazine, named in The Sunday Times 100 Makers of the 21st Century list, one of 30 under 45 in The Times Young Female Power List, and one of 10 young academics highlighted by the Times Higher Education Supplement.

Sarah-Jayne has an interest in the links between neuroscience and education. She co-authored a book with Professor Uta Frith called The Learning Brain: Lessons for Education. She sits on the Royal Society Brain Waves working group for neuroscience, education and lifelong learning and the Royal Society Vision Committee for Maths and Science Education.

Sarah-Jayne is Deputy Director of the Wellcome Trust Four Year PhD Programme in Neuroscience at UCL. She is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.

Dr John Bradshaw

From Honour to Humility - becoming the Servant Leader Teacher

Teaching is a sacrificial profession. Every time we stand up in front of a class we not only deliver content but we also give of ourselves - that's why it is hard work. In this talk I will suggest how we might think about the process and how we go about building relationships with our students. I will suggest that great teachers are those who make a special connection with their students as individuals. As teachers we are both leaders and partners in our classrooms. We will discuss how the concept of servant leadership is a useful way to think about how to improve the effectiveness of our teaching.

John Bradshaw has recently completed 11 years as headmaster at two independent boarding schools. Prior to this he had a career as a University academic teaching computer science. He holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and an MSc cum laude from Rhodes University, South Africa. As an educationalist, he is particularly interested in exploring the relationship between teacher and student. He has developed a number of tools and techniques for improving the quality of teaching and learning. He has also developed his own understanding of Servant Leadership and how this applies, not only to senior management within the school environment, but also to teachers in their classrooms.

John grew up on a farm in Zimbabwe. He is married with two children. He is blind as a result of injuries sustained whilst serving with the anti-landmine unit in the Rhodesian Army.

Matthew Syed

Matthew is a British journalist and broadcaster. He has worked for The Times newspaper since 1999. Matthew used to be an English table tennis international, and was the English number one for many years. He was three times the Men’s Singles Champion at the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships (in 1997, 2000 and 2001), and also competed for Great Britain in two Olympic Games. Matthew studied PPE at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was awarded a prize-winning First.

Matthew has worked as a commentator for the BBC and Eurosport. He is a regular presenter on radio and television, commentating on sporting, cultural and political issues. His film China and Table Tennis, made for the BBC, won bronze medal at the Olympic Golden Rings ceremony in Lausanne in 2008.

As a sports writer he won ‘Sports Feature Writer of the Year’ at the SJA Awards in 2008 and ‘Sports Journalist of the Year’ at the British Press Awards in 2009. His first book, Bounce, published by HarperCollins, was published in May 2010. It won the ‘Best New Writer’ category of the British Sports Book Awards (2011).

Matthew is managing director of a sports marketing company. From 1999, he has worked as a Marketing Consultant for the English Table Tennis Association based in Hastings. He was one of the co-founders of TTK Greenhouse, a sports-related charity.