Confirmed speakers

Following on from the success of our third Education Conference, once again world-renowned speakers will offer inspirational keynote lectures and practical training through workshops. You can find out more about some of the excellent speakers we will be welcoming in March below.

Prof. Christian van Nieuwerburgh

Prof. van Nieuwerburgh is a highly regarded executive coach, leadership consultant and academic with an international reputation. He is a thought leader in the areas of coaching in educational settings, interculturally-sensitive coaching and the integration of coaching and positive psychology in professional contexts. Christian is also recognised as a leading academic in the field of coaching psychology. He is the Chief Executive of ICCE Ltd. Director of Research at Growth Coaching International, Managing Director of Growth Coaching UK and Professor of Coaching and Positive Psychology at the University of East London. He is also a best-selling author, and the Editor in Chief of Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice.

Claire Harvey MBE

Claire Harvey is a Paralympian athlete and a diversity and inclusion champion. Having completed her post graduate training at Cambridge University, she worked within the criminal justice system, most notably as a prison governor. In 2008, an accident left her as a wheelchair user. Two years after taking up the sport of sitting volleyball, she became captain of the ParalympicsGB London 2012 team. Claire went on to work as Assistant Director of the Youth Sport Trust. There she advised schools on how to use sport to support all young people achieve their personal best in life. Through her work as senior consultant at KPMG, Claire has supported many organisations to create a more inclusive culture. She has helped them to increase their recruitment and retention of talent and to implement governance around culture and wellbeing. Today, Claire is CEO of a charity that seeks to embed inclusion and empathy into schools and the next generation.

Prof. Guy Claxton

Guy Claxton is a cognitive scientist with a long-standing passion for bringing the mind sciences to bear on the improvement of schools. His main research interest is in the expandability of human intelligence in all its forms: intellectual, practical, social, emotional and spiritual. His Building Learning Power approach has been influential in schools in many countries including Argentina, Brazil and Chile, as well as throughout the UK. Guy has a ‘double first’ in Natural Sciences from Cambridge, and a DPhil in Experimental Psychology from Oxford. He is currently Visiting Professor of Education at King’s College London. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, the Academy of the Social Sciences and the Royal Society of Arts. Guy’s keynotes and workshops were hugely popular at the 2nd edition of the St. Paul’s Education Conference, and we very much look forward to welcoming him again.

Dr Nick Baylis

Dr Nick Baylis is a consultant psychologist who lectured on the “Science of Well-being” at Cambridge University for eight years, the first such course in the UK.  He helped convene the Royal Society of London’s first conference on that subject, comprising three days and the contribution of two Nobel laureates, including Daniel Kahneman. Nick interviewed at length 200 of the UK’s brightest stars from many walks of life, asking “How did you achieve your goals, yet still enjoy the journey?”  He then wrote The Rough Guide to Happiness (Penguin 2008), and 100 weekly columns for The Times newspaper. Nick continues to work as a psychotherapist and well-being trainer to both Queens’ and Trinity Colleges in Cambridge. Nick has worked closely with leading schools, presenting to pupils and the Common Rooms of Harrow and Rugby, through to Sherborne Girls and Wellington College, and has been a keynote at all the major Deputy Head and Head Teacher conferences in recent years. You can visit his website at to find out more.

Joan Deslandes OBE

Joan is the head teacher of Kingsford Community School. Kingsford was the first school in the UK to gain Confucius Classroom status and has been noted as one of the most effective schools nationwide in ensuring that the international dimension is embedded in the curriculum. Joan was a member of the Teacher Standards 2012 and Head Teachers’ Standards 2015 advisory groups. Joan is also an Ofsted inspector, a member of the Independent State Schools Partnership forum and governor of both the London Academy of Excellence and Brighton College. Joan’s leadership has been judged repeatedly by Ofsted as outstanding. She has three times been included in the Evening Standard’s Progress 1000 as one of London’s most influential educational thinkers. In 2017 she was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to education.

Dr Rhonda Bondie, Speaker at St. Paul's 4th Education Conference

Dr Rhonda Bondie

Dr Rhonda Bondie is a lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Throughout her career, she has focused on ensuring all learners are valued, engaged, and stretched in inclusive classrooms. Rhonda began teaching as an artist-in-residence and then spent over 20 years in urban public schools as both a special and general educator. Rhonda’s research focuses on sustainable differentiated instruction practices using self-regulated learning. Her practical workshops were a firm favourite at our 3rd education conference and we are delighted to welcome her back once more.

Dr Rose Drury

Dr Rose Drury is a Senior Lecturer in Early Years at The Open University School of Education. Bilingualism and multilingualism in the Early Years are the main focus of her research. Based on her doctoral studies, Young Bilingual Learners at home and at school examines the experiences of three four year-old bilingual children as they begin school, and explores new methodologies for researching multilingual voices. Her publications provide insights into the learning of children whose home communities are new to English, and reveal that literacy and language development is richer and more multidimensional than is often presumed.