Professor Iram Siraj

Professor Iram Siraj has an international reputation for longitudinal research and policy expertise, she has co-directed a number of influential studies, including the Effective Provision of Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education (EPPSE, DfE, 1997-2015) and the Effective Early Educational Experiences in Australia (E4Kids, Australian Research Council 2009-2015). Her recent studies on professional development are all cluster randomised controlled trials of evidence-based interventions looking at the impact of evidence-based professional development to improve outcomes for disadvantaged children eg in New South Wales Fostering Effective Early Learning (2018) England Using Research tools to Promote Language in the Early Years in 120 schools in England (2020) and early maths TEEMUP study (EEF, 2020-2024).

She has undertaken government reviews of the Welsh Foundation Phase (2014) and the Scottish early year’s workforce (2015). Her work on disadvantage includes two C4EO high-level reviews of what families and integrated working contribute to child outcomes for under-fives. Amongst her many published works she has authored award-winning books including: Social Class and Educational Inequality the Role of Parents and Schools (Cambridge Uni Press, 2015). Iram’s policy work has included being on the Advisory Group for the Welsh Government advising four ministers; Victorian and South Aus., Governments Education Advisory Groups helping to reconfigure education systems; specialist advisor to the House of Commons Select Committee on Children’s Centres. She has provided advice to UNESCO, UNICEF, World Bank, OECD, Bernard van Leer and Aga Khan Foundations and to many governments overseas.

Professor Paul Miller, PhD

Professor Paul Miller, PhD, is Professor of Educational Leadership & Social Justice. He is the first and only Black Professor of Educational Leadership in the UK. He has written and published extensively on the discrimination faced by overseas trained and BAME teachers in the UK. He is Director at Educational Equity Services and President of the Commonwealth for Educational Administration & Management (CCEAM).

Naheeda Maharasingam

Naheeda Maharasingam is a Local Leader of Education (LLE), a Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching and Leader of Rathfern CCT Teacher Research Network. She is steering group lead for the Embedding Race Equality work across all Lewisham schools. She is Headteacher at Rathfern Primary School, a diverse and dynamic inner London primary school. She is passionate about values which enrich her vision and permeate her school culture, pedagogy and curriculum with a focus on disrupting the trajectory for disadvantaged pupils. Rathfern is a Research Hub for the Chartered College of Teaching, holds the NFER Research Quality Mark, lead of the Humanities Hub for Lewisham and is a Centre of Excellence for Global Learning, a Flagship school for Inclusion. It is also the Lead of Cluster of 30 Lewisham schools for the Connecting Classrooms Project with the British Council.

Mark Grist

Mark Grist is a writer and performer based in Peterborough in the UK. Mark used to be an English teacher and Head of Year and a lot of his work is designed for teenagers/young adults/teachers/children. He became Poet Laureate of Peterborough in 2008, Chief Bard of the Fens in 2009 and Edinburgh Fringe Slam Champion in 2010. Mark has recently been on two national tours, whilst also completing an MA in Creative Writing at Goldsmith’s University in London.

Lee Parkinson ‘Mr P ICT’

Lee Parkinson ‘Mr P ICT’, has been a Primary School Teacher for 13 years, during which time he has built a wealth of ideas for how technology can be embedded right across the curriculum. He now leads CPD and INSET throughout the UK and beyond focusing on raising standards in the classroom through technology.

Dr Kathy Weston M.Phil. (Cantab) LL.B.

Dr Kathy Weston M.Phil. (Cantab) LL.B. is one of the national experts on parental engagement in children’s lives and learning. She holds a Law Degree from Queen’s University and a Masters and Doctorate from Cambridge University. Her doctoral work was undertaken at the world-famous Institute of Criminology under the supervision of the Professor Sir Anthony Bottoms. It focused on the theme of resilience, coping and transition.

Kathy worked for many years as a policy and education researcher, before becoming interested in the home-school partnership and the power of parental engagement in learning. She is the co-author of two books for teachers as part of the #100 Ideas (Bloomsbury, 2018; 2020) and a sought-after keynote speaker. She is also considered to be one of the country’s experts on evidence-based approaches to parenting and family life and is a regular contributor to BBC radio. Recently, she was invited to contribute to a BBC Radio 4 discussion with Mariella Frostrup, on the topic of childhood anxiety. She believes passionately in bridging the gap between academic research and real-life parenting. Her exclusive, digital library of evidence-based tips and resources for parents, Tooled Up Education, contains tips and resources that have been derived from the most up-to-date research available.

Professor Barry Carpenter

Professor Barry Carpenter is the UK’s first Professor of Mental Health in Education, a Chair created for him at Oxford Brookes University. He is Honorary Professor at universities in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Australia. In July 2020 he was awarded the Distinguished Fellowship of the Chartered College of Teaching, for his leadership of the Education field during the pandemic. He has been awarded an OBE and CBE by the Queen for services to children with Special Needs. In 2017 he was entered into “Who’s Who” in acknowledgement of his national and international contribution to the field of Special Education. In a career spanning more than 40 years, Barry has held the leadership positions of Headteacher, Principal, Academic Director, Chief Executive, and Director of the Centre for Special Education at Westminster College, Oxford.

In 2009, he was appointed by the Secretary of State for Education as Director of the Children with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project. Since completing that research, Barry has overseen the development of a national project developing online ‘Training materials for teachers of children with severe, profound and complex learning disabilities’ ( At the start of the Coronavirus pandemic Barry became very concerned about the impact of the crisis on the mental health of children. With his son, Principal of Baxter College, Worcestershire, he wrote the Recovery Curriculum Think Piece ( To date this has had over 250,000 hits on host websites, and has guided many schools in planning for the recovery and resilience of their children, post pandemic.