The Strategic Leadership of Learning Masterclass


A Development Programme for Strategic Leaders of Education Services
In Edinburgh, Scotland, 14-18 May 2018

We are no longer taking bookings for this conference, but please do contact us if these issues are of interest 

This programme is an intensive, but very enjoyable, week of learning.

Use the menu on the right to see a detailed programme for each day.


Keynote speeches are delivered by experts with global experience. They are interactive, informative and engaging.


The week is not just about sitting listening however, it is designed as an active learning experience which involves working with tools and activities designed to bring focus to the learning and to ensure it is directly relevant and applicable.  Delegates will be supported to work through tasks that include prioritisation, planning and presentation, all at their own pace and in the context of their own context and challenges.  The result is that participants will come away form the conference with a clear plan for the next steps they have to make, and a clear idea of how to make these steps as well as insight into global practices.

If you join us at this Masterclass in the Strategic Leadership of Education, you will leave with:

 An enhanced understanding of not just how to implement change, but how to implement change that makes a positive difference in outcomes for young people;
 An increased range of strategies and tools to support you in your work;
 A wide range of contacts with colleagues who face the same issues and demands;
 A greater awareness of the steps being taken by colleagues in similar roles, and;
 A more developed plan of action to apply in your own context.


The week is programmed as a single learning experience that begins with a look at the kinds of challenges faced by education systems today, then goes on to look at the kinds of changes we as education leaders need to make and how we can make them.

Led by world-class facilitators who have successfully managed education systems at local-government and at national level, the programme is not just a series of lectures. Instead, it puts into practice the latest understanding of how learning works by providing an engaging active-learning experience that makes use of interactive lectures, structured discussion, video and applied-learning sessions to allow participants to experience, embed and execute the lessons learned. Even before the week-long programme begins, delegates are asked to identify key objectives and any key issues they wish to address and to forward these to the conference leaders so that the programme can deliver taliored support.

This continues at the other end as all delegates will during the course of the conference take part in online collaborative activities that can be continued after the event.
The Learning Together programme achieves its aim of providing an active learning experience through three main strands that run through the conference.
Strand one Key Issues in Leading Learning, Leading Change and Leading People. This strand provides an opportunity to consider approaches to some of the most important contemporary approaches to leading change for education system leaders.
Strand two Sharing the Experience This strand provides the opportunity to share experiences from different education systems. Speakers from across the globe will be invited to contribute from their own experience.
Strand three Planning the Action This is a working conference! This strand provides opportunities to bring current issues and challenges, and to build plans to tackle these. Participants will leave not just with knowledge, but with plans to lead change.
We are hosting this event in our home country, Scotland, and an important part of the week is experiencing some of the local culture. We have therefore included a fourth strand that we are sure will be equally educational and enjoyable.
Strand four Experiencing the Culture After all the hard work, you deserve a break! The conference includes this strand which will involve cultural visits and activities.
The programme for each day is outlined below.  You can either click on one of the titles or use the menu at the right to look at each day in detail.
Day one has a focus on global changes and challenges. Click for more details.
9:30 - 13:0 Global Education Challenges This unit will examine the kinds of challenges facing education systems across the world. It will look at how the world is changing with change-cycles getting shorter but fundamental societal values changing slowly; how social cohesion is dependent on explicit shared values and common educational vision and mission; and how values can be made explicit in education systems through national guidance (eg four capacities of Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland; Melbourne Declaration in Australia).


14:0 - 17:10 Reviewing Priorities This unit will provide tools and methodologies to aid planning and prioritization. It includes a fully facilitated workshop that allows delegates to apply the tools to address their local needs.
19:30 Conference welcome dinner 
Day two has a focus on leading change. Click for more details.
9:0 - 13:0 Improving Education Systems This session will look at look at a range of evidence regarding educational improvement including how to look inwards, how to look outwards and how to look to the future. It will address a range of factors that correlate with improving education outcomes.


14:0 - 17:20 Creating the Improvement Plan This unit takes what we have learned so far and uses it to allow each delegate to create their own plans for improvement. It is a very practical unit, with participants actively involved in using the supplied tools to create plans for improvement.
18:00 Visit to Edinburgh Castle and dinner 
Day three has a focus on leading learning. Click for more details.
9:0 - 13:0 Leading Learning This unit uses a range of examples and case studies to demonstrate active learning, then goes on to examine how the quality of learning and teaching can be evaluated as part of the improvement process.


14:0 - 17:20 Learning Together A look at collaboration for improvement at teacher, school, government and international level.
18:00 Visit to Scottish Parliament and dinner 
Day four has a focus on leading people. Click for more details.
9:0 - 13:0 Leading people Developing and Implementing Professional Standard for teachers, including a focus on competence and the importance of coaching and mentoring.


14:0 - 17:20 Managing People Managing people - key competences and difficult situations.
Day five uses a focus on system leadership to pull the work of the week together. Click for more details.
9:0 - 13:0 Group Presentations Each Group will present the outcome of their project to their colleagues.   This is an opportunity to raise questions and seek advice from colleagues as well as to present how the learning will be applied to local contexts. It is designed to provide considerable insight into global educaiton systems and how to intervene effectively at a strategic level.


14:0 - 17:0 Leading Systems Change Pulling it all together - Leading Systems Change followed by including presentation of Course Certificates

Types of Activity

The Programme uses a variety of approaches to provide the maximum impact.  These include:


Keynote speeches

Keynote speeches are delivered by educational leaders with extensive experience and expertise.  They are informative, interactive and engaging, drawing on international experience of supporting improvement in educational outcomes.

Tools and Workshops

The programme includes a range of tools and activities that have been designed to ensure learning is embedded and applicable.

Coffee and Refreshments

Breaks are not just designed as "down time" but are there to provide consolidation, discussion and networking. 


This is an international conference which includes opportunities to learn from other countries.


Our approach is based on the most established and current learning theory, which includes breaks, paced learning, interleaving, review and active learning.

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