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How Do I Make My School Brilliant?


Please note that this event will be face-to-face and virtual. The location will be announced at the start of the Autumn term.

Book for 25 November

Member - £149
Non-Member - £230

Facilitators - Kiran Gill, Professor Dame Alison Peacock & Nick Brook

Who knows best what makes your school brilliant?
Who knows best how to run your school superbly?
Who knows how to get the very best out of your pupils and all who work in your school?
It isn't an Inspectorate, and it's not Whitehall.
It's you.
But then you knew that.

So, why do we all measure how well a school is performing by its latest Ofsted/Estyn report? By a one or two-word rating? By how well other people's children performed?

Join us for an exciting day where we look at how we can regain ownership of what makes our schools' brilliant. What is it about the 27,000 schools in England, Wales and Northen Ireland that makes each one special, loved and valued by all who work and learn in them, parents and local communities?

First off, Alison Peacock of the Chartered College will be looking at how great leaders empower and enable teachers and pupils; why we should be aimed for better than Ofsted, and how we can best promote independence and autonomy.

Then NAHT's Nick Brook will be looking at how we build a complelling vision - based on the foundations laid by our commission - for the education system. For a decades-long professional career in teaching and leadership, and how we can best get from here to there.

And a current head will set out the challenge of moving from the theory into how schools can do this on a practical level.

There'll be plenty of time for discussion, interaction, learning from - and sharing brillliance with - your peers, and all chaired by Kiran Gill, Chief Executive of The Difference.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Draft programme

09:45 - Event opens
10:00 - 10:10 - Welcome from the chair, Kiran Gill, CEO of The Difference
10:10 - 10:20 - A word from the event sponsor

Part one: From policy ...

10:20 - 10:50 - Keynote speaker, Dame Alison Peacock, of the Chartered College of Teaching
10:50 - 11:20 - Keynote Speaker, Nick Brook, deputy general Secretary, NAHT (TBC)
11:20 - 11:40 - Roundtable discussion with Nick Brook, Dame Alison Peacock and Kiran Gill
11:40 - 12:00 - Break

Part two: ... to practice

12:00 - 12:20 - Keynote speaker, A serving head teacher (TBC)
12:20 - 13:20 - Discussion session:

  1. What does excellence really look like in evaluating my school?
  2. How do I self-evaluate?
  3. How do I create a shared vision?
  4. How do I make use of my personal agency to make things happen?

13:20 - 13:45 - Summary, James Bowen, director NAHT Edge and policy
13:45 - 14:00 - Event close


Head teachers and senior leaders in primary, secondary and 6th forms from maintained, academies, independent, special and alternative provision settings.


Kiran Gill, CEO and founder of The Difference

The Difference exists to improve the life-outcomes of the most vulnerable children by raising the status and expertise of those who educate them. The Difference creates specialist senior school leaders, with the expertise to lead whole school and multi-agency approaches to meeting the learning, well-being and safeguarding needs of all children, and most crucially those with high levels of need and vulnerability. The Difference learns what works to improve outcomes for vulnerable children, and shares this best practice across its network and the sector (

Kiran Gill is a former head of policy at the Social Mobility Commission, following five years as an English teacher in inner-city schools in London, and founded The Difference in January, 2017.

Professor Dame Alison Peacock, CEO of the Chartered College of Teaching

Dame Alison Peacock was executive head teacher of The Wroxham School in Hertfordshire. Her career to date has spanned primary, secondary and advisory roles. In 2018, she became an Honorary Fellow of Queen's College, Cambridge, one of the first female Fellow admitted. She is also a Visiting Professor of both the University of Hertfordshire and Glyndwr University.

Dame Alison is the author of Assessment for Learning Without Limits and Creating Learning Without Limits and is a regular TES columnist.

Nick Brook, Deputy General Secretary, NAHT

Nick joined NAHT in September, 2016. Prior to this, he ran his own successful educational consultancy. Having started his career as a primary teacher, Nick has over 25 year's experience of public sector delivery in central government, local government and schools.

Nick was a Senior Civil Servant for 10 years, where he shaped policy and transformed delivery in some of the most high profile, high priority areas in government, including the Home Office - Development Agency for Schools - as Director of School Workforce Remodelling and at Ofsted, leading thematic and subject inspection, and external communications.

As deputy general secretary at NAHT, Nick leads the policy and research, press and media, and organising and campaigns teams.