Independent Thinking National Conferences

Conferences Don't Change Practice, They Change Minds. Then They Change Practice

When so many conferences are all about how to apply the latest government directive in practice, we feel it's time to reclaim the heart of education. Our brand-new range of important national conferences is all about putting the child back at the heart of education in a way that is rigorous, professional, caring and effective.

To achieve this we have invited some of the UK's leading practitioners, thinkers, innovators, authors and experts to contribute to a series of events that will challenge delegates from all phases and sectors to re-evaluate what they are doing - and remind them why they are doing it in the first place.

Covering topics including EYFS, mental health and teaching and learning in schools, we feel that our conference programme will put forward a different narrative and help all schools move forward in a way that is actually sustainable, humane and enjoyable.

Now, that's an education worth fighting for!

We would love for you to join us and reclaim the heart of education.

Please note: where we can accept payment by debit or credit card for a conference this is through online booking only, just select the PayPal payment method option if offered (you do not need to have a PayPal account).

To book on a conference, please select the event page in the directory to the right or see the events below.

document icon 11th October 2018 - Making Learning Matter: creativity, investment and challenge for all learners

A Joint Independent Thinking and IAPS conference


document icon 3rd December 2018 - From Coping to Thriving - The Resilience Conference

A must-see event of powerful keynotes and live one-to-one interviews for those working with children in challenging circumstances.


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When Leadership Really Matters 23rd April 2018, London

  • I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your presentation yesterday. Combined, the presenters, enabled me to reflect on some key questions for my practice, that of my teams and indeed my school as a whole. Having read a number of the publications and an enthusiastic lurker on Twitter, I continue to find the approach refreshing and reassuring and I would be keen to share it more broadly. 

  • I thoroughly enjoyed listening to your talk at the conference on Monday David (Cameron). You re-iterated many of our thoughts and beliefs and gave a great energy into what we are trying to do. I picked up many tips.

  • I attended the conference on Monday and I really appreciated your presentation both the humour but the underlying serious messages you gave.  They are so true.

Whizz Kids! Learning, Learning Technologies and Simply Great Teaching 12th March 2018, London

  • "The speakers were amazing! Lee was so passionate about teaching he was inspiring. Nina was full of fun and fantastic insight into the accessibility function on settings. Roy again was super passionate and Mark, WOW, a fountain of knowledge!"
  • "Content of presentations was spot on – I took some great stuff away with me. Have been trying some of the Apps successfully."
  • "I really enjoyed the conference, the speakers were all incredibly informative. I have come away with so many ideas and a lot of inspiration."
  • "I really enjoyed the conference and it gave me lots of interesting ideas."
  • "The course was fantastic" 
  • "I wanted to thank everyone for an amazing day, the whole day was an inspiration and what I have been looking for, for a long time. I really can't find anything negative to say and I am already implanting many of the suggestions made." 

Mental Health and Well-being in Schools - There Has To Be Another Way  4th December 2017, London

  • "Thank you for a brilliant day – uplifting, emotional, thought provoking, and immensely valuable in equal measure"

Think for Yourself - Developing Independent Thinking in all Learners  9th October 2017, London

  • "I am now at home reflecting on the course today and, I have to say, it was one of the best courses that I have been on in years. It will certainly make me think more about the learning in my classroom, I will implement some of the suggestions immediately and, I will be trying to advocate a whole school approach to more independent learning."
  • "This was the best conference I have attended, was all the therapy I needed.  To laugh:)"
  • "Back home after a brilliant day - loved listening to everyone - lots to take back to school!
  • "I really enjoyed every aspect of the day and I am definitely going to feedback to my colleagues at our next staff meeting. I feel inspired!"

Thinking in Class - Raising Achievement through Curiosity, Wonder and Confusion Conference  14th March 2017, London

  • "I would also be most grateful if you would pass on my huge thanks to all the speakers at the event. They were so inspirational and I left with so many ideas I thought my head would explode. I have already introduced this morning's literacy lesson through a talking dog using Chatterpix (Nina will know what I mean!) and the children loved it! I have a meeting with my Head later today and I will be arguing very strongly for the need for us to have a cabinet of curiosities and I know just the place (not a loo roll cupboard - Matthew will know what I mean!). And as for Martin, I'm half way through his book already and it has made me re-think exactly why and how I teach which is why we did not do any SAT busters today, despite pressure from the management! Instead we played some grammar games which lead into a whole class discussion on 'Do we still need schools?'. If the speaking and listening was anything to go by the writing should be exciting. The whole day was an antidote to preparing for SATs and from now on curiosity, awe and wonder will be the priority in my class so that I am teaching for the moment. Thank you all so much. You have reminded me why it is such a privilege to teach despite it being the hardest thing I have ever done."
  • "Thank you for such an outstanding course.It was a wonderfully inspiring day, full of positive energy. The variety of presentations (both in terms of content and style) was really stimulating and left one wanting more and more. A superb experience in every respect."
  • "I just wanted to say what a fabulous day. The enthusiasm of the presentation team was really inspiring and as someone who is feeling rather jaded with teaching (25 years) it was real pick me up and gave me back, as Nina would say, some of my teaching fizz.Many thanks to all of the team."


Bringing the New Primary Curriculum to Life Conference  15th September 2016, London

  • "You really could not have pulled together a better team of speakers from my perspective.  As the head of a London Pre-prep, preparing children for highly selective schools at 7+, I was fully expecting to feel overwhelmed at the prospect of finding room for more creativity in my curriculum (and perhaps a little bit smug that my under 7s are already highly motivated and effective learners).  In truth of course, there is work still to be done, but I came away feeling excited about the opportunities for long term development, particularly those presented by Jonathan, Hywel and Carl, and with a handful of useful 'learning tools' from Simon to pass on to staff in the short term.  I may not be ready to swap all the desks for beanbags just yet, but I am very glad I took the day away from school to give thought to how we can better 'make it real' for our children and will certainly take this further.  Thank you"
  • "The session was incredibly useful and has allowed us to move on development of some key areas at Darton."
  • " I had a really productive day and have already started to implement some of the ideas across school and others are in our long term planning. It really was an excellent day- really well organised and fantastic ideas."
  • "Last week I attended an IAPS/ITL partnership conference which Debra Kidd hosted brilliantly. The input and heart from Jonathan Lear and Hywel Roberts resonated especially – they are great positive forces for change in education. Thank you for the work of ITL." 


 Leadership with a Heart Conference  27th November 2015, London

  • "I am not exaggerating when I say that Friday was the most inspirational and beneficial day of CPD I have ever experienced. At a difficult time for my school it was a reminder of why we do this job and what is most important. The variation in the content of the talks, whilst retaining a common theme, was most impressive""I couldn't wait to email you and have been buzzing since I left this afternoon.  It is so seldom that we in education have access to people who resonate so completely with the way we see things: access to the agitators, the thinkers, the warriors, the wondermakers.  To have them all in the same room at the same time is absolutely unprecedented and entirely responsible for the insomnia I have suddenly developed"
  • Thank you so very much for the brilliant conference on Friday.  Very inspirational, had me crying and laughing!! I now have so many ideas to take back to school. Each presenter was excellent. Thank you once again - I shall be back!


Developing an Outstanding Curriculum Conference  22nd September 2015, London

  • "Just to say how very much I enjoyed today's conference. It had it all - information, practical advice, humour, passion, and emotion. I left feeling invigorated and inspired. Please pass on my thanks the to the team they were all excellent." 


Getting the Learning Right Conference  23rd June 2015, London

  • "Thank you very much indeed for chairing such an inspirational course. I have returned to school reinvigorated (no small achievement at this stage in the term/year!) and have spent the day writing thunks on the board, listening to babies laugh, recreating the building of Burghley House/felling trees and speaking with my Headmaster about 7 Minute Coaching."


 Emotional Wellbeing Conference  8th May 2015, London

  • "One of the best conferences I have been on! So much to take away, think about and do. Full of riches!"