Practical Strategies For Women Aspiring To Leadership In The Education Sector

The education profession has always attracted the most dynamic and accomplished women of the day throughout societal ages. Now, as for the longest time, women make up the vast majority of the educational workforce (63%), instructing, inspiring and empowering generation after generation of future citizens. Students of all sexes and genders continuously benefit from exposure to and instruction from these outstanding educators. Due to this history, the sheer minority of women in senior leadership roles in our schools (38%) manifests as a striking anomaly; the absence is very present.

Often barriers to progression have been enveloped into what are now perceived as ‘cultural norms’ that women are expected to surmount as ‘par of the course’. Career ‘breaks’ and part-time working due to maternity, double–standards and lack of transparency concerning pay, perceived empathetic weakness and the notion of ‘likeability’ are normalised obstacles for women to navigate… or should they even have to?

Such professionals possess an excellence of knowledge, skills and character deemed adequate enough by society to entrust them with the majority educating of our children and future citizens. Are these not the same professionals we would desire the challenge of leadership to rest upon? What stranglehold obscures access to leadership for those most suited for it? And what can young, talented and ambitious women do to ensure their acceleration past this archaic oddity?

Keynote speakers will articulate a plethora of dynamic topics from assessing ones potential, overcoming barriers and the importance of instilling these leadership values in the youth of today. Our diverse workshops will offer the opportunity to explore in detail practical strategies to secure leadership roles, transitioning to the leader’s perspective, how to network effectively and inspiring allyship.

At Keynote we are proud to be delivering this conference, bringing together internationally renowned experts in the field of women in educational leadership.


  • Identity the habitual challenges and unique opportunities faced by professional women in the education sector
  • Gain insight into the intricacies surrounding gendered behaviours role in institutional advancement
  • Learn how accomplished women approach negotiation when pursuing what they need in order to be impactful leaders
  • Take away a pronounced depth of understanding of the knowledge, skill-set and values required to be a successful educational leader
  • Demystify information surrounding the gender pay gap
  • Develop new approaches to collaborating with allies
  • Examine the ‘cultural norms’ of the work space and responses to them


  • Evelyn Forde MBE2020 TES Headteacher of the year
  • Dr. Jill BerryDirector, J.Berry Associates
  • Clarissa Farr MA – Founder, Clarissa Farr Consulting- Former High Mistress of St. Paul’s Girls School
  • Dr. Antonia Sudkaemper – Diversity & Inclusion Manager ICAEW
  • Jeni Smith – Founder, Networking KnoWho

DATE Online | Friday 18 June 2021
  • Headteachers and Principals
  • Deputy & Assistant Heads
  • Heads of Diversity & Inclusion
  • Directors of Pastoral
  • Curriculum Managers
  • Senior Leaders
  • Heads of Department
  • Local Authorities
  • Charities
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance


9.50 – 10.00am: Introduction to Conference Theme

Luke Nicholson, Academic Course & Conference Producer, Keynote Educational

10.00 – 10.40am: Keynote 1 – Keynote 1 – Assessing your leadership potential

  • How do we conduct a thorough professional self-appraisal?
  • Identifying our greatest strengths and how to prioritise their cultivation
  • Defining our USP
  • Assessing where our strengths best match the needs of the school (adding value)

Evelyn Forde MBE – 2020 TES Headteacher of the year

10.40 – 11.20am: Keynote 2 – Overcoming the barriers – external and internal – and fulfilling your professional potential 

  • Classifying the differences between institutional, structural, systemic and internal barriers
  • Safeguarding against the impact of internalised barriers.
  • Practical Strategies to combat self-doubt and fear of rejection
  • Building confidence in an organic and lasting way

Dr. Jill BerryDirector, J.Berry Associates

11.20 – 11.30am: Morning Break

11.30 – 12.10pm: Keynote 3 – Instilling the values of leadership in our students

  • Planting ambition and convicting for leadership at a young age
  • Emphasising academic and personal enrichment equally
  • Instilling a sense of ownership over students individual journeys
  • Embracing opportunities to grow in resilience of character and independence of thought

Clarissa Farr MA – Founder, Clarissa Farr Consulting – Former High Mistress of St. Paul’s Girls School

12.10 – 1.00pm: Lunch

1.00 – 1.50pm: Strand One

1A: How to give yourself the best possible chance of securing the job you dream of 
  • Exploring strategies to promote whole school collaboration and enrichment
  • Researching our schools needs and initiating projects that satisfy these (adding value)
  • Making the most of opportunities to have impact in our current role in order to achieve success in the future
  • The importance of sustaining healthy relationships

Jill Berry, Director, J.Berry Associates

1B: The mind-set shift: transitioning to the leader’s perspective
  • Understanding the expectations of leadership in relation to conduct
  • Assessing situations and solutions dispassionately with the whole school in mind
  • Altering your perspective to see the bigger picture
  • Preparing for the complex challenge of managing former colleagues

Clarissa FarrFounder, Clarissa Farr Consulting – Former High Mistress of St. Paul’s Girls School

1.50 – 2.00pm: Afternoon Break

2.00 – 2.50pm: Strand Two

2A: Networking: the importance of having and being an advocate
  • How to find a diversity of role models
  • How to cultivate positive relationships with other aspiring leaders
  • Matching your knowledge and skills with another’s expertise
  • Promoting (and being promoted by) fellow aspirant professionals in the education sector

Jeni Smith – Founder, Networking KnoWho

2B: Inspiring allyship towards equality
  • New approaches to ‘double-standards’ and ‘cultural norms’
  • Promoting and utilising allyship amongst male colleagues
  • The session will combine cutting-edge academic research, statistics from the education sector, and lived experiences of women and men.
  • Draw parallels to other minority groups’ struggles by relating the content to the 3 E’s of Allyship Model.

Dr. Antonia Sudkaemper – Diversity & Inclusion Manager ICAEW

2.50 – 3.00pm: Optional Networking

Evelyn Forde MBE

I firmly believe that inner city schools in areas of ‘challenge’ must deliver the very best education to their students. My own secondary education in London became a major driving force in motivating me to become a teacher, and I remain resolute in my determination to improve the life chances of young people. However, my educational philosophies extend beyond the classroom through my involvement with a charity that supports young people in care. In short; I am driven by the belief that all schools can, and must, transform the life chances of their students. I believe in a holistic approach to education; we educate the whole person, socially, spiritually and emotionally as well as academically to ensure that they are successful adults who will engage in lifelong learning and contribute positively to their community.

An educator for the past 16 years, 8 of which have been in senior leadership has given me the opportunity to work in inner city schools ranging from those that are outstanding to those in a category. I am currently Headteacher at Copthall School in Mill Hill, North London.

Dr. Jill Berry

Dr. Berry taught for thirty years across six different schools in the UK, and was a head for the last ten. Since leaving headship she has completed a doctorate, researching the transition to headship; written the book: ‘Making the Leap – Moving from Deputy to Head’ (Crown House, 2016); and carried out a range of leadership consultancy work.  She is an advocate for the opportunities presented by social media for networking and professional development, tweeting @jill berry102 and blogging at

Clarissa Farr MA

Clarissa is an internationally renowned speaker, writer and consultant on education and leadership. With more than twenty years’ experience at the top of the UK independent education sector, and wide ranging experience of international schools, she has coached and mentored educators and educational decision-makers throughout the UK and on four continents. Clarissa’s career has spanned the UK maintained and independent sectors as well as international education around the world. Her non-executive career is equally wide-ranging: she served on the Board of the Royal Ballet School for eleven years, is currently a Fellow of Winchester College, a Trustee of the African Gifted Foundation and a Trustee of the British Museum where she chairs the British Museum Friends Advisory Council. Latterly, her special commitment to the education of girls has led her to focus on the future of women in society and in the workplace: what needs to change to enable women to make their full contribution to the modern world. Clarissa is a sought-after speaker on leadership, women’s empowerment and education in the widest sense. Her first book, The Making of Her: Why School Matters was published by Harper Collins in 2019.

Dr. Antonia Sudkaemper

Dr Antonia Sudkaemper is a passionate Diversity & Inclusion Specialist with research, strategy, project, and training experience. Whilst grounding her work in theory and data, Antonia’s favourite part about her work is to develop and implement applied initiatives and to witness their positive impact on individual well-being and team performance. By background, Antonia is a published social scientist and holds a PhD from the University of Exeter, where she conducted research on inter-group relations and allyship. Researching how and why men might (not) support gender equality, she developed the Support for Gender Equality among Men Scale, and investigated how precarious manhood hinders norm change. Since completing her doctoral research, she has worked with a number of organisations (e.g., Advance HE, Cabinet Office, Council of the EU, Cambridge Assessment) on a diverse spectrum of Diversity & Inclusion projects. Currently, Antonia holds a position as Diversity & Inclusion Manager for Global Student Recruitment at ICAEW, and engages in D&I Consulting as the founder of Diversities whenever time allows.

Jeni Smith

Jeni is passionate about connecting people. When people come together powerful things happen: relationships are built, knowledge is shared and sparks of innovation are fired.  With fifteen years’ experience in the networking industry, Jeni now teaches networking skills and creates networking strategies to help people come together and build effective, long-term relationships.  During her careers she has won several awards in enterprise including being named within the ‘Future 100 Young Entrepreneurs’ in the UK in 2010, and ‘Growth Accelerator Programme’ winner 2012. Between 2017/19 she conducted two rounds of academic research with Durham University, exploring her unique strategic business networking model. The research results spurred her on to launch Networking KnoWho, a new networking consultancy, to help individuals and businesses become more confident, efficient, and strategic networkers. Jeni truly believes that networking has the ability to change people’s lives, unlock hidden potential, spark world-changing ideas and be the catalyst for positive change: all starting with a simple