Thought Leader Events

Grounded in contemporary evidence-based research, our one-day special thought leader events deliver high impact learning environments which unite and empower educators to improve student, school, system and organisational outcomes. The events provide excellent networking opportunities for learning, collaborating and sharing experiences. Recent speakers have included Maggie Farrar, Professor Michael Fullan, Tracey Ezard, Dr Lyn Sharratt, Dr Simon Breakspear and Emeritus Professor Dylan Wiliam.

Ben Walden

Influential Leadership: how can I influence others to do what I believe is right and should be done?

QELi is delighted to invite you to a half-day event with Ben Walden, international education speaker. Ben works with schools, looking at themes of leadership and inspiring communication with both staff and, especially, students, and has spoken at many leading educational conferences in Australia, including twice as a lead keynote for ACEL.

Wise leaders are often men and women who can face the realities of achieving essential goals while developing people and maintaining morale in the face of challenges. And, they are both ethical and effective. Ben will examine a key series of influencing themes:

  • Developing Political Intelligence
  • How are different people influenced in different ways?
  • The role of emotional intelligence
  • Community cohesion

Dr Lyn Sharratt

Putting FACES on the Data

Dr Lyn Sharratt, Associate, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, is returning to Australia in September to facilitate two special leadership events for educators in New South Wales.

Putting FACES on the Data will examine how educators can collaboratively build the bridge from in-school data collection to improve instruction in the classroom. Student assessment data, including NAPLAN results, can provide valuable beginnings and opportunities for rich conversations about what assessment and instructional strategies are needed for all students: those stuck, those struggling and those who need extending.

Lyn will discuss strategies from her book, ‘Putting FACES on the Data’, along with findings from her work with Australian schools and systems, to explain how collectively, educators can develop a common language for whole-school sharing of students’ progress and how ongoing assessment can be used to successfully inform instruction.

Dr Simon Breakspear

Foundations of Learning Sprints

Dr Simon Breakspear, Founder and Executive Director, Agile Schools, is returning to Queensland in October to introduce more educators to Agile School’s Foundations of Learning Sprints. A Learning Sprint is a team-based method that provides a simple, structured and powerful practical process that enables teacher teams to engage in collaborative, evidence-informed improvement work to enhance student achievement. The process supports teams to define highly specific areas of student learning to improve, design evidence-informed strategies, and to collect assessment evidence to check their impact.

The Learning Sprint Method:

  • creates a culture of continuous improvement and collective action
  • encourages more impact from the collaboration time teachers already have available
  • supports educators to collectively plan and evaluate their impact
  • builds capacity to rapidly improve outcomes through short, focused cycles of work
  • meaningfully embeds the use of evidence through the teaching and learning process.

Dr Simon Breakspear will explore literature about effective teacher learning and development, discuss core elements of the Learning Sprints process, and explain how the Learning Sprint process can be applied to improve outcomes in your school. Foundations of Learning Sprints is suitable for team leaders, lead teachers, middle leaders, deputy principals and principals.


Emeritus Professor Dylan Wiliam

Embedding Formative Assessment &
Leadership for Teacher Learning

Following his extremely successful visit to Queensland in 2018, Emeritus Professor Dylan Wiliam, Educational Assessment, University College London, is returning to Australia in 2019.  A former teacher, Emeritus Professor Wiliam has served in a number of roles in university administration, including Dean of a School of Education, and for the last 15 years, has pursued a research program focused on supporting teachers to develop their use of assessment in support of learning. He has co-authored a major review of research evidence on formative assessment and continues to work with groups of teachers all over the world on developing formative assessment practices.

On his return visit, Emeritus Professor Wiliam will again be discussing embedding formative assessment, and will explore:

  • why an increase in educational achievement is needed: what’s been tried, and why it hasn’t worked
  • what formative assessment is (and isn’t) and why formative assessment needs to be the priority for every school
  • practical techniques for implementing formative assessment, and
  • how to sustain the development of formative assessment with teacher learning communities.

In addition, in Brisbane on Friday 30 August 2019, Emeritus Professor Wiliam will be running a special extension workshop – Leadership for Teacher Learning – specifically for attendees of his 2018 Embedding Formative Assessment event.