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Stephen Burley

King's high Head master

Dr Burley grew up in the north east of England and, as a schoolboy, used to cross the River Tyne each day by ferry to travel to school. His encounter with inspirational teachers bred a love of reading and literature that has driven his academic and intellectual interests ever since. 

He studied English Literature at University College London, taking a first class degree, and a love of Medieval and Romantic literature, on to St Catherine’s College, Oxford where he completed an M.Phil in 2003.


He returned to London to complete an interdisciplinary PhD thesis which explored the literary, political, philosophical and religious culture of the late eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. It was this project that resulted in his book, Hazlitt the Dissenter, published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2014. 

Dr Burley’s teaching career began in London and has taken him to Bogotá, Kent, Oxford and, most recently, to Warwick. After working as English teacher and Resident Tutor in a sixth form girls’ boarding house at The King’s School, Canterbury, he was appointed Assistant Head of English at Sevenoaks School and then Head of English at Headington School, Oxford. In January 2017 he joined King’s High as Deputy Head Academic before his promotion to Head Master in 2021. 

His passion for education is founded on his belief that inspirational teaching transforms lives. He believes that wellbeing and happiness should be at the heart of every student’s experience. He is an advocate of dynamic, forward-thinking, innovative education that develops the confidence and skills that prepare young people to be the Changemakers of the future.

Rob Yates

Eversfield Headmaster

I have been headmaster at Eversfield Prep School for nearly 18 years now, having taken up post after 6 years as headteacher in a state primary school. My teaching career began at Eversfield, as a young games master, before I ventured into Birmingham.

I have seen many changes in my time, ideas have come, gone and returned again in a different guise. I have learned that there is nothing more important than giving staff the opportunities to improve their knowledge by listening to other practitioners and having the confidence to try new things.

Future Fwd gives us the forum to share, listen to and evaluate ideas and experiences of schools, industry and students in our pursuit of this knowledge and our own improvement. I am very much looking forward to this year’s event and having the opportunity to contribute.


Vicky Bingham

 North London Collegiate School Headmistress

Vicky Bingham joined NLCS in September 2023 as its 10th Headmistress. She has spent her career working in high flying 4-18 girls’ schools and is deeply committed to empowering young women.


This is her second headship, having previously led South Hampstead High School GDST for over six years. Prior to that, she was Deputy Head (Academic) at Guildford High School and before that Head of Classics at St Catherine’s School, Bramley. She has a Classics degree from Oxford and a PGCE from Cambridge.


She was educated abroad at the European School of Brussels. Vicky has been a governor in settings as varied as a 10,000 strong FE college and a leading boys’ prep school. She currently serves on the Governing Bodies of Harris Academy in Tottenham, Berkhamsted School and The Hall School in Hampstead. As a keen, though frequently injured runner, she is delighted to join a school with such beautiful outdoor space and even a cross-country trail. 

Dr Fran Wilby

Rethinking Assessment

'The education sector is at a critical point and it's essential that teachers, leaders and innovators come together to support and encourage each other. I'm excited to be joining many inspiring colleagues at the Future Fwd conference this year and hear about the innovations that are happening across the country.'


Dr Phil Seal

Deputy Head (Academic) at King's High Warwick

Phil Seal is Deputy Head (Academic) at King's High Warwick, having previously worked as Director of Studies and Head of Academic Enrichment.


He represents King's as a member of the School Directed Courses Consortium, a group of leading schools that work collaboratively to consider how Key Stage 4 curriculum and assessment can be modernized to reflect academic progress and social change. 


Phil has overseen the design and implementation of two GCSE replacement courses, with units including neuroscience, sustainable engineering, climate change and global citizenship. 

James harding

Education consultant

James has thirty years experience in the independent school sector, including headship and senior leadership posts.  He currently works as a consultant, advising senior schools on innovation and curriculum enhancement.  Recent work includes developing curricular enrichment at KS4, devising digital content to support students studying literary set-texts, and advising the municipality of Vilnius, Lithuania, on school development.


James is passionate about the relevance of the humanities and cultural education to secondary school pupils.  He is committed creating inspirational experiences for students, and providing cultural reference-points for their development as young people facing exceptionally complex and fast-moving change.


James is committed to the concept of a liberal education re-fashioned for the age of AI and automation.  He believes that young people need to be provided with a broad cultural awareness in order to cultivate the discernment they need to flourish in our age of information and disinformation overload. 


James brings career-long experience to his work with schools and young people, and also draws on his wide knowledge of European culture, including that of Transylvania, where he has a second home.  He posts regularly on cultural topics on LinkedIn.


Alex Quinn

Assistant Head Teaching and learning

I am an English teacher at Warwick School.  I have always had a particular interest in training and supporting teachers, working as a mentor to trainee teachers and developing a bespoke teacher training programme at Warwick School, providing both mentors and trainees with the skills they need to ensure our pupils receive the highest quality teaching.  I am a professional coach and have established a coaching culture, with a team of coaches providing all staff with coaching.  As Head of English, I devised a new diverse curriculum with a focus on preparing our pupils for the future.

In my current role as Assistant Head Teaching and Learning, I am particularly interested in the use of AI to provide adaptive teaching, supporting and challenging every pupil to achieve the highest level of attainment.  I relish the challenge of harnessing the power of AI whilst identifying, and combatting, the pitfalls.  This has led to a focus on the use of oracy for assessment, encouraging pupils to question, inquire and research and then articulate their learning and understanding. 

I am looking forward to joining the dialogue on shaping the future of education and ways to empower young people to develop the creativity, resilience and adaptability they will need to thrive in tomorrow’s world.

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