Geoff Barton’s Vision for ASCL
About Geoff…

Geoff studied English and Linguistics at the University of Lancaster, then trained to teach at Leicester University. From 2002 to 2017 he was headteacher of King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds, a comprehensive school of 1650 students.

He is a Founding Fellow of the English Association and writes for a range of newspapers and journals. He has worked with various organisations, including the Department for Education, on leadership and literacy.

Geoff was a longstanding member of ASCL Council, former chair of its Pedagogy Committee, is Patron of the English and Media Centre, and a ‘Leading Thinker’ for the National Education Trust. He became General Secretary of ASCL in April 2017.

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SUMMER, 2019
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Previously in association with

The World's Learning Company

Pearson's global reputation for quality, innovation and trusted education services provides the perfect characteristics for our Headline Sponsor. As a company that’s fully involved in the education narrative at every level, we are proud to welcome Pearson to the festival movement.

Raising the Bar

Supporting the rise in educational attainment across Suffolk, the festival partnership is a sign of the innovative approaches the Local Authority is taking to help every child reach their potential. RtB’s headline sponsorship is enabling education professionals to access an ongoing honeypot of CPD and support. We’re proud to be associated with this powerful initative.

Future-proof Workforce

Previous edition festival theme – Sponsored by

As our Future-proof Workforce theme sponsor, Pearson brings profile and research-led insight to developing the skills for the future. Fully immersed in the education narrative at national and international level, as well as pragmatic delivery at the chalkface, Pearson continue to research, listening and influencing to provide trusted insight into the future of learning and assessment.

From early-years to adulthood

Pearson’s suite of resources and services form part of a learner’s journey from early childhood, long into adulthood. Trusted by teachers, learners, businesses, and renowned educationalists from around the world, our experience of working with Pearson is that they are a truly integrated in the education system, with an ethos of genuine care and trust.

Providing research-led content

We are proud and excited that Pearson are supporting a number of areas of festival content, from sharing their latest cutting-edge research into workforce needs, to leading a panel of world-renowned educationalists on the future of assessment.

Our Theme

Our Future-proof Workforce theme forms the central pillar for our festival movement and we are grateful and proud that Pearson are at the heart of the movement.


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A world leader in clean energy and the leading wind energy producer worldwide.
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Driving improvement in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities across Suffolk
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Providing quality temporary and interim supply teachers for schools
Opus Teach logo
Recruitment and Retention Zone
International Zone
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Delivering integrated solutions that connect people with technology
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Norse logo
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One of the UK’s most dynamic and fast-growing Facilities Management services providers
Performing Arts Zone

Previous speakers and sessions

A special thanks to Amanda Spielman (Head of Ofsted) for previously joining us for an ‘in conversation with’ Geoff Barton



A message from Geoff Barton, General Secretary, Association of School and College Leaders

Our young people are our future. We owe it to them to help develop the knowledge, skills and qualities they will need to thrive personally and to help our country succeed. At ASCL, we believe that great leadership is essential in a world that is changing fast – beyond Brexit into a world shaped by global opportunities and new technology. This is our opportunity to get education right for every young person, irrespective of their background. ASCL is passionate about the need for an outward-facing, optimistic approach, learning from and sharing with the best education systems in the world. We are delighted to be working with so many brilliant partners to make this the eastern region’s largest and most energising education event ever.



A growing collective of strength in the East of England

Olive Academies

Kesgrave High School

Suffolk Academies Trust

Samuel Ward Academy Trust


Gusford Primary School

Ely College

Arts Council England

Raising the Bar


Suffolk Young Chamber

St Benedicts Catholic School

John Catt Educational

University of Suffolk

Shakespeare Schools Festival

West Ipswich Teaching School

The Active Learning Trust

Chantry Academy

Felixtowe Academy

All Saints Primary School, Lawshall


Autism & ADHD

Relational Schools

Suffolk County Council

The Diocese of East Anglia 

British Council

ASSET Education

Woodbridge Primary School

Sybil Andrews Academy

St Neots Learning Partnership

Farlingaye High School

Saxmundham Free School

BOOST Felixstowe


Industry Education in Music


Xplore the World

Achievement For All

Shakespeare School Foundation

Association of School and College Lecturers