As part of an ongoing collaboration with a world-leading expert on educational reform, the work of the Northern Alliance regional improvement collaborative will be presented at this year’s World Education Summit conference.

The presentation is one of just a few from Scottish educators at this year’s event, with colleagues from e-learning school e-Sgoil (which also sits within the Northern Alliance area as part of the regional team), also taking to the world stage.

Northern Alliance Quality Improvement Manager, Kathleen Johnston, will be presenting alongside Michael Fullan on ‘Digging Deeper into the Right Drivers for Whole System Success’. Michael shared his ‘right drivers’ – systemness, wellbeing and learning, social intelligence and equality investments – with the world in 2021. The duo plan to focus on systemness, deep learning and leadership in their online session which will be open to thousands of participants from around the globe.

Kathleen explained, “Michael has been inviting organisations to use the drivers as a treasure map and embark on new routes for wellbeing and learning together. We’re certainly trying to do that across our eight council areas and we’re using the drivers to shape how we move forward with educators across a huge geographical part of Scotland.

“Michael and I are looking forward to reflecting on the journey so far, both here in Scotland and in Michael’s work with colleagues from across the world.”

Steven Graham and Richard Tarves will also be sharing another important Scottish journey as part of the Summit’s Cool Schools stage. ‘Removing barriers for our learners’ will explain how the work of e-Sgoil has evolved since its inception, focusing initially on improving access to learning for young people in rural areas. Since then, the team has expanded and now specialises in overcoming hurdles with young people whose mental or physical health has made in-school learning difficult. This, alongside the huge expansion in online learning more generally since the onset of Covid-19.

Steven commented: “Our session is designed to make folk think about how what we’ve learned could apply in their own setting. How do barriers impact on learning? Is the curricular offer in your area driven by the learner or the institution?

“The pandemic has triggered a shift in people’s views about what school should look and feel like. It gives us a springboard to build on what we’ve done so far, and we’re looking to collaborate with other partners and continue to adapt to best meet the needs of children and young people.

“There is a lot of potential to further online learning opportunities and we can’t wait to hear from colleagues around the world.”

Practitioners from all schools and early years settings across the eight Northern Alliance council areas can now sign up for free places at this year’s World Education Summit. This is fully funded by the Northern Alliance and means you can enjoy year-long, flexible access to professional learning tools and talks as part of ‘Summit Central’, as well as the conference itself from 21 to 24 March.

You must register using a bespoke Northern Alliance registration link to gain FREE access. Everything you need to know about how to register is being shared with lead education officers and professional learning leads within each local authority. It is also available via our Northern Alliance SharePoint site in Glow. You’ll be able to access a padlet with lots of key pointers and information as well as a bespoke registration page. You can register as an individual or one person from your school or setting can upload participants on behalf of a group.

The Summit is the largest annual virtual gathering of the greatest minds in education, passionate teachers and brave leaders from every corner of the world. Over 200+ speakers will present over 4 days (21-24 March) on 10 stages, across 10 themes.

If you are struggling to access Glow or haven’t been able to find the registration details via your local authority, then please get in touch by emailing

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