The 2017 IPDA International Conference took place from 24-25 November 2017 at the Vale Resort in the Vale of Glamorgan with the theme ‘The Complexity of Professional and Inter-professional Learning’.


Click the image below to download the conference programme.

Keynote Speakers

Reimagining Professional Learning

Graham Donaldson

Professor Graham HC Donaldson, Independent Consultant/University of Glasgow

A former teacher, Graham Donaldson headed Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) from 2002-10. He radically reformed the approach to inspection, combining external accountability with self-evaluation and capacity building. As chief professional advisor to Ministers on education, he has taken a leading role in a number of major reform programmes, including Scotland’s major reform of its curriculum. Following retirement from HMIE, his report ‘Teaching Scotland’s Future’ (2011), made 50 recommendations about teacher education in Scotland which have all been accepted by the government and are the subject of an ongoing reform programme. He has also undertaken a review of the national curriculum in Wales and the 68 recommendations in his radical report, ‘Successful Futures’ (2015), have also been accepted in full and embodied in a major, long-term reform programme. Graham has worked as an international expert for OECD, participating in reviews of education in Australia, Portugal, Sweden and Japan. He is, was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath by the Queen in 2009 and given the Robert Owen Award as an Inspirational Educator by the Scottish Government in September 2015. In addition to various forms of consultancy and continuing to act periodically as an international expert to OECD projects, he was appointed as an Honorary Professor in Glasgow University in 2011 and an advisor to the Minister for Education and Skills in Wales in 2015. Graham is also a member of the First Minister of Scotland’s International Council of Education Advisors (2016).

What can complexity do for UK education policy: a passing fad or helping to loosen the grip of centralised control?

Tony Bovaird

Professor Tony Bovaird, University of Birmingham

Tony Bovaird is Emeritus Professor of Public Management and Policy at INLOGOV, University of Birmingham, UK and Director of Governance International, a non-profit organization working throughout Europe. His research covers strategic management of public services, performance measurement in social policy, evaluation of public management and governance reforms, and user and community co-production of public services. In recent years, he has acted as advisor on co-production to the UK Cabinet Office, the Scottish Joint Improvement Team and the Welsh Government and has just returned from a tour of Australia and New Zealand, advising governments and researchers on how to implement co-production in social and other public services. He has undertaken research for UK Research Councils, the European Commission, many UK government departments, LGA, National Audit Office, and many other public bodies in the UK and internationally. He is co-author (with Elke Loeffler) of Public Management and Governance (Routledge, 3rd edition 2016).

‘Bridge over troubled water’: Rebuilding professional learning in landscapes of educational complexity

Professor Rachel Lofthouse

Professor Rachel Lofthouse, Leeds Beckett University

Rachel Lofthouse is Professor of Teacher Education in the Carnegie School of Education at Leeds Beckett University. Rachel has a specific interest in the link between practice development and professional learning for teachers and educators, based on innovative pedagogies and curriculum design and collaborative practices for coaching and mentoring.  Over eighteen years as a teacher educator and researcher (seventeen of which were at Newcastle University) she has worked with teachers at all stages of of their careers. She supports them in building their workplace expertise based on developing critical reflection and their ability to contribute to, and draw productively on, the evidence base for teaching and learning.