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Evelyn Forde MBE

Navigating the challenges of education:
Monday 1 July, 13.45

Evelyn Forde’s keynote will refer to her own lived experiences as a young adult and how she navigated her way to headship. Drawing upon the challenges schools face today against a backdrop of the funding, recruitment/retention and mental health crises, Evelyn will explore how the sector can make better use of research and evidence to overcome some of the challenges.

Evelyn was headteacher of Copthall School from 2016 to 2023. She won the TES Headteacher of the Year Award in November 2020, followed shortly by an MBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List. She is acutely aware of the impact that lack of investment in schools and young people has on outcomes and opportunities and wants to add her voice for the change the sector needs. She is an advocate for those from underserved and marginalised backgrounds as well as advocating for better recruitment, retention, mental health and wellbeing.

Evelyn is a regular contributor to the broader national educational debates, is a conference speaker, committee member, and writer. She was the first black female President of the Association of School and College Leaders 2022/23 and was the inaugural Chair of ASCLs Ethnic Diversity Network.

As a regular contributor to educational debate, Evelyn has represented the profession at both Labour and Conservative party conferences and is asked to speak on a range of media platforms discussing current educational issues. Evelyn was a member of the ‘Times Education Commission’ which published a cross-phase report on English education, and she then went on to Chair the Commission on Teacher Retention examining the reasons for teachers leaving the profession.

Evelyn is a Trustee of Education Support, an organisation that supports the wellbeing of staff in schools. Her book ‘Herstory’ which focuses on the challenges for black leaders in the sector will be published in Autumn 2024 and lends itself to the work she is currently undertaking on race equity in schools.

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