Dr Simon Breakspear
Keynote 1

How teams could work together to create effective educational change.

Educational improvement is a team sport. The development of new principles, practices and platforms can dramatically lift the effectiveness of a team.

Quality planning without effective implementation is useless. Educational implementation is particularly challenging because schools are complex-relational ecosystems. In short, educational change is mostly about the people stuff. As a result educational change is never a simple, linear and predictable process of delivering our plans over time. Responsive Implementation provides a dynamic approach to implementing educational change that enables teams to learn by doing, adapt quickly and iterate towards their desired impact.  

This compelling and practical presentation will help leaders to: 

  • Examine the human-factors which slow down and derail evidence-informed change
  • Understand why ‘what works’ doesn’t always work across diverse settings 
  • Be empowered by seeing implementation as an iterative and incremental process of learning by doing 
  • De-risk change by running rapid cycles of testing and learning within their unique context
  • Overcome resistance by harnessing the science of behaviour change
  • Harnessing formative evaluation to adjust and course-correct


Wednesday 14 April: 1.30 – 2.30pm

About Dr Simon Breakspear

Breakspear Learning
Executive Director

Simon is a researcher, advisor and speaker on educational leadership, policy and change. He is the Executive Director of the leadership development organisation Breakspear Learning and Research Fellow at the University of New South Wales, Gonski Institute for Education. Simon’s educational frameworks and tools make complex ideas easier to understand and act on. His speaking and advisory work has given him the opportunity to work with over 100,000 educators across 10 countries. He is also the creator of Teaching Sprints, an open-source teacher professional learning approach used by thousands of educators across the planet to enhance their expertise and impact.

Simon is passionate about supporting school leadership development at scale. He serves as an expert advisor to the NSW Department of Education School Leadership Institute, the AITSL Leadership Steering Committee and the Ontario Principals’ Council international school leadership program. Simon earned his PhD in education from the University of Cambridge as a Gates Scholar, and a MSc in Comparative and International Education from the University of Oxford as a Commonwealth Scholar. Simon holds Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Teaching, and began his work in education as a high school teacher. Simon lives in Sydney with his wife and three young children.

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