Susan Douglas

Senior Advisor, British Council and CEO, The Eden Academy

Speaking at


Leadership Matters: The English School Leadership Landscape

“School leadership in England has undergone a period of rapid change over the last 15 years within a general context of devolution of responsibility for the leadership and management of day-to-day affairs to individual schools and a substantial reduction of the apparatus of the state. Increased freedoms afforded by “academy status” have created a raft of innovative and creative local offers and seen the generation of a wide variety of leadership structures.
This session will cover:
• the importance of the role of the school leader in creating quality across a self-improving system
• the potential for school-to-school collaboration to improve outcomes, particularly for those pupils with SEND
The session will also include a case study of her own Academy Trust.


Susan Douglas is a Senior Adviser at the British Council where she provides sector expertise to a wide number of educational programmes involving ministries of education, school leaders and teachers across approximately 40 countries. She has a particular interest in leadership, professional development and inclusion.
Her second role is as the CEO of the Eden Academy Trust which comprises 5 schools in West London (including Pentland Field School, a free school which opened in 2015) and two schools in north east England all of which cater for children with a range of complex needs. She is a Trustee of NFER.


Building Educational Bridges: What Singapore can teach us about mathematics teaching

The British Council supports advances in educational policy internationally, bringing together policy makers and practitioners from different countries to enable them to learn from leading practice and shape future reforms. As part of this work the British Council, in partnership with the Department for Education, runs the Building Educational Bridges programme with the National Institute of Education in Singapore. Each year, the programme offers a group of high-performing English school leaders the opportunity to focus on an agreed theme, learning from, and working with, a similar group of principals from across Singapore.

Singapore’s prowess in the teaching of mathematics is world renowned having dominated the international league tables for over a decade. This presentation will share the research findings from the group of English headteachers who took part in the programme in 2016-17. Working with the Singapore principals over a three month period with a focus on mathematics, they sought to discover what this success was based on and how the principles that underpin this success might be applied to their own context, focusing on the four key areas of teacher expertise, curriculum, pedagogy and assessment.