image of Eman Gaad, one of the speakers at the schools now conference

Professor Eman Gaad

Professor Eman Gaad is a world-class researcher, advocate, and international social development consultant. She is the Dean of the Faculty of Education and a Professor of Special and Inclusive Education at the British University in Dubai.

Professor Eman is an Affiliate Lecturer at the University of Glasgow, UK. In 2022 she became a Goodwill Ambassador for Bangladesh.  

A certified assessor, and a professional social trainer, she is a national and international media figure, a sound academic and an external PhD examiner for reputed universities around the world. She has advised policy and decision makers as a senior consultant for both governments of Dubai and Abu Dhabi and has been awarded regional and international awards.


Sir Mark Grundy, one of the speakers at the schools now conference

Sir Mark Grundy

Sir Mark Grundy is CEO of Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust. He has worked nationally on curriculum development and was one of the contributors to the English National Curriculum. In 2006, he was knighted for his services to education and technology in the UK.

Sir Mark is a former Principal of a number of schools and has worked extensively with the Department for Education to encourage schools to use Educational Technology. Sir Mark has also been an Advisor to the Regional School Commissioner for the last nine years.

The Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust leads a network of 14 schools and nurseries in the West Midlands. He is passionate about ensuring that all pupils are given access to an exceptional education. The schools in Sir Mark’s Trust provide a Whole Education for their pupils where the Arts and Digital Technologies are given equal value with purely academic subjects.

Image of Joan Deslandes, one of the speakers at the schools now conference

Joan Deslandes

Joan Deslandes OBE is Head Teacher of Kingsford Community School, a secondary school in East London which has held the International School Award for over a decade.

She is a founding trustee of the Chartered College of Teaching and has been named three times by the Evening Standard as one of London’s most influential educational thinkers.

Her school has pupils from richly diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds and ensures that an international dimension is embedded into all aspects of school life. In 2017 she was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to education.

Image of Adam Arnell, one of the speakers at the Schools Now conference

Adam Arnell

Adam Arnell is the Director of the Oxfordshire Teaching School Hub, a partnership of over 300 schools delivering school-led professional development from Initial Teacher Training through to executive leadership.

Adam trained as a Geography teacher at Oxford University after which he taught in Japan for a year. Following his return to the UK he taught at King Alfred’s School, Wantage, leading the Geography department. During this time he became the lead Geography author for Letts Publishers, writing and editing 12 text books and revision guides. 

He then took on a whole school leadership role with responsibility for the professional development and appraisal of teachers and support staff, before going to lead the Oxfordshire Teaching Schools Alliance (OTSA), a unique collaboration between nursery, primary, secondary and special schools which delivered school-led professional and leadership development to thousands of teachers over a decade.