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BSA & TIOB – Annual Boarding conference

June 4 @ 09:00 - June 5 @ 17:00

  • Date: June 04-05, 2024
  • Time: 09:00 – 17:00
  • Cost: BSA/TIOB Member delegate rate – £550, BSA Affiliate member delegate rate – £825, Non Member delegate rate – £1100
    Cost will include: two-day conference, conference refreshments and formal dinner on the evening of June 04.
  • Audience: Deputy Head, Head of Boarding, SLT/SMT, Boarding House staff, Pastoral staff
  • Venue: Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5
  • Accommodation: Please note accommodation is not included in the delegate rate. Delegates are able to book accommodation for the two-day conference using the online booking platform, Roomex. Click here to login and secure your room using your school email address domain. A helpful BSA conference user guide is also available to watch here. If you would prefer to stay in the same hotel where the conference will be taking place, please select ‘Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5’ when booking via the platform. Roomex searches 35 global sources to provide the best hotel solution in one place and can save you up to 25%.
  • Exhibiting and sponsorship: We are delighted to be able to welcome organisations sponsorship and exhibition opportunities at this event, for full details please email Neil Rust, Head of Commercial neil.rust@bsagroup.org.uk

We’re looking forward to welcoming Deputy Heads, Heads of Boarding and Boarding House staff from our member schools to our Annual Boarding Conference, which takes place on June 4-5, 2024.

We will be joined by an exciting line-up of guest speakers across the two days and the conference will also allow plenty of time for interaction with colleagues, including a wonderful evening dinner together. Our aim is to ensure that you leave feeling refreshed and inspired, armed with practical ideas to implement in your school.

In addition to great speakers, we will be running a series of conversations led by delegates on a range of issues to ensure that sharing experience and knowledge is central at this year’s conference.

If you would be interested in leading a conversation like this or would like to suggest a specific topic for discussion, please do let us know via bsa@boarding.org.uk. Sessions could include everything from the challenges of staffing, getting all teachers to engage in the boarding house, to making time for yourself during busy terms. This is YOUR conference, so please do get in touch.



Conference Chair:

Chris Wheeler, Chair, BSA/TIOB Boarding Conference 2024 and Principal, Monkton Combe School

Chris is our conference chair has been Principal of Monkton Combe School since 2016. He is a governor at Stowe, where he chairs the Education committee, and has previously served as Vice Chair of HMC for 2019-20, trustee for the Palladian Academy Trust and Education Advisor to Challenge Partners. He previously served as Principal and CEO at Hillcrest International Schools in Kenya, Headmaster at St Christopher’s, Hove, and has variously been Deputy Head, Housemaster (day and boarding) and Head of English.


Lee Mears, Partner, Executive Coach, The Preston Associates

With two Rugby World Cups, 43 international rugby caps for England and a British and Irish Lions tour under his belt, Lee has been involved in building and developing high-performing, self motivated teams at the highest possible level. He currently coaches senior executives, teams and Boards across a wide range of sectors from finance, investment banking and commodity trading to tech, retail and manufacturing.
Lee’s passion for coaching is rooted firmly in the belief that you can lead others only by understanding yourself and working to enhance and enrich your own performance first. “You’ve got to learn to walk the talk before you can inspire others through your actions. That’s a big part of getting leadership right.”
From his sporting and business journeys, Lee recognises the strong correlation between the two worlds. He believes that success depends on bringing people together to strive for a common goal, enabling them to move forward in the same direction. Empowerment and ‘buy in’ are the pre requisites needed to create the culture of success in either environment. Lee strongly believes that discipline is an important aspect of management. Through coaching he provides that elusive space and time that senior business leaders need to develop a growth mindset that will enable them to establish the solid foundations for long-term prosperity. Lee continues to develop his role within the rugby community, sitting on the Bath Rugby Foundation Board and being an active Patron of various rugby charities and a cardiac research charity.

Dr Lindsay Browning, CEO, Trouble Sleeping

Dr Lindsay Browning is a leading sleep expert, psychologist, neuroscientist and author. She founded Trouble Sleeping troublesleeping.co.uk in 2006 to help companies and individuals with better sleep. Dr Browning’s qualifications include two degrees in neuroscience and psychology and also a doctorate from the University of Oxford where she specifically studied the treatment of insomnia. Dr Browning has written the bestselling self-help sleep book, Navigating Sleeplessness, and can be found on all social media @DrBrowningSleep.


Alicia Drummond,  Founder, Wellbeing Hub and Teen Tips

Alicia is passionate about providing evidenced-based advice to parents, teachers and all those looking after children and young people, so they can be pro-active in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of those in their care.  Alicia also works directly with children and young people empowering them to look after their mental health and wellbeing.

Alicia draws on the latest research from psychotherapy, psychology and neuroscience, along with her experience of working as an adolescent therapist.

Alicia is a BACP accredited therapist, parenting expert, sought after keynote speaker, member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for a Fit and Healthy Childhood, author and a mother.  She is regularly sought for her expert opinion by the media.

Having worked with schools across the UK for more than a decade delivering webinars, talks and workshops to parents, carers, staff, and pupils; in 2020 Alicia created The Wellbeing Hub. This award-winning platform provides schools with a whole school, pro-active approach to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people, now in over 180 schools in the UK, impacting over 100,000 pupils.

Will Gardner, CEO, Childnet

Will Gardner is the CEO of Childnet International, a children’s charity working with others to help make the internet a great and safe place for children.

Will has worked at Childnet since 2000 and has been the CEO since 2009 and has led numerous regional, national and international projects and programmes promoting child online safety, developing many award-winning resources.

He is also a Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre, in which Childnet, working with partners the IWF and SWGfL, organises Safer Internet Day in the UK every year, a campaign that reaches 50% of children and over a third of parents and carers. He is also an Executive Board member of the UK Council for Internet Safety and founded and chairs the Early Warning Working Group of helplines, hotlines and law enforcement. He is a member of Meta’s Safety Advisory Council, Internet Matters’ Expert Group and the Advisory Board of the Anti-bullying Alliance

Ed Venables, Head, Eagle House School

After studying Classics at Oxford university and a 12-year career in the investment banking and private equity world in the City, Ed returned to his old school, Wellington College, to teach Economics and Business.  His time at Wellington saw him being Head of the Economics department, Housemaster of his former boarding house for six years and, finally, Director of Admissions and a member of the Executive Leadership Team.  In September 2023 Ed moved to become Head of Eagle House School, Wellington’s 3-13 prep school.  Ed remains on the Wellington ELT.

Ed is married and has three sons.  Away from school, he lives in Anglesey, North Wales, and loves getting there in the holidays for lots of walking, running and time in and on the sea!

Jane Lunnon, Head, Alleyn’s School

Jane Lunnon became the first female Head of Alleyn’s School in January 2021 after six years as Head of Wimbledon High School and as Senior Deputy at Wellington School from 2010-2014 under Anthony Seldon’s headship. Her experience in senior leadership in both single-sex and co-educational environments, including her time at Prior’s Field School, spans a variety of roles: Head of English, Assistant Director of Studies, Head of Sixth Form, Deputy Pastoral and Housemaster’s wife.

Jane is a trustee of the Royal Springboard Foundation, chair and founder of the Coalition for Youth Mental Health in Schools, a Trustee of the Dulwich Picture Gallery, and sits on the Board of Governors for the London Academy of Excellence Tottenham, Barrow Hills School and King Edward’s School, Witley and as well as on the GSA / HMC Joint Universities Committee.

Her first book, “The State of Independence”, co-written with Dr David James, was first published by Routledge in 2019 and examines the challenges and opportunities for independent education. A second edition was published in February 2023.  She is now working on her second book: “Schools of Thought” due to be published in February 2024.  Jane was named Tatler Head of the Year in 2020.

She is married to Neill Lunnon who is also a Head (of Tower House School) and has two children. Her identical twin sister, Jenny Brown, is also Head of an independent London day school – which makes for many interesting conversations over dinner!

Tyler John, Head of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion, St Paul’s School

Tyler John (he/they) is the Head of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion at St Paul’s School in Barnes. Tyler started their career as an intern, and has delivered strategic DEI work across a number of different sectors. They really value the role that education plays in facilitating diverse and inclusive spaces, and enjoys working with open-minded and forward-thinking students in their role.


Sarah Griffiths, Deputy Head (Pastoral and Wellbeing), Caterham School

Named as an innovator and influencer in UK independent education, Sarah has been developing and promoting wellbeing in education for over a decade. A big supporter of ‘the whole school approach’, her work at Caterham School centres around proactive pastoral care, underpinned by a strong wellbeing curriculum and complimented by a focus on staff wellbeing and engaging parents. Her current school has 1300 pupils aged from 3-18, with a proportion of international boarders and she is also a governor at a local primary school.
Sarah is a Maths graduate who taught at Dulwich College for 11 years, as well as being Head of Wellbeing, before joining Caterham School in 2017 as Deputy Head (Pastoral and Wellbeing). She is a Maths teacher and a mum of three.

Ben Collingwood, Partner, Charities, Independent Schools, Moore Barlow

Ben specialises in advising independent schools and other charities on wide ranging areas of education law, with particular focus on reputation issues, pastoral, safeguarding, historic abuse allegations, SEN, exclusions, parent/pupil complaints, data protection, parent contracts, admissions and staff matters of all types.

Ben has written and spoken widely on issues facing the independent schools sector, providing comment in The Times, The Guardian, The Lawyer and Law Society’s Gazette and at the national conferences and training programmes for the various associations that support independent schools including BSA, ISBA, HMC, IAPS and AGBIS.

Ben lives with his wife and three children in West Sussex. He has been a devoted surfer since my childhood and loves to spend as much of his free time as possible in the sea and walking his pointers with his family.

Vanessa Ward, Chief Executive-Chief Inspector at Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI)

Vanessa joined ISI in February 2021 in this newly merged role, which embeds the fundamental and supportive connection between effective inspection practice and high quality education provision. After graduating from the University of Edinburgh with MA (Hons) in English  Literature, Vanessa attended the College of Law in London and Guildford before qualifying  as a solicitor with first class honours. She practised for a number of years in London, specialising in commercial and media law. Having retrained as a teacher, her career in education leadership includes the headship of The Tiffin Girls’ School, one of the highest performing state schools in the UK. While a headteacher, Vanessa was a member and elected vice-chair of the local authority schools forum. Vanessa joined Ofsted as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors Education (HMI), where she led inspections in both the state and independent sectors. Vanessa was seconded to the newly formed Unregistered Schools Taskforce, which conducted criminal investigations into illegal educational provision. Vanessa also has commercial experience building a successful education consultancy practice supporting school improvement. She has combined this with her work as a School Improvement Partner (SIP) for Achieving for Children in Richmond and Kingston local authorities, while continuing her work with Ofsted as an Ofsted Inspector. In her consultancy and SIP work, she has worked closely with school leaders and governors from diverse education providers, including primary and secondary academies and maintained schools, special schools, multi-academy trusts, independent schools and international schools. Vanessa has also served on a school governing body as both foundation and parent governor, including chairing the governors’ personnel committee.

Alex Large, Head of Boarding, The Royal School, Wolverhampton

Despite trying his best not to follow in his father’s footsteps, Alex opted to study economics at Newcastle University but still ended up becoming a maths teacher. As a day pupil at Taunton School, he spent many evenings in the company of the boarders there while his father did evening duties or stayed to finish his marking. This is where the fascination with boarding began and is now a self-confessed boarding enthusiast. Currently the Head of Boarding and a member of the Senior Leadership Team at The Royal School, Wolverhampton, Alex has developed excellent links with charities and external government agencies to support the pastoral needs of boarders at school, culminating in national recognition with both individual and school awards.

Alex lives onsite with his wife, Sarah, and their two young sons – Harry and Thomas who want to become the next Ben Stokes and Rory McIlroy respectively. During the winter he plays 1st XI hockey for Finchfield, whilst in the summer holidays he can be found on his paddleboard in Barmouth Bay.

Madeleine Killacky, Housemistress and Mathematics Teacher, Moreton Hall School

Madeleine Killacky is a Housemistress and Mathematics teacher at Moreton Hall School in Shropshire. She was awarded the BSA Research Fellowship for 2023-24 and is currently researching creativity and unstructured play in boarding settings.


Naima Charlier, Director of Equality, Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Responsibility, Wellington College

Naima Charlier brings over 25 years of teaching experience, including more than 20 years in international school settings across the UK, USA, Romania, and Hong Kong. With a background spanning Early Years, Primary, and Secondary education, she has held various leadership roles for over 16 years, including Founding Head, Deputy Principal, and Director of Teaching and Learning. Naima holds an MBA in International Educational Leadership from UCL and serves as a Lead Improvement Partner for COBIS. She advocates passionately for inclusive leadership and prioritises EDI initiatives in schools.



June 4 @ 09:00
June 5 @ 17:00
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