• The Sydney Morning Herald Schools Summit

    Future frameworks for challenging times

    20 February 2020
    ICC Sydney

    Register your interest


Completing The Sydney Morning Herald Schools Summit will contribute 8 hours of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered PD addressing 6.2.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.


We’re delighted to announce that The Sydney Morning Herald Schools Summit 2020 will be held on 20 February at the ICC Sydney.

As stakeholders of Australian education navigate the contentious issues faced by the sector today, the need for a conversation between policy-makers, educators and key organisations within the sector persists.

The SMH Schools Summit will facilitate a much-needed insightful debate and discussion around the future of Australian education.

Take a seat at the table and join the conversation.

Key topics to be addressed:

  • NSW Curriculum Review
  • Gifted Students and Gifted Programs
  • Behavior Management
  • PISA
  • Teacher Education
  • Play-Based Learning
  • Project-Based Learning
  • Managing Disability
  • Integrating Technology into the Classroom
  • Vocational Education
  • HSC and ATAR
  • School Improvement
  • General Capabilities
  • School Fundraising
  • The Future of Assessment and NAPLAN



The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian
Premier of New South Wales

Professor Geoff Masters AO
Review Lead, NSW Curriculum Review and Chief Executive Officer, Australian Council for Educational Research

Dr. Kim Paino
General Manager, Marketing and Engagement, Universities Admissions Centre

Angelo Gavrielatos
President-elect, New South Wales Teachers Federation

The Hon. Adrian Piccoli
Director, Gonski Institute for Education, UNSW Sydney

Henry Rajendra
Deputy President, NSW Teachers Federation

Paul Martin
Acting CEO, NSW Education Standards Authority

Jennie Quinn
Education Officer: Diverse Learning Initiatives, Sydney Catholic Schools

Sherill Nixon
Director of Donor Relations, Schools Plus

Paul McDermott
Principal, Blue Haven Public School

Tracey Breese
Principal, Kurri Kurri High School

Michael Saxon
Principal, Liverpool Boys High School

Dr. Rosalind Walsh
Catalyst Co-ordinator, Queenwood

Lisa Davies
Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald

Jordan Baker
Education Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald

Event Images

Below is a snippet of images from SMH Sydney Schools Summit 2019.

To view all images from the one day summit, visit the Flickr album.


CONFERENCE DAY ONE | Monday 25 February 2019



OPENING | Opening remarks from the Chair

Lisa Davies, Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald


Ensuring today’s schools are equipped to produce the citizens of tomorrow

The Hon Robert Stokes MP, Minister for Education, NSW


The Oppositions Address: The Labor Party perspective on the future of education

Mr Jihad Dib MP, Shadow Minister for Education, NSW


Q&A | Keynote Question and Answer

The Hon Robert Stokes MP, Minister for Education, NSW
Mr Jihad Dib MP, Shadow Minister for Education, NSW
Moderator: Jordan Baker, Education Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald


Rural & remote education: equal opportunities for all students

—— What is going right in rural and remote education
—— What are the unknown unknowns in rural and remote education
—— Why does it matter that we close the performance gap
—— Should we operate schools in rural and remote Australia differently to metro schools

Prof Adrian Piccoli, Director, Gonski Institute for Education



KEYNOTE | Student engagement: igniting the fire in young learners

—— Strategies & pedagogy to facilitate high retention and engagement levels in students
—— Empowering students to take the reins in their learning
—— Inspiring learners to adopt the role of a ‘partner’ in their education experience

Eddie Woo, Leader, Mathematics Growth, NSW Department of Education


Networking and refreshment break


Student well-being: implementing a whole of school culture of wellness

—— Fostering student resilience
—— Inclusive education: positive learning environments for students of all backgrounds, sexualities and gender identities
—— Preparing students for future work requirements
—— Combating alarming rises in youth anxiety and depression rates
—— Addressing the diverse needs of students with learning differences

John Goh, Principal, Merrylands East Public School
Dr Briony Scott, Principal, Wenona School
The Hon. Verity Firth, Executive Director Social Justice, Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion, University of Technology Sydney
Murray Kitteringham, Principal, Sir Joseph Banks High School
Moderator: Lisa Davies, Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald


Beyond Gonski – the challenge of education reform

Mark Scott AO, Secretary, NSW Department of Education



What’s happening? Using data and research to inform and improve practice

—— What role does data play in understanding the impact of whole school change?
—— Is it possible to use data to sustain, improve and refine pedagogical models?
—— What research initiatives can be undertaken to help you understand your educational context?

Adam Hendry, Assistant Principal (Learning), Parramatta Marist High School


What are the key skills and attributes the teachers of tomorrow will need?

—— Providing our teachers with essential technological skills
—— Equipping teachers with resilience and the emotional skills they need to thrive
—— Creating a professional growth culture & providing the support needed to foster continuous improvement
—— Preparing educators to cater for all learning differences

Jenny Allum, Principal, Sydney Church of England Grammar School
Christine Taylor, Principal, St Ives North Public
Santo Passarello, Principal, Patrician Brothers’ College Blacktown
Maurie Mulheron, President, NSW Teachers Federation
Moderator: Jordan Baker, Education Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald


Lunch and networking break



KEYNOTE | Improving educational outcomes for every Australian student, no matter where they live

The Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Education, Australia


Fireside Chat with the Shadow Minister for Education

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Shadow Minister for Education and Training, Australia
Moderator: Lisa Davies, Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald


School shopping – is choice a good thing?

—— What choice is there in reality?
—— Does school choice undermine aims of inclusive education?
—— What’s the future of single-sex and co-ed schools?

John Collier, Principal, St Andrew’s Cathedral School
Dr Peter Goss, Director, Grattan Institute
Andrea Connell, Principal, Sydney Girls High School
Chris Presland, President, NSW Secondary Principals Council
Bryce Grant, Principal, Asquith Boys High School
Moderator: Lisa Davies, Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald


Networking and refreshment break


Creating the curriculum to tackle society’s needs for the next 50 Years

—— Is it still easier to move a cemetery than to change the curriculum?
—— Standardised testing: the future of NAPLAN
—— The future of ATAR and the HSC

Mark Scott AO, Secretary, NSW Department of Education
Dr Jennifer Buckingham, Senior Research Fellow, The Centre for Independent Studies
Ellen Koshland, Founder, Australian Learning Lecture
Tom Alegounarias, Chair, NSW Education Standards Authority
Moderator: Jordan Baker, Education Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald


AI, Robotics and the Future of Technology in the Classroom

Tonie Amos, Curriculum Development Manager, Saeon Australia



Innovative school design & delivery

—— Delivering schools under considerable population pressures
—— Designing school environments that foster positive learning outcomes
—— High-rise schools: implications for students
—— Maximising student learning potential

John Collier, Principal, St Andrew’s Cathedral School
Greg Whitby, Executive Director, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta
Anthony Manning, Chief Executive, School Infrastructure NSW
Dr Kathleen Seto, Principal, Fairvale High School
Moderator: Lisa Davies, Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald


CLOSING | Closing remarks from the Chair


END OF SUMMIT | Networking drinks


Student well-being at Wenona School

Adolescence is a difficult time for most people, but for a growing subset of young Australians, it is more than just an “uncomfortable phase”. Statistics show that one in five 13-18 years-olds will experience a severe mental health disorder; and more than half of people with a lifetime mental health diagnosis will encounter their first… Read more >>

Student Engagement & Technology in the Classroom: Igniting the Fire in Young Learners with Eddie Woo

Technology is rapidly transforming the way students learn and teachers teach, a study found that Australia is one of the highest users of technology in schools in the OECD – so how can technology benefit Australian students and what are the costs? What can it do and what can’t it do? Wootube is a prime… Read more >>

When & Where

20 February 2020

ICC Sydney
14 Darling Dr
Sydney NSW 2000

Book Accommodation with Lido Group
For your convenience Lido Group will manage your accommodation needs. Please call Lido on 02 8585 0808.

Contact Us

Still have a question?

Leah Boulos
Conference Manager
+61 2 9080 4034

Alex Cook
Sponsorship Manager
+61 2 9080 4425