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NAHT(NI) Leadership Conference 2022

Thursday 19 and Friday 20 May 2022

The Grand Ballroom
Slieve Donard Hotel
Downs Road
County Down BT33 0AH



Thursday 19 May
  • 9.30am: registration, tea/coffee and exhibitor viewing
  • 10am: NAHT(NI) president Liam McGuckin

  • 10.20am: NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman
  • 10.30am: guest speaker Simon Ward – Well-being during uncertain times
  • 11.30am: tea/coffee break and exhibitor viewing
  • 12pm: Simon Ward – Balancing adversity with HOPE
  • 1.30pm Lunch and exhibitor viewing
  • 2.30pm Simon Ward – The psychology of influence
  • 4pm: NAHT past president Tim Bowen
  • 4.15pm: close


  • 7.30pm: president’s drinks reception (sponsored by Thompsons Solicitors)
  • 8pm: gala dinner in the Chandelier Room (ticketed) 

Friday 19 May  
  • 9.30am: president’s welcome
  • 9.40am: CEO of Education Support, Sinéad McBrearty
  • 10.30: break
  • 10:45am: campaigns and industrial action (closed session)
  • 11.45am: president’s close
  • 12pm: lunch

You can download a PDF of the conference agenda here.


Sinéad Mc Brearty Sinéad Mc Brearty

Sinéad Mc Brearty is CEO at Education Support, the mental health and well-being charity for the education workforce across the UK. She advocates for a systemic approach to well-being for the education workforce, attending to the individual, the workplace and the wider policy environment.  

Sinéad began her career at KPMG before moving to leadership roles in the not-for-profit sector. She has worked as an organisational development consultant and a lecturer and has been a trustee at a number of charities including Kaleidoscope Trust and Groundswell. She is a currently a governor of a south London primary school.

Simon Ward

Simon Ward is a senior educational psychologist in Wirral, England, where his specialism is mental health and well-being. His particular interest is in positive psychology and the approaches strategies and experiences that promote the emotional, psychological and social well-being of all in the community. Alongside his local authority work Simon has for a number of years worked as an independent trainer/consultant with a range of clients from all sectors. This is involved running a variety of projects to develop the attitudes skills and experiences which allow individuals and organisations to thrive and lead to success and achievement.

Although Simon‘s main interest is in the field of mental health, he has also delivered seminars on a range of related topics including motivation and learning, the psychology of influence, coaching, conflict management and solution oriented approaches. Simon is currently an international consultant for Cambridge University Press, delivering training and conference keynotes in a range of countries.

NAHT(NI) leadership conference fundraising

In memory of our dear friend, Colm Davis OBE, NAHT(NI) members are raising funds to dedicate a remembrance bench to Tor Bank School where Colm had been principal.  

For those of us lucky to know Colm, it is easy to recall his passion for supporting and educating children with special educational needs. In school, he created space and opportunities for young people to have fun while learning, to socialise, and also to have moments of quiet when the world became overwhelming. We hope that this bench will be a space where children laugh and make friends but also a place to enjoy quiet solace when needed most.

You can contribute to the fund to pay for a Colm Davis OBE remembrance bench here.

Exhibitors and sponsors

  1. Skipton Building society
  2. Tempest Photography
  3. Pathway Activities
  4. Lafayette Photography
  5. Prim-Ed
  6. Cool for School Photography
  7. Imex
  8. Rahmqvist
  9. Calvert
  10. IDL Solutions
  11. The Art and Design Factory
  12. Signature Works
  13. Harper Collins
  14. Seamus Heaney Homeplace
  15. HIP Psychology
  16. North Time Data
  17. Balmoral Furniture
  18. Core Kids
  19. Thompsons Solicitors – sponsors of the president’s drinks reception 

You can download a PDF version of the exhibitors and sponsors list here.

What NAHT(NI) is doing around pay

Find out more about and get involved in the joint union pay campaign here.