NAPD Conferences are renowned for the excellent line-up of speakers that present each year.

Minister of Education and Skills, Mr. Richard Bruton TD

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Richard Bruton TD was re-appointed Minister of Education and Skills on 15 June 2017.  He was first was appointed Minister of Education and Skills on 6 May 2016.  He previously served as Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation from March 2011 to May 2016.

Minister Bruton was first elected to Dáil Éireann for Dublin North Central in 1982. He has served a number of terms as a member of Dublin City Council.

Minister Bruton was Minister for Enterprise and Employment from 1994-1997 when 1,000 jobs a week were being created in Ireland.

He previously served as Minister of State at the Department of Industry and Commerce, 1986-87.

Minister Bruton worked as an economist before entering politics in the private sector and with the ESRI. He acted as Policy Director for Fine Gael and authored numerous policy papers on finance, education, employment, and the public service, including Fine Gael’s “Reinventing Government” to reform politics and reinvent the public service.

Richard is married to Susan Meehan and they have four children.

Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 09.24.05Mark Burns

Mark brings a wealth of experience from his twelve years of teaching as well as working in the field of gifted and talented education. His keen appreciation about what motivates people to learn and engage lies at the core of his training.
He has worked extensively delivering and coaching on the TES Training Award shortlisted “Outstanding Teaching” intervention in schools in Merseyside and beyond. Through this work, observing literally hundreds of lessons in both primary and secondary schools, he has gained a keen understanding of the key ingredients required to transform learning in the classroom so that it is active, high in challenge, collaborative and student-led.  His work in helping to develop teaching and learning at Richard Rose Central Academy was noted in their recent Ofsted report.

Mark was shortlisted for the TES Training Award 2010 for his work with a school confronting major organisational change.

Over the last two years Mark has worked intensively with more than thirty primary teachers in eight schools on Merseyside developing the quality of learning in the classroom. This work has been highly valued by both the teachers themselves and their head teachers. Ofsted have inspected some of these schools subsequently and most of the teachers have been graded ‘outstanding’.

Mark’s other area of specialism is Business Studies where he delivers courses on ‘Outstanding Business Lessons’ and ‘A* at A-Level Business’.

Mark presents our popular INSET Outstanding Teaching, a one-day or modular course, which gives practical tips to teachers in how to attain the Outstanding Grade 1 as defined by Ofsted. Areas such as questioning techniques, engaging learners and assessment for learning are examined in detail. A new well received spin-off course ‘Toolkit for Outstanding Teaching’ is also delivered by Mark.  This workshop provides time to explore and adapt some of the best learning resources from 1,000 video’d lessons.

Norah Casey

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Dubliner and former nurse Norah Casey is a broadcaster, businesswoman and publishing entrepreneur (her company, Harmonia, is Ireland’s largest magazine publishing company, printing over four million magazines annually for the Irish, British and US markets). She has been honoured as Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year and served on numerous boards. Currently, she is a member of the Press Council of Ireland, the London-based Women’s Irish Network, and The International Women’s Forum. She has one son, Dara.

Norah is a highly renowned and sought after speaker and regularly chairs and presents at conferences and political debates. Although she has never joined a political party and is proud of her non-political status she regularly chairs debates and open meetings for political parties on key issues. Her role is as an independent chair and adjudicator. She hosts the annual Irish Tatler Business Academy for women entrepreneurs and hosts Spark Within – a series of seminars helping people to fulfill their potential in life based on her book Spark!

Dr. Anne Looney

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Anne has recently taken up the post of Executive Dean of Dublin City University’s new Institute of Education. From 2001 until 2016 she was the CEO of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, the agency responsible for curriculum and assessment for early years, primary and post-primary education in Ireland. She held the position of Interim CEO at the Higher Education Authority until March of this year.

A former teacher, Anne completed her doctoral studies at the Institute of Education in University College London. In 2014/2015, she was Professorial Research Fellow at the Learning Science Institute Australia, based at Australian Catholic University in Brisbane.

Her current research interests include assessment policy and practice, curriculum, teacher identity and professional standards for teachers and teaching. She has also published on religious, moral and civic education, and education policy. She has conducted reviews for the OECD on school quality and assessment systems.

Anne is a member of the boards of Early Childhood Ireland, and the Ark Cultural Centre for Children.

Anne tweets at @annelooney

Senator Marie-Louise O’Donnell

ml1Marie-Louise O’Donnell studied
English and Education at Nottingham University,
Masters in Education at NUI Maynooth,
M.A. in Modern Drama at UCD and
Theatre and Voice at The Guild Hall School of Music and Drama in London.

She became head of Drama at Carysfort Teacher Training College, a Theatre Director and a professional actress.

She trained in Radio Production Presentation and Direction
with the BBC in London and made and presented programmes for BBC Radio 4 for several years.

As a member of staff in DCU for 23 years, she lectured in The School of Communications.

In the early ’90s she initiated and developed  The Arts and Culture on the young DCU University campus, culminating in the imaging, building and launch of The Helix in 2002. She was appointed to the Board of the National Concert Hall for 2 terms.

Marie Louise has lectured extensively in Ireland, Europe and the USA in Education, Irish Drama, Irish Culture and Language. She is a noted after dinner speaker and has acted as invited master of ceremonies for many National and International events.
She has presented programmes on Television and Radio and is a regular reviewer and media contributor.

She works regularly as a colour radio writer and reporter on the national broadcaster’s Sean O’Rourke Show.
Marie-Louise is a published writer.

In May 2011 she was first appointed to the Senate by the then Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD and was reappointed by him in May 2016.

In May 2017, Marie-Louise’s report “Finite Lives – Dying Death and Bereavement – An Examination of State Services in Ireland” was launched by former Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD.

Tom Lonergan – PDST Technology in Education

Tom Lonergan-PhotoTom is National Coordinator for Technology Integration in PDST Technology in Education, and has been working with Primary and Post Primary schools for the last 15 years, both on the Schools Broadband Programme and advising schools on ICT and ICT Infrastructure to support teaching and learning. Prior to joining The National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE) in 2002 Tom worked in product development and operational roles in a number of telecoms and ICT providers in Ireland, UK and Canada. He has a degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Limerick (1982) and a Masters in e-Learning from Dublin City University (2012).

Dr Tony Bates

Tony_Bate_resizedDr Tony Bates is the Founding Director and CEO of Jigsaw (formally Headstrong) – Ireland’s National Centre for Youth Mental Health.

Prior to establishing Jigsaw, Tony worked as Principal Clinical Psychologist at St James’s Hospital in Dublin.

He worked and trained in the United States and Oxford University alongside some of the World’s leading thinkers in mental health. On his return to Ireland in 1996 he established the Trinity College Dublin’s Masters in Cognitive Psychotherapy. His major influences include: Tim Beck, Mark Williams, Thich Nhat Hanh, Irving Yalom, young people on Headstrong’s Youth Advisory Panel, his two grandchildren, poetry and a good movie.

Tony is a regular contributor to print and broadcast debate about mental health. He was an editor of ‘A Vision For Change’, the ten year Government policy on mental health service reform and has been closely involved in writing several recent policies on suicide prevent, and the health of children and young people. He is the author of a number of bestselling books including “Coming through Depression: a mindful approach to recovery”.