Introducing the 2021 Festival of Education’s virtual speakers

February 3, 2021 / CanCham Shanghai

Wellington College China’s Festival of Education returns once again in 2021 after a yearlong hiatus. This annual event is an opportunity for educators, parents and general education enthusiasts to come together, share ideas and gain new insights into teaching and learning. This year, the festival’s theme is Interpreting the Future of Education. Through a series of talks, panel discussions we will explore the following five topics:

Future Schools

Early Years Education



Mental Health

Events from the past years

In addition to our live events at our Tianjin, Shanghai and Hangzhou campuses we will also be holding six virtual afternoon events that are open to all and free of charge. We are excited to introduce to you some of the speakers for our virtual events this year:

Sir John Jones

Research Fellow at Lancaster University 

Sir Jones is regarded as one of the most entertaining, inspiring and sought-after speakers about education. He has written two books, the best-selling The Magic-Weaving Business and Truancy and Exclusion: a Teacher’s Guide and he has co-authored The H Factor: The Secrets of Happy Schools. Originally a headteacher for 17 years, Sir Jones served on the UK Government’s Policy Action Team for Neighbourhood Renewal. He was also a member of the Headteachers’ National Focus Group on Truancy and Exclusion and of the Excellence in Cities Project at the DfES. A Research Fellow at Lancaster University, he also worked part-time at the Centre for Educational Leadership at Manchester University, where he presented on a range of programmes and designed a master’s course on leadership at Liverpool University. He is also a board member of The Bishop Fraser Multi-Academy Trust, Chair of Governors at Bolton St Catherine’s Academy, Patron of Vantage Academy Trust and Chancellor of Sefton Children’s University.

Johnny Ball

Renowned television presenter, mathematics and science populariser

Mr Ball is a television presenter and populariser of mathematics and science. He is best known for several children’s educational television programmes, such as Think of a Number, Think Again and Johnny Ball Reveals All. Mr Ball is the author of several books. They have been translated into 40 different languages, and some even sell well in China. His latest book is titled Wonders Beyond Numbers: A Brief History of All Things Mathematical. He once served as president of the National Association for Gifted Children and as an ambassador for British Engineering. He was also recognised by the Royal Academy of Engineering for his services in promoting engineering as a career choice for young people. With no university experience or formal qualifications, Mr Ball is completely self-motivated. At age 82, he still lectures on maths and science for audiences of all ages.

Karen Ardley

Lead Consultant, Karen Ardley Associates

Ms Ardley is a leadership consultant, trainer and executive coach. Her firm, Karen Ardley Associates, provides school workforces with key insights and practical strategies to improve learning and school performance. Passionate about the development of leadership skills and strategies to improve learning for all, Ms Ardley designs and delivers interactive and motivating programmes for school leaders in countries across the globe. Ms Ardley has worked for UNESCO in Ethiopia and the Aga Khan Foundation in Tanzania. She has also led leadership development programmes for the governments of Saudi Arabia and UAE. Recently, she designed the International Qualifications for Existing and Aspiring Principals for the National College and has been piloting the programme in China.

Ian Warwick

Founder of London Gifted & Talented

Mr Warwick is the founder of London Gifted & Talented, an e-learning platform launched as part of the London Challenge education initiative in 2003. His organisation has worked directly with over 5,000 schools and 11,000 teachers internationally. More than 150,000 educators worldwide have used London Gifted & Talented’s award-winning, high-challenge e-learning materials. Mr Warwick has co-authored several books about education, has spoken at over 100 international conferences and has developed more than 450 hours of customised online learning materials for the Hong Kong Gifted Academy and schools in Singapore. He is also a governor of the London Academy of Excellence and a founding member of the steering group to promote Innovation and Research in Learning at Eton College. 

Colin Bell


Mr Bell has been the CEO of The Council of British International Schools (COBIS) since 2010. Alongside a talented executive team and board, he works with and supports students, teachers, leaders, support staff and governors from high quality British international schools in more than 80 countries. Before joining COBIS, Mr Bell taught in the UK, Asia and Europe. He has led educational projects both in the UK and internationally, working with the DfE, Government Office for London, British Council and other global partners. Much of this work has focused on school improvement, safeguarding, student and teacher wellbeing and professional development. Mr Bell is also a founding member of the International Task Force on Child Protection, a director of IStip, a Governor and Trustee of the British School in Tokyo and an appointed member of the Education Advisory Group for the UK Department for International Trade. 

Dates and Times

The 2021 Festival of Education will feature virtual events online as well as live events at Wellington College’s Tianjin, Shanghai and Hangzhou campuses.

Virtual Events

Sunday to Friday 18th – 23rd April 

(Our virtual events are open to all and free of charge)

Scan the QR code to register for the virtual Festival of Education

Live Events

Saturday 17th April – Tianjin 

Saturday 24th April – Shanghai

Sunday 25th April – Hangzhou

Pre-sale tickets are now available, scan the QR code to book your tickets now!

Sponsorship/exhibiting opportunities

The Festival of Education presents the opportunity to engage with an influential and progressive, educationally-minded audience in a relaxed and welcoming environment.

We have many sponsorship options for this event. Each one offers a platform to network and promote your organisation to educators and the wider community.

Contact shanghai@festivalofeducation.cn to receive our partnership proposal.