Maggie Farrar

Speaker Photo

Speaker Topics

  • Systems Leadership
  • System Change and Transformation
  • School Improvement
  • Policy into Practice
  • National and International Reform
  • Learning
  • Leadership
  • Closing the Acheivement Gap


Maggie has extensive experience of strategic leadership, leadership development, and the leadership of change in schools and localities. She has worked in London and Birmingham in senior leadership positions in schools and local authorities. For ten years she was a senior leader at the National College for School leadership serving as the Director for leadership development, research and succession planning and more recently as interim Chief Executive.

Maggie is currently working on leadership development for self improving, autonomous and complex school systems, the leadership of a creative and engaging curriculum, growing the next generation of leaders for 21st century schools, and building the capacity of schools and communities so they are more able to transform children’s life chances and close gaps in achievement.

Maggie is working with Ministries of Education and school leaders in Australia, China, and India on school reform and leadership development. She has a particular skill in facilitating strategic seminars bringing together school leaders, policy officials and others to debate the future of schooling and the role of school leaders. She is also skilled in working with groups of schools to secure more effective collaboration and achieve sustainable impact.

She has extensive and proven experience as a keynote speaker nationally and internationally and as a facilitator of conferences and workshops.

Current Positions Held

Director Farrarchapman Ltd
Consultancy and support in leadership development and education reform.
Current contracts include:
• Leadership development provision at senior and executive level
• Senior team and Company Board training and development
• Leadership reviews for senior leadership teams
• School improvement support
• Key note speeches and workshops for senior school leaders
• International consultancy – educational reform and leadership development

Volunteer at ‘ Asylum welcome’ Oxford
Recent member of IEB Board at a school in Oxfordshire

Personal Achievements and Awards

Awarded a CBE for services to education in the 2014 New Year Honours list.

Winner of the ‘ Innovation of the Year’ Award at the LGC for her, together with her team’s work on the University of the First Age.

Co – author with John West Burnham and George Otero for ‘ schools and communities; working together to transform children’s lives’ Continuum Press.

Relevant Career and Professional Background

2003 – 2013: Senior leader at the NCSL with strategic responsibility for the College’s remit on improving the supply and quality of school leaders in England. As interim Chief Executive she was responsible for the College’s strategy to support the development of a school led, self - improving system.

1994 – 2003: Founder Director of the University of the First Age. The UFA is a national charity working with schools, communities and families to design and deliver innovative learning experiences for young people, to promote social mobility, and reduce the effects of disadvantage.

1980 – 2003: Teaching and senior leadership positions in Ghana, West Africa and Inner London with particular responsibility for raising achievement in high poverty schools and communities.

Additional Information

Typical feedback:
Excellent! Very inspired and thought provoking.
Got us all working and thinking together.
Very entertaining.
The best speaker – Inspiring!
Modelled the messages very effectively.
"Maggie was fabulous, informative and thought provoking these were some of the comments made from the secondary heads, probably the best speaker we had over the 2 days."
"Maggie was excellent thank you, we got some really good feedback form delegates. We all found her really engaging and could have listened to her for the entire day"

For availability or to book this speaker please email or call 07595 820211 / 07919 216280