Professor Mel Ainscow CBE

Speaker Photo

Speaker Topics

  • Using collaborative inquiry for school improvement
  • The development of equitable education systems
  • School-to-school collaboration as a strategy for promoting equity
  • Promoting professional learning in schools
  • Leading inclusive schools
  • Leadership
  • Inclusion and Equity
  • Developing inclusive classroom practices


Professor Mel Ainscow is internationally recognized as an authority on the promotion of inclusion and equity in education. Previously a head teacher, local education authority adviser and lecturer at the University of Cambridge, his work focuses on ways of making schools effective for all children and young people. A distinctive feature of his approach is the emphasis he places on carrying out research with schools and education systems to promote improvements.

A long-tem consultant to UNESCO, Mel is currently working on international efforts to promote equity and inclusion globally. He has recently completed collaborative research projects with networks of schools in Australia, Portugal and Spain. Between 2007 and 2011 he led the Greater Manchester Challenge a project that involved a partnership between national government, ten local authorities, 1,150 schools and many other stakeholders, and had a government investment of around £50 million. Currently he leads Schools Challenge Cymru, the Welsh Government’s multi-million pound flagship programme to accelerate the rate of improvement across the country’s schools, focusing in particular on the progress of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Mel has published extensively in practitioner and international research journals. His most recent books are: ‘Struggles for equity in education: The selected works of Mel Ainscow’ (Routledge World Library of Educationalists series), and Towards self-improving school systems: lessons from a city challenge (Routledge), both published in 2015. In the 2012 New Year Honours list he was awarded a CBE for services to education.

Current Positions Held

September 1995 to present, Professor of Education (now Emeritus) and Co-director, Centre for Equity in Education, University of Manchester
September 2012 to present, Adjunct Professor of Education, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
January 2016 to present, Honorary Professor of Practice at University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Personal Achievements and Awards

Fellow of the RSA
New Year honours list, 2012, awarded a CBE for services to Education
Marden Visiting Professor, Hong Kong Institute of Education, 2005 to 2009
Keynote speaker at the UNESCO-IBE world conference, ‘Inclusive education, the way of the future’, 2008, attended by Ministers of Education from 153 countries

Appointed in 2013 as specialist adviser to the House of Commons Education Committee.

Relevant Career and Professional Background

1997 – 2001 Research and Graduate Dean - Faculty of Education, University of Manchester
1986 – 1995 Lecturer – University of Cambridge Institute of Education
1979 – 1986 Adviser - Coventry Local education Authority
1974 – 1979 Head teacher, Walsall.

Additional Information

Typical feedback:
Mel was fantastic yesterday – fully covered the brief and more – was easy to communicate with and enagaged with the audience well.
We were delighted with his contribution and would highly recommend him.

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