Meet Simon Breakspear
Dr Simon Breakspear is known internationally for helping educational leaders navigate complex change, harness robust evidence and drive continuous improvement for better learning.
Simon is the Executive Director of Learn Labs, an education research and advisory agency that works globally to apply research to practice. He is also the founder of Agile Schools and Research Fellow of the Asia Pacific Centre for Leadership and Change at The Education University of Hong Kong.
Simon holds Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Teaching, a Masters of International and Comparative Education from the University of Oxford and a PhD in education from the University of Cambridge. Simon began his work in education as a high school teacher in Sydney.
Articles & Publications
WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education): Report on ‘Developing Agile Leaders of Learning: School leadership policy for dynamic times’. View article >
The Educator: The Educator’s 2016 Hot List lists Dr. Breakspear as a leader in education. View article >
Centre for Strategic Education: Occasional Paper, ‘Agile Implementation – Learning how adopting an agile mindset can help leaders achieve meaningful progress in student learning. View article >
Canadian Education Association: Bottoms Up – How innovative change starts with frontline educators. View article >
Principal Connections Magazine, Fall 2016: Embracing an agile mindset. Download PDF >
How does PISA Shape Education Policy, Nov 2014: Why how we measure learning determines what counts in education. Download PDF >
Talent Magnets, May 2009: Attracting & Retaining Top Talent. Download PDF >
Simon played a critical role in designing, facilitating and evaluating the 2016 NSW Education Symposium described by many participants as the most significant education conference in NSW for a decade. His understanding of students, teachers and school and his relentless focus on impact make him a highly sought after identity in education, not just in NSW but across Australia.
Hon A. Piccoli
NSW Minister for Education
Simon’s presentation was precise and thought provoking. His clarion communication skills are exemplar. He met and exceeded our expectations in every aspect. We feel fortunate to have the benefit of his expertise.
Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission
Simon is exceptional in his approach and revolutionary in his ideas for education. He is a great asset to any organisation, looking to gain a refreshing and cutting-edge perspective in improving education.
Organiser of World Educational Leadership Summit 2015
Simon is committed to working with educational jurisdictions in an ongoing relationship with the goal of improving teaching and learning. He acts as both a facilitator and a critical friend. He is mindful of the current educational landscape with a vision for the future that is achievable through incremental change beginning in the classroom. His presentations are highly motivating to educators, but he asks more of his audience than just a change in mindset – he sets the stage for action through thoughtful innovation and implementation of Deeper Learning constructs.
Superintendent, Pine Creek School Division (Canada)
Simon’s presentation demonstrated his clear understanding of the current directions within education. An extremely thought provoking and engaging presentation that left his audience thinking and wanting more. A brilliant catalyst for in school conversations and future planning.
Principal & Organiser, NSW North Coast Primary Principals Conference
Mr Breakspear’s presentations were outstanding, pertinent, engaging and contextually ‘on the money’. The subject matter was incredibly relevant but it was probably the efforts Simon went to in building a theme of ‘effective planning’ and change management that most impressed.
Barrenjoey High School
Through our partnership with Simon and the dynamic processes he employs, we were able to accelerate a pathway to school improvement especially in the area of learning design.
Simon’s collaborative approach to working with teams sweeps in a broad range of views resulting in greater levels of coherence and depth.
On behalf of the International Baccalaureate, I would like you to extend our sincere gratitude to Simon for his contribution to all the sessions he engaged in. His professionalism, preparation and insight are admirable and he made a deep impression on participants. His role as a moderator in the panel was simply fantastic, facilitating a meaningful discussion for heads of school.
Academic Consultant – IB Africa, Europe & Middle East
International Baccalaureate Organisation
Working with Simon is the safest way to make sure a high profile, ambitious event for school leaders breaks new ground and leaves people wanting more. From the start of the planning, through to the post-event and follow-up, Simon took charge, covered every detail small and large, and delivered one of the most compelling, engaging, and provocative global workshop we’ve run.
Nobody can engage, challenge, provoke, and entertain a room full of school leaders like Simon Breakspear. Having him lead our program ensured our education partners were taken on a journey they will never forget. Simon knows his stuff, knows people, and knows how to merge the two together to create magic. It’s a pleasure to work with him.
Director of Education, Teaching & Learning Strategy
The feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive. Simon thoroughly engaged the audience and set the tone for the whole conference. I couldn’t have asked for more.
President of NSW/ACT Educate Plus
Simon’s keynote presentation was very well received by our international audience of development professionals, education innovators and policy makers. His unique combination of expertise in education systems reform, pedagogy and technology helped us think through the effective use of ICT for education in developing countries. Simon impressed with his dynamism and thoughtful answers to audience questions, which were grounded in a practical emphasis on learning outcomes.
Organiser of 2015 All Children Reading Innovators Summit
World Vision Australia
Simon has brought extraordinary benefit to our strategic planning process. He is an outstanding facilitator of process; however, it is his breadth of knowledge regarding global educational thought and practice, and the razor-sharp acuity with which he is able to clarify issues that lift his contributions into the highest echelons. I have no hesitation recommending his work.