18 – 20 September 2024 9am – 5pm, Celtic Manor, Coldra Wood, The Usk Valley, Chepstow Rd, Newport NP18 1HQ


I am delighted to announce the detail of this year’s IAPS Conference, which takes place at Celtic Manor on 18-20 September 2024, Wednesday to Friday. This chance to step back from the daily challenges of running your school and to find and offer support to fellow Heads feels more important now than ever.


This year’s conference agenda has been designed by Tania Botting (our incoming Chair and architect of the 2017 Edinburgh conference) and myself, having listened to your feedback on what you wanted to see more or less of. As a general principle, we have built in increased scope for Heads running schools of similar types to explore issues specific to their contexts, as well as to spend time with each other. We have also altered the mix of sessions so that there will be slightly fewer auditorium keynotes and more opportunity to attend a wider choice of seminars and round tables.

The evenings will feature fun activities (a band, dancing, an inter-District quiz night…), the Annual Dinner and the chance to meet as Districts to have a drink together. Exercise and reflection sessions are planned for the pre-breakfast slots for those willing!

We thought it best not to try and squeeze a very diverse conference agenda into a slightly contrived overall theme – as you’d expect, speakers will give a mix of educational, political and thought-provoking content that will provide you with plenty of ideas and challenges to take back to school. That said, the topic of Artificial Intelligence remains urgent and unavoidable, not least in the existential questions it poses schools of all types. We will be supported in considering these questions, through keynotes and more hands-on seminars, by the American ed-futurist Ian Symmonds.

International schools

I’m really pleased that we’re able to offer an International Day to precede the conference, taking place on Tuesday 17 September and generously hosted by Hampton Pre-Prep and Prep, a short distance from London Heathrow. Delegates arriving through the morning will have lunch with the Head, Tim Smith, and senior IAPS people, followed by sessions in the afternoon focused on issues relevant to prep schools operating abroad, before being transported to Celtic Manor in time for dinner and an evening off prior to the start of the full conference the next morning. I will be working with Tim, the District Reps of Europe, Kenya & the Middle East and the Board’s International Representative to put together the day’s content.


We are acutely aware of the challenges schools face in justifying discretionary spend, more so this year than ever. We’ve worked very hard to push down the cost of conference whilst still delivering the high-quality event that Heads value.

Having listened to your feedback, it is clear that members prefer a price that is inclusive of as many costs as possible. The nature of Celtic Manor allows us to factor in accommodation, all meals and car parking and we’ll attempt to do the same in future years, dependent on venues. (Last year’s price of £649 for the Liverpool conference was for admission and lunch/ dinners only, meaning that delegates had to pay for two nights' accommodation/ parking on top, taking the total cost over £1,000 for many of you). The price for 2024 will be £795 and covers admission, all meals, accommodation and parking, a real-terms reduction in cost of around 20%. As with all things, your perception of ‘value for money’ will be the interaction between the price you pay and the quality of the experience you have, so we need to keep the balance right in terms of excellent speakers, venues and meals.


You can now book your place at the conference using the green 'Register now' button at the top of this page. Bookings will close on Tuesday 13 August to allow us to finalise numbers and costs with the venue in good time, so please do not leave it too late!

I am excited to see you all at Celtic Manor in September, I really hope you are able to make it.

Dominic Norrish, Chief Executive, IAPS.


Ticket information

Full partner and social guest tickets are available for the partner/spouse of the member Head, should they wish to attend. These tickets are not a +1 for a Member Head to bring any guest of their choice.

Ticket prices (all prices are inclusive of all applicable taxes):

IAPS Member Head: £795
Full Partner (eligible to attend the full conference including keynote/seminar sessions): £795
Social guest (eligible to attend the conference dinner only. The social guest ticket does not include separate accommodation. To enquire about this please contact [email protected]): £96
Overseas Conference (Tuesday 17 September) - open to overseas members only: £150

Bookings close on Tuesday 13 August, please book early to avoid missing out.

Accommodation information

Due to the nature of this conference, your accommodation for the Wednesday and Thursday night IS included in your Conference ticket. Should you wish to book accommodation for the night prior, Tuesday 17 September, or the night after, Friday 20 September, then this will need to be booked directly with the venue and is subject to availability and the rates available at the time of booking.

Please note the social guest ticket does not include separate accommodation. To enquire about this please contact [email protected].

How to book?

When bookings are open, a green register now button will appear in the top right hand corner of the navigation bar. The ability to make a booking is restricted to either the Member Head, Head's PA or School Bursar. Should you not see the green registration button, please make sure one of the above mentioned people are logged into their account.

If you are a new PA wishing to book your Head onto this year's Annual Conference, please initially register on the IAPS website. Before you proceed with your booking, please contact the Courses and Conferences team, who will then assist you further.

To book your Head on with the correct ticket, you will need to select the 'Add delegate' option and then the 'Existing contact' option under Additional delgate. If you are also looking to book a partner/spouse, please check the 'Existing contacts' first before adding a new contact.

If you are starting a new Headship in September, you must have submitted a complete application form by mid-April to ensure your membership is approved in time for September. If you are moving to a new school in September, the booking will need to be made via your new school directly with IAPS and not through the website. Please contact the Courses and Conferences team, who will assit you.

Contact information

If you require assistance with your booking or have any questions regarding the Annual Conference, please contact the Courses and Conferences team:

[email protected]
01926 887833