Learning Curve: Syllabus for the Future


Join us for an inspiring day of talks, debate and discussion exploring approaches to education, creativity and learning as part of Lumiere Durham.

Friday, 15th November, Gala Theatre & Cinema, Durham. 

Click here to book your place now

Learning Curve: Syllabus for the Future is an all-day professional development event featuring key figures in the arts and education sectors including Andria Zafirakou, 2018 Global Teacher Prize Winner and Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England.  The programme of talks is tailored especially for educators and arts professionals and aims to equip delegates with new strategies to nurture creativity. Book your place now to make new connections and be inspired.


  • An all-day conference specifically curated for educators and arts professionals
  • Talks by a raft of key figures from creative, academic and educational fields
  • A unique opportunity to network with leading creatives and practitioners in the North East

Highlights include:

  • Panel discussion: Unlocking Children’s Creativity featuring Jacqui O’Hanlon, Director of Education, RSC, Ben Dickenson, Executive Producer, City of Dreams and Jillian Barker, Director of Learning and Participation, Royal Opera House
  • Panel discussion: Why we need creativity in learning featuring London-based art teacher, Andria Zafirakou, winner of the 2018 Global Teacher Prize and Helen Marriage, Artichoke Director 
  • Panel discussion: Listening is the most important part of teaching featuring Toby Ealden, Creative Director Zest Theatre, Kate Clanchy, poet, teacher and writer and Dan Shorten, Director and designer, Guildhall Live Events
  • Breakout sessions with experts: Learning Curve GroupHullabaloo Theatre and Little Inventors
  • Keynote speech delivered by Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England 



  • All day, Friday 15th November 2019


  • £20 (£10 concessions)


  • Stella Hall

Freelance Festival producer, working nationally and internationally. Currently programming in Salford’s Quays and Media City and a Festival of Thrift


Meet our speakers:

  • Jillian Barker

Director of Learning and Participation, Royal Opera House

  • Andrew Brewerton

Principal of Plymouth College of Art, Chair of the Board of Governors for Plymouth School of Creative Arts









  • Kate Clanchy 

Poet, writer and teacher

  • Ben Dickinson 

Executive Producer City of Dreams








  • Toby Ealden

Creative Director, Zest Theatre

  • Simon J James 

Professor of English at Durham University, Principal Investigator for the Durham Commission on Creativity and Education









  • Tom McLeish

Professor of Natural Philosophy, The University of York









  • Helen Marriage 

Director of Artichoke

  • Jacqui O’Hanlon

Director of Education, RSC

  • Sir Nicholas Serota

Chair, Arts Council England

  • Dan Shorten

Director, designer and audio/visual specialist, Guildhall Live Events and Lumiere 2019 artist

  • Tina Touli

Creative Director, graphic communication designer and educator

  • Andria Zafirakou

2018 Global Teacher Prize Award Winner


People in receipt of Pension Credit, Universal Credit, Income Support or Job Seekers allowance, Students and disabled people (with free entry for one carer) are entitled to a concession discount.

This event is generously sponsored by Learning Curve Group, the national training and education specialist.