MSA-MEUK National Conference 2018
The Child as an Agent of Change
17 March 2018
at the Institute of Education, University College London

Montessori’s vision of the child as an agent of change was firmly established by the time she presented her address at the European Congress for Peace in Brussels on 3 September 1936. In her speech she declared “The impoverishment of one nation does not make another nation richer; rather, all nations decline. Destroying one nation is tantamount to cutting off one hand in the mistaken hope that the other hand will thereby become twice as strong”.

Her global perspective of the impact of conflict on our planet can be witnessed in our daily life today. In the 1936 speech she reminds us of our role as educators: “Preventing conflict is the work of politics; establishing peace is the work of education. We must convince the world of the need for a universal, collective effort to build a foundation for peace”.

This year’s conference will give us the opportunity to reflect on our role in contributing to the building of a foundation for peace. The children with whom we work daily, the students who are preparing to work with the children and their families, and our colleagues all play a role in establishing such a foundation, whilst we have the challenge of guiding them on the path to harmony, kindness and respect.

It is with great pleasure that Montessori Education UK and Montessori St Nicholas are working together to bring an annual conference to the UK Montessori community for the first time. The presentations by Scilla Elsworthy and Helen Prochazka will provide us with inspiration for our reflections whilst more practical strategies will be considered in the afternoon. The day will close with a panel discussion.

We look forward to welcoming you again at the UCL Institute of Education and are confident that the inspiration of the day will bring benefit to the children in your classrooms.

Barbara Isaacs
Chief Education Officer, Montessori St Nicholas Charity

Speakers include:

  • Dr Scilla Elworthy, Peace Activist
  • Dr Helen Prochazka, Chairman, Montessori Education (UK)
  • Jeremy Clarke, Leader of E-Learning, Montessori Centre International
  • Emma Rattigan, Director, Edinburgh Montessori Arts School
  • Anita Looby, Paint Pots Montessori

Conference Fee


MSA/MEUK member




Student £25




£100 Non-member 




£60 standard*




MCI Montessori Centre International**




£46 super early bird*

before 31 Dec


BMC / Montessori Partnership / MMI (AMI)**


Late booking £125

all bookings received after 22 Feb 2018



£55 early bird*

before 31 Jan






*MSA membership number required; **student number required

In order to qualify for the discounts you must provide your membership number and your student number if you are booking as MCI or BMC/Mont Partnership/MMI (AMI) student. 

We will not accept any cancellations after the 22nd February 2018. The conference fee payment is non-refundable, but can be transferred to another MSA member before the 22nd February 2018.

To book for the conference as a member, login to your MSA member account online at and go to the events section in the shop.  Select the MSA-MEUK Conference event and the number of desired tickets per booking (MSA/MEUK member, non-member and/or student) and fill in the rest of the required detail especially membership or student numbers.  Please be aware that only bookings with correct membership or student numbers can be processed. Bookings will be validated and extra charges will apply to any incorrect type booked.  

MSA School membership only covers the head or manager of the school for the conference discounted member’s rate; any staff of the school will either need to join the MSA as an individual member or pay the non-member conference fee of £100.

Book as current MSA/MEUK member

Book as a non-member

Book as a current Montessori student



10.00                    Welcome and Introduction
                             Dr Stephen Tommis
                             Chief Executive Officer, Montessori St. Nicholas Charity

10.15                    MSA Update
                             Dr Martin Bradley
                             Chairman, Montessori Schools Association

10 .45                   Love as the catalyst of change
                             Dr Helen Prochazka
                             Chairman, Montessori Education UK

11.30                    Campaigning for peace  
                             Dr Scilla Elworthy
                             Peace Activist
                             followed by Q  & A

12.45                    Montessori Awards and Raffle

13.00                    Lunch/networking/visiting exhibitors

14.15                    Promoting human values in the Montessori classroom
                             Jeremy Clarke
                             Leader of e-Learning, Montessori Centre International

14.35                    Inspired by Montessori’s writing in Education for Peace
                             Emma Rattigan
                             Director, Edinburgh Montessori Arts School

15.00                    Promoting harmony and kindness in the classroom
                             Anita Looby
                             Paint Pots Montessori

15.20                    Panel Discussion led by Barbara Isaacs
                             Questions for panel to be posted during lunchtime
                             Conference Panel

Panel Members: Dr Helen Prochazka, Emma Rattigan, Dr Stephen Tommis, Dr Martin Bradley, Jeremy Clarke

Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions relating to Montessori philosophy, practice and current early years policy. They will be invited to post questions in a designated area in the lobby at Jeffery Hall during lunch time. Microphones will also be available for the audience during the panel discussion; however, posting questions will help the organisation and will facilitate effective time management of the session.

Our Speakers

Love as the catalyst of change
Dr Helen Prochazka 

With a background in modern foreign languages Helen discovered the Montessori approach when working in Saudi Arabia.  Once back in the UK she joined the Montessori St Nicholas Centre, eventually becoming their Director of Studies.  She then went on to become a founding partner in the Montessori Partnership, which has now been training Montessori educators for 20 years.  She is currently the chairman of Montessori Education UK and owns Seedlings Montessori in Southampton.


Campaining for peace
Dr Scilla Elworthy 

Scilla founded the Oxford Research Group in 1982 to develop effective dialogue between nuclear weapons policy-makers worldwide and their critics, for which she has been three times nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.  She founded Peace Direct in 2002 to fund, promote and learn from local peace-builders in conflict areas. She was awarded the Niwano Peace Prize in 2003, and was adviser to Peter Gabriel, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Sir Richard Branson in setting up ‘The Elders’. She co-founded Rising Women Rising World and her TED talk on non-violence has been viewed by over 800,000 people: Fighting with non-violence.


Promoting human values in Montessori classroom
Jeremy Clarke 

Jeremy has spent 13 years as a school teacher, 12 of which were in Early Years classes. He was the Foundation Stage Co-ordinator at Gorton Mount Primary during their transition to Montessori practice. He has been delivering seminars for professional development and to diploma students for seven years, and in 2013 became the Distance Learning Academic Leader at MCI. Since 2012, Jeremy has been working as an assessor for the Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board and also delivering CPD training around the country for several Montessori Schools Association regions. He is a regular contributor to Montessori International magazine, writing both theoretical articles and those from the perspective of a parent.


Inspired by Montessori’s writing in Education for Peace
Emma Rattigan

Emma developed her passion for Montessori education soon after leaving high school. She undertook training with MCI London and The Montessori Partnership and was inspired to take Montessori’s ideas to children around the world. She founded Edinburgh Montessori Arts School in 2006, guiding its growth from a tiny part time nursery to a bustling Independent Montessori School, one of a kind in Scotland. Studying Montessori Secondary and running EMA School and its sister charity The EMAS Foundation, Emma juggles her own pursuit of life-long learning with reality, motherhood and entrepreneurship.


Promoting peace – activities for the classroom
Anita Looby 

Anita moved to London in 2012 and joined Paint Pots Montessori Schools.  In 2013, she trained as a Children’s Yoga Teacher at Triyoga. After finding the amazing benefits and effects that her own Yoga practice was having on her spirit, she set out to bring this to children. Since then Anita has been teaching Yoga, Mindfulness and Relaxation to children aged 2-16 years.  She co-designed the Peace Curriculum within Paint Pots which aims to awaken children’s awareness of their inner self, develop their emotional being and give them Mindfulness skills to draw on for life. She also runs workshops for teachers who wish to develop their own spiritual path with children.


We are expecting over 800 Montessorians attending the MSA-MEUK National Conference The Child as an Agent of Change on Saturday 17th March 2018.     The attendees comprise of heads, managers, owners, practitioners, students of Montessori schools and nurseries in the UK and abroad.

If you are increasing your profile within the early years and would like to get in touch with the Montessori practitioners community then you should register to become a conference exhibitor.

MSA-MEUK Conference 2018 Exhibition stand includes:

1 table approximately 5 x 3 (with 1 Table cloth and 2 chairs)
1 notice board* (The grey poster boards are 1M X 2M and can be horizontal or vertical)
The exhibition space is situated in the Jeffery Hall
Complimentary morning coffee/tea/biscuits
Complimentary lunch for 2 people
Wireless internet

If you require electricity, please inform us so we can ensure you are allocated a table as near to a plug socket as possible.   The IOE do not provide extension cables so you will need to bring your own.


To register for the conference exhibition

  1. Have a look at our Exhibitor Information pack on how to get involved.   You will find information on logistics and everything you need to know about the day (put the pdf document Exhibitor information package as clickable file that they can download)
  2. Send the completed and signed form/contract to 
  3. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the exhibition space call 020 8946 4433 and speak with Patricia Ranken


Once you have registered take note of the following DEADLINES:

Friday 26th January 2018

Premium and Prime Exhibitor: Full page ad (A4 size)
Standard Exhibitor: A5 size advert (landscape orientation half page)
size: 122mm high x  180mm wide for the MSA Conference programme brochure
email advert to   on or before the deadline


14 to 16 March 2018

Stand materials to be delivered to IOE. Instructions for any delivery to the IOE are included in the pack.   It should arrive there properly labelled anytime from Wednesday 14 March to Friday 16 March.

Note that we will not require any inserts to the delegate packs.   Please bring your flyers at the conference and hand them out in your respective stand.  

Travel Information

The conference will be held in the Logan Hall in the main building of the Institute of Education. The address is:

20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

please  go to 


Bus stops, within a five to 15 minute walk, are located on Euston Road, Gower Street, Tottenham Court Road, Woburn Place and Southampton Row. The closest are on Woburn Place (188, 7) and Southampton Row (168,188, 59, 68, 91).

Tube (underground)

Tube stations, within a five to 15 minute walk, include: Euston; Euston Square; Goodge Street; Russell Square; Tottenham Court Road and Warren Street. The closest is Russell Square.


London’s principal railway stations are all within a 30-minute journey, by bus or tube. The closest is Euston.


There is a  cycle-hire docking station on the east side of our main building, in Bedford Way. It is managed by Transport for London.

Plan your travel

Visit to plan your journey

IOE is in the London congestion charging zone, not applicable on Saturdays.

The IOE doesn t have a car park. Street parking in the neighbourhood is managed by Camden Council. Private parking is offered by CC Parking Ltd  call 020 7222 8621.