Go Higher West Yorkshire: Empowering Boys’ Voices Conference

Event information

Date: 4 July 2024

Time: 9.30am - 3.30pm

Venue: Leeds Arts Gallery, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AA

City: Leeds


Join us at the Leeds Art Gallery on The Headrow in Leeds, UK for an exciting event aimed at empowering boys’ voices. This in-person conference is a unique opportunity to engage in discussions, workshops, and networking with like-minded individuals.

Bringing teachers and practitioners together across the Yorkshire Region to learn, discuss and share best practice when engaging with young boys aged 11- 18. We will be joined by two Keynote speakers; Mark Roberts and Andy Hamilton alongside HEPPSY, South Yorkshire Uni Connect Partnership and The West Yorkshire Regional Boys Network Group.

Our Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speaker: Mark Roberts

Picture of Keynote Speaker Mark Roberts

Mark Roberts is author of the bestselling books Boys Don’t Try? and The Boy Question. Mark also writes regularly for Tes on subjects including pedagogy, behaviour and educational research. Having previously worked in schools in Devon and Manchester, Mark now works at Carrickfergus Grammar School in Northern Ireland, taking up a position as the country’s first Director of Research, a role that he combines with teaching English. His latest work The Behaviour Whisperer will be published by Routledge in summer 2024.

Twitter: @mr_englishteach

For decades, schools and colleges have grappled with the most significant barriers to male academic achievement: a lack of motivation to succeed and poor attitudes to learning. In this talk, we’ll consider the research picture around expectations, motivation and relationships.

This session will provide teachers and others working in education with practical suggestions about how they can help support disadvantaged boys to succeed academically; focusing on:

  • Raising expectations of male academic potential
  • Considering the most effective ways to motivate boys to work hard
  • Understanding how to build successful relationships with boys


Keynote Speaker: Andy Hamilton

Andy Hamilton

Andy Hamilton is the research associate with the Taking Boys Seriously project at Ulster University. His doctoral research investigated the multiple ways in which informal educators approach peacebuilding with young people in Northern Ireland and stemmed from over a decade of experience as a practitioner and trustee in the community youth work sector. Andy’s research interests include equity and equality in education, gender and masculinities, participatory action research, youth in contested societies, and applied social and political theory.

This workshop will introduce the Taking Boys Seriously 10 Principles of Relational Education….Based on 17 years of longitudinal action research with adolescent boys, teachers, and youth workers in some of the most deprived communities across Northern Ireland, these principles capture core features that boys and their educators have consistently reported as transformational in motivating and re-engaging boys in their education and learning.

Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in an appreciative inquiry process that considers the ways in which these principles are already flourishing within their own educational context as well as reflecting on ways to further embed the principles within their organisational culture.