Oslo, Norway 2023

The sixth summit took place in Norway from May 5, 2023 to May 8, 2023, which included the three-day Summit and local school visits.


Here is the report from the Summit: ARC Summit Report 2023


The focus of this year’s ARC summit was on democracy, inclusion and advanced technology in education. Mel Ainscow, a global expert on inclusion was this year’s thought leader.


Here is the summit agenda: ARC 2023 Summit programme


During the Summit, we also heard talks from ARC co-founders Andy Hargreaves and Yngve Lindvig, ARC Director Trista Hollweck, ARC Ambassador Fiona Forbes, and Senior Consultant for Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities Marlen Faannessen.


More details about the presenters can be found here: ARC 2023 Summit Presenters


How about: Summit presentation slides: ARC Summit presentations


If you are looking for more information please check out our Pre-Summit ThoughtMeet, which took place in March 2023: Pre-Summit ThoughtMeet March 2023

Virtual, 2020

The fifth summit was held virtually due to COVID19, September 17-20, 2020.


The issues for discussion are:

1)  A Focus on well-being, equity and inclusion

2) A focus on innovation

3) A focus on leadership and children


The details can be found here: ARC Virtual Summit 2020

The summary of Virtua Summit 2020 can be found Here.

Wales, 2019

The fourth summit was hosted in Cardiff, Wales, at the Hilton Hotel, September 12-15, 2019.


The issues for discussion at this summit were: 1) assessment and responsibility and 2) leadership and system change.


What did we learn about assessment and responsibility?

  1. Responsibility comes before accountability – responsibility to our own integrity, to students and families, to fellow professionals, and to communities and society. Accountability is still necessary, but it is the small remainder that is left once responsibility has been subtracted.
  1. We need to measure what we value, not end up valuing what we can easily measure. What we assess and evaluate should relate to the purposes of school and of education.
  1. Student voice, self and peer assessment are vital for shaping future assessment strategies.
  1. Formative assessment should be paramount. The focus should be on learning and improvement.
  1. Self-evaluation and self-review are important throughout an education system, not just in classrooms.
  1. Too many of us have been working with 20th Century assessment tools in a 21st Century learning environment. Technology offers many possibilities for correcting this but also dangers of flooding teachers and schools with data and recording. We need an ethical and forward-thinking way of using all kinds of data in schools.
  1. Data should inform professional judgement. There are many kinds of data and evidence. Not all of them numerical. Our challenge is to improve professional judgment and make it more consistent through collaborative processes of moderation.


What did we learn about leadership and system improvement?

  1. As responsible leaders, we must model the values and build the relationships that can make the desired changes work.
  1. We need to be effective at planned abandonment – letting go of things that have little or lesser importance in order to make room for higher priority activity.
  1. Implementation is the critical frontier. There are many wonderful policies, but very few are implemented effectively. That is where we need to show responsible leadership.
  1. Building trust is key. It needs to be embedded everywhere through a co-constructed approach and not rely on a single individual or political party -or it will not be sustained. Trust takes time.
  1. Leaders of every kind need to be sensitive to changes in context and adjust their leadership accordingly, without compromising values and beliefs. We need to balance power with love in our leadership.


Los Angeles, California, 2018

The third summit was hosted in Los Angeles, California, at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, September 8-11, 2018.


The issues for discussion at this summit were:


1.The equity, wellbeing and inclusion agenda.


How do we create a culture that is supportive and inclusive for all our students? How can we achieve greater fairness in outcomes? How can we demonstrate impact and progress? How do we enable and empower all young people to develop lives that have meaning and purpose? How can we support our schools to be even better at helping students to have a sense of belonging? How do we understand and explain a transparent connection between these three issues (equity, wellbeing, and inclusion) and student learning?


2. Leading change for the future.


As the workforce changes and even the nature of schools as institutions changes, what are the implications for how we lead our systems? How do we make sure that education is relevant and at the core of what students need for the future? To what extent might technology including artificial intelligence, virtual reality have both positive and negative implications for the nature of our classrooms, our schools and our education systems? To what extent will learning and schools become more local and to what extent will they become more international? How can we as leaders best model what we will need from our teachers and our students?


3. The challenges and opportunities of re-thinking the relationship between central and local control in school systems.


What is the role of the state in working with schools and teachers? What is best done at the national/state level, at the regional/district level, and at the school level? How can we make school to school collaboration effective and engage families and communities more effectively?


Ireland, 2017

The second summit was hosted in Ireland, at the Johnstown Estate Hotel, September 11-13, 2017. The main objectives of the summit were:

1.To connect with and learn from education systems that share a broad set of values, linked to the ARC values.


2.To develop realistic and appropriate strategies for each education system to:


a) Further develop the equity, wellbeing and inclusion agenda.

How do we create a culture that is supportive and inclusive for all our students? How can we achieve greater fairness in outcomes? How can we demonstrate impact and progress? How do we enable and empower all young people to engage in learning and develop lives that have meaning and purpose for themselves, their communities, and their societies?


b) Further develop creativity in our schools and with our students.

What is creativity? Is it the same as problem-solving? Can you teach creativity? What prevents and what encourages creativity in education? What might a “creativity strategy” look like? How do we know when we have developed creativity successfully? How is creativity linked to innovation on the one hand and accountability on the other?


c) Develop assessment and accountability systems that are in accordance with ARC values.


How can we develop strategies that support public and professional accountability whilst avoiding a negative impact on learning, creativity, and wellbeing?


3. To share and develop our strategies for leading change effectively across our education systems in a culture of collaborative professionalism.


How can we move towards a more professionally-led system? How do we make change happen within a complex system? How do we empower teachers and school leaders? What is the role of professional associations in leading change? How do we engage with parents and involve students effectively? How do we deepen both collaboration and professionalism?


4. To agree on ways forward for the ARC over the next two years, including a strategy for its sustainability.


Iceland, 2016


The first summit was hosted in Iceland, at the Hilton Reykjavik Hotel, September 14 and 15, 2016. There was an additional opportunity to visit Icelandic educational and cultural institutions on September 13. The purpose of the summit was to:


  • Co-create new narratives of high-quality education
  • Define or redefine the vision for the Collaboratory
  • Co-create a realistic strategy to achieve it
  • Commit to achieving implementation and outcomes over at least 3 years


The inaugural summit focused on how the high-quality systems represented were preparing for the future demands on schools and teachers: defining a vision and strategy for the group and developing a three-year plan of action.


Educational systems from around the world attended the inaugural summit of ARC, an international initiative to examine and improve elementary and secondary education systems throughout the world.


Each system sent a minister and deputy minister, or equivalent, and a leader of one of the region’s professional associations, such as a teachers union or superintendents association.


The summit honored the 30th anniversary of the meeting between President Ronald Reagan and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in Iceland. One of the founding ideas behind ARC is to tear down the walls between countries and regions, as well as between educational researchers and politicians, in order to pursue the most fundamental ideas of what it means to be educated in today’s world for the mutual benefit of all ARC-systems and future generations of students worldwide.