Programme and speakers

IDPE’s vision is to enable all schools to develop cultures of community engagement and philanthropic support, so that they can provide the best educational experience for young people. In the current period of political and economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever for schools to explore alternative ways of generating income.

The IDPE 2020 Annual Conference aims to provide you with the expertise and confidence to thrive during times of change and play an active part in leading change at your school.

The 2020 programme

  • Over 35 sessions across five streams delivered by experienced speakers from across the education and charitable sectors, will provide you with practical tips, insights into current trends and best practice.
  • After a successful first year, the personal effectiveness stream returns to the conference to help you take a step back and focus on your personal wellbeing and develop your professional skills.
  • For 2020 there will be increased opportunities for small group discussions and networking with a session dedicated to facilitated roundtables.
  • Product showcases will give you the opportunity to see first-hand how products and services tailored to the schools’ development sector can support your development programme.
  • The one-on-one fundraising clinics will give you an opportunity to discuss your specific questions or challenges with an expert from the development sector.

‘The programme was packed with challenging content delivered by the best in their fields.’

‘Every session I went to was worth going to and the standard of speaker was consistently high.’

Confirmed sessions

Leading change

We all have a role to play in leading change. At a time of increasing political instability, this year’s conference will focus on how as individuals, we can learn to positively embrace change; how as development teams, we can embed a cultural change in our schools and engage our communities in philanthropic giving; and how as a sector, we can adapt to and influence the changing landscape, to continue to provide the best educational opportunities for our young people.

Conference streams

Our five streams: alumni relations, external relations, fundraising, personal effectiveness and strategy and leadership provide wide-reaching expert training across fundraising and engagement topics.

Alumni relations

Your alumni have the potential to be your schools most loyal and generous supporters. The alumni relations stream explores how to engage your school community, develop your network and maximise their giving potential.

External relations

Relationships are key to development success, but how can you best engage with internal and external stakeholders to get the best results? This stream will explore how to communicate with different audiences to create stronger lasting relationships.


The fundraising stream covers everything from setting up a development office to running a capital campaign, identifying prospects to making the ask. These sessions will refine your skills and support you to create change through your fundraising programme.

Personal effectiveness

Addressing the personal challenges that we face every day, the personal effectiveness stream aims to provide you with the skills you need to be an effective schools’ development professional and make both personal and professional changes for the better.

Strategy and leadership

Effective leadership is essential to successfully creating lasting change. The strategy and leadership stream is dedicated to developing collaboration across the senior leadership team and exploring the latest trends and innovations from across the sector. Sessions in this stream will be relevant to more experienced development professionals, as well as heads, bursars and governors.