West Midlands School Leaders Annual Conference 2017
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West Midlands School Leaders Conference Empowers Senior Teaching Staff to Shape the Evolving Educational Landscape
Stella Broster - June 2017
On Wednesday 17th May, school leaders from across the West Midlands once again gathered for the highly-anticipated West Midlands School Leaders Annual Conference. The focus of the day was on how the educational landscape is changing and ways that school leaders can get involved to drive the agenda for this new territory.
 
The keynote speaker, The Baroness Estelle Morris (former Secretary of State for Education and Skills) discussed the changes in teaching from the 1980s to now - the swapping of freedoms and constraints in respect of curriculum, assessment, pedagogy, resources and staffing, buildings and governance. She felt it is the best time to be a Head Teacher, if you are a confident school leader. She knows it is challenging, but feels that teaching schools really need to embrace the generosity of spirit ethos - care for your own children, but other schools' children too.
Andrew Warren, Chair,
Teaching Schools Council
Andrew Warren, Chair, Teaching Schools Council, talked about what 'Every Child in a Great School' truly means. He believes that an essential part of this is collaboration and that, furthermore, working in partnership is the driving force behind making the £140m strategic school improvement fund really work. Andrew challenged delegates to consider what their legacy would be – how will history judge the way that we have used the opportunities available to us to make a generational change for children and their life chances.
 
Ann Mroz, Editor and Digital Publishing Director, TES, elaborated on social mobility for children and why it is so difficult to tackle educational disadvantage. Ann confirmed that there has to be more honesty and hard facts have to be faced when addressing educational disadvantage - intelligence, education and aspirational parents definitely effect social mobility.
 
There was also a heartbreaking and inspirational talk by Ashley John-Baptiste of X Factor fame. Now a respected BBC Journalist, Ashley talked about his tough childhood and challenging journey to university. Steve Munby, CEO of The Education Development Trust, brought the Conference to a close with his speech about power and love in both teaching and leadership.
 
Andrew Warren, Chair of the Teaching Schools Council, and Richard Gill, the West Midlands Representative on the Council, agreed that: “With the continuing changes to the educational landscape, this conference provided a vital forum for delegates to discover how to be at the centre of the leadership system. It was also a unique opportunity to meet and network with the key individuals involved in shaping these changes”.
 
The conference, which incorporated a small specialist exhibition, was held at The Chateau Impney Hotel & Exhibition Centre in Worcestershire and was sponsored by TES, Unistage, two thirds | design, teach circus in schools, Talk The Talk, Sports Plus Scheme, Spa Display, SDSA, Portable Partitions Company, Kompan, HTS, Hays, gcse pod, Screenflex UK and Design3i.
 
‪#WMschoolled17  #schools  #teachingschools  #schoolleaders  #education  #conference

The Changing Role of the Governor in a Changeable Time for Schools
Stella Broster - 9 May 2017
Recently the Department for Education introduced new regulations which allow schools to forcibly remove School Governors from office.
 
Governors provide strategic leadership and accountability in schools, holding responsibility for finance and playing an important part in raising school standards. The role is voluntary, so these individuals give up their time to own serve their community and support local education.
 
As we all know, it is a particularly challenging and changing time for schools. The educational landscape is constantly evolving through system leadership. In order to achieve success through this, proactive school leaders feel an increasing need to work in partnership through appropriate networks.
At the same time, a recent study discovered that female head teachers will remain under-represented in secondary schools for another 25 years - at a time when it is more important than ever for girls and boys need to see women influencing decision-making and leading schools equally with men. Furthermore, school funding is hardly out of the headlines lately. It is becoming harder to deliver high quality education under increasing financial strain.
 
Therefore, at such an unsettled time, the committed School Governor needs to play their part in this evolving educational landscape. In addition to their regular myriad tasks, they might consider encouraging their most capable leaders and teachers to support other schools, they may become engaged in external reviews of governance, or the could apply to be a National Leader of Governance.
 
More commitment, more energy and more drive is required. Furthermore, the effective Governor will be ensuring that their school is involved in extensive collaboration with essential networks, both local and further afield – always involved in listening, discussing and most importantly ensuring the voice of the school is heard.
 
The West Midlands School Leaders Conference will take place on Wednesday 17th May and will tackle the wide variety of challenges facing school leaders today. Over 200 delegates are already registered to attend including senior staff from hundreds of schools. Join us to question, explore and discuss with your peers – there’s still time to register.
 
‪#WMschoolled17  #schools  #teachingschools  #schoolleaders  #education  #conference

Current Ideas for Reducing the Marking Workload
Stella Broster - 8 May 2017
Teachers’ workloads and the amount (and accuracy) of marking, together with the impact of assessment, are frequently the subject of much comment and debate.
 
With the current evolving dynamic in most schools, involving a variety of challenges and “drains” on a teacher’s day, a mountain of homework which needs to be marked (including assessment and the delivery of written feedback) can look like a potential straw to break even the strongest camel’s back.
 
Indeed, in the Department for Education’s 2016 Workload Challenge Survey, 53% of teachers said that the excessive nature, depth and frequency of marking was too much to balance alongside their already heavy workloads.
Moreover, late last year, an Ofsted update stressed once more that inspectors should not be passing judgment on marking in schools, confirming that this task should not be used a stick to beat education providers with.
 
There are a number of initiatives which are being developed to help ease and speed up the process of marking and moderation for teachers including:
  • Comparative judgment utilising computer software
  • Constructive variation – teachers being allowed to mark using whatever method works for them with no specific rules
  • Whole-school approaches with a colour-coding systems for students, teachers, peers and self-assessment
  • The strength, strength, target system incorporating a universal shared language
 
While the exact method used in each establishment might be bespoke, what does seem clear is that all school leaders definitely need to be embracing positive change in respect of marking and ensuring that, in their school, it is both manageable and meaningful – for all.
 
The West Midlands School Leaders Conference will take place on Wednesday 17th May and will tackle the wide variety of challenges facing school leaders today. Over 200 delegates are already registered to attend including senior staff from hundreds of schools. Join us to question, explore and discuss with your peers – there’s still time to register.
 
‪#WMschoolled17  #schools  #teachingschools  #schoolleaders  #education  #conference

More Female Heads Needed In Secondary School Education
Stella Broster - 10 April 2017
A recent study discovered that female head teachers will remain under-represented in secondary schools for another 25 years.
 
In the last 14 years there has been an overall rise in the proportion of women head teachers – from 25% to 38%.
 
However, 64% of classroom teachers are female and the proportion of head teachers in no way reflects that.
 
Furthermore, there is also a location bias, with the highest proportion of women secondary head teachers being based in South East England and South London, and the lowest in the North of England.
According to the report women are “relatively well-represented in site-based leadership” (in academies owned by chains), but the majority of chief executives are men.
 
Dr Kay Fuller, associate professor of educational leadership at Nottingham University and author of the report says “in the 21st Century, women’s under-representation in headship is a matter of social injustice, with women’s lack of parity of participation resulting in lack of recognition for their capacity for leadership and from a lack of resources with which to achieve it”.
 
Dr Fuller went on “nor are women teachers’ voices proportionately represented at senior levels in secondary schools. Girls and boys need to see women influencing decision-making and leading schools equally with men at this important stage of their personal development and learning”.
 
The West Midlands School Leaders Conference will take place on Wednesday 17th May and will tackle the wide variety of challenges facing school leaders today. Over 200 delegates are expected to attend including senior staff from hundreds of schools. Join us to question, explore and discuss with your peers.
 
‪#WMschoolled17  #schools  #teachingschools  #schoolleaders  #education  #conference

This Year’s Conference – Head Teachers and Funding Fears
Stella Broster - 27 March 2017
One of the questions we will be asking at this year’s West Midlands School Leaders Conference is:
 
“What keeps you awake at night? What challenges are you experiencing/can you see developing?
 
We look forward to hearing a wide range of issues that head teachers and school managers face on a daily basis. One of the key issues, which we feel sure everyone will agree on, is funding and the government’s planned introduction of a new National Funding Formula.
 
School funding is hardly out of the headlines lately, with education specialists highlighting that school funding cuts are being made to the detriment of children, and many worrying that teachers’ jobs will be lost or subjects will be ditched. Head teachers face increased pressure in respect of continually worsening financial situations and schools are considering larger classes or even a four-day week.
 
Furthermore, cuts to social care and sources of government funded youth support mean that schools are expected to deal with pupils with an increasing number of complex mental health and emotional issues. Obviously, the most vulnerable children are being put at risk by these changes.
It is becoming harder to deliver high quality education under increasing financial strain. Some school managers have been writing to their MPs asking for the government to reconsider proposed changes and teaching unions are, in fact, calling for increased investment to ensure that funding in schools grows substantially.
 
This year’s West Midlands School Leaders Conference will focus on the changing educational landscape, and the issues surrounding the school leadership system. In light of the current landscape our information on the £140 million Strategic School Improvement Fund and how to unlock the network of support, will be crucial to delegates.
 
The Conference will take place on Wednesday 17th May. Over 200 delegates are expected to attend including leaders from hundreds of schools. Join us at this year’s Conference to explore and discuss further.

This Year’s Conference – Embracing Change, Improving Schools and Developing Leaders
Stella Broster - 27 March 2017
This year’s West Midlands School Leaders Conference will focus on the changing educational landscape, the £140 million Strategic School Improvement Fund and the issues surrounding the school leadership system.
 
We have a host of expert speakers including host Mary Rhodes (BBC Midlands Today), Estelle Morris (Baroness Morris of Yardley), Ann Mroz (TES), Christine Quinn (Regional Schools Commissioner) and Lorna Fitzjohn (Ofsted).
 
Our latest confirmed Keynote Speaker is Steve Munby, CEO of the Education Development Trust. Steve is passionate about unleashing the greatness of school leaders and strongly believes in sector-led reform. Steve keeps the teacher-learner relationship at the heart of everything the Education Development Trust does. Their mission is to live in a world where everyone’s life can be transformed through excellent education and Steve will bring this philosophy to his input into this year’s conference.
Steve Munby
Furthermore, our inspirational speaker is Ashley John Baptiste, a young BBC broadcast journalist and presenter with a remarkable story of how he overcame his troubled childhood to study at one of the world’s best universities. Ashely will be telling his story of self-motivation and overcoming barriers -  encompassing achieving ‘goals against the odds’ and speaking from the child’s perspective. Ashley talks about following your dreams and never giving up – he uses his story to propel others to face their challenges with a sense of optimism and triumph.
 
Finally, we believe our speakers this year will fill delegates with not just essential information, but enthusiasm to tackle current issues head on and practical advice on how to be a successful school leader in 2017.
 
This year’s West Midlands School Leaders Conference will take place on Wednesday 17th May. Over 200 delegates are expected to attend including leaders from hundreds of schools. Join us at this year’s Conference to explore and discuss further.
 
#WMschoolled17 #schools #teachingschools #schoolleaders #education #conference
Ashley John-Baptiste

This Year’s Conference – Working Towards ‘Every Child in a Great School!’
Stella Broster - 17 March 2017
The overarching aim of the Teaching Schools Council is to play a key role in ensuring that every child and young person, in every part of the country, has access to a place in a great school.
 
Put simply there are three commitments that the Teaching Schools Council seeks to ensure, that every school in England:
  • is entitled to relevant and timely support
  • is prepared to be a giver of support
  • is in an effective partnership
 
This year’s West Midlands School Leaders Conference will take place on Wednesday 17th May. Over 200 delegates are expected to attend including leaders from hundreds of schools. Our expert panel will deliver a range of inspirational talks on the crucial issues currently facing education managers.
 
Consequently, the Conference will focus on how the educational landscape is evolving through system leadership. Effective leadership involves raising the bar and closing the gap for all children.  While pupil background remains the strongest determinant of educational success, it is the quality and capacity of teachers and leaders that makes the greatest difference to pupil outcomes.
 
Fortunately, there is a growing commitment among education leaders to pursue school system-wide success – involving the overcoming of barriers, participation in collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and best practice (including with those outside of the educational establishment).
 
Moreover, this can only be achieved by proactive school leaders who work in partnership through appropriate networks.
 
The result will be more (potentially all) schools achieving the best possible progress and outcomes for increasing numbers of (again, possibly all) children.
 
Andrew Warren, Director of BTSA and Chair of the Teaching Schools Council, agrees: “I started teaching in 1985.  It was a time before a national curriculum, standardised tests and the assessment of sub-levels.  Ofsted had yet to be invented, there were no league tables and schools didn’t even manage their own budgets!  Routine classroom observations were a thing of the future and MATs were what you asked children to wipe their feet on after playtime.  It was a very different world! 
 
The big question though is: is it better today or were those bygone days really the “good ole days”?  I ask this, because, seismic though changes since 1985 have been, in one sense, the biggest changes are happening right now, in front of our eyes, and we’re not only witnesses to this, but participants and leaders.  Historians will comment on the effectiveness of the education we provide for our children and we need to be up to the task.
 
That is why I passionately believe in the need for school leaders to take time out to meet together and share ideas and expertise.  We are all in this together, and together we have a chance to make this work, and an opportunity to pave a clear path for those who will follow. “
 
Join us at this year’s Conference to explore and discuss further.
 
‪#WMschoolled17 #schools #teachingschools #schoolleaders #education #conference
 
 
Andrew Warren, Chair,
Teaching Schools Council

West Midlands School Leaders Conference to Empower Senior Staff to help Shape the Changing Educational Landscape
Press release - March 2017
On Wednesday 17th May, school leaders from across the West Midlands will once again gather for the highly-anticipated West Midlands School Leaders Annual Conference. The focus of the day is how the educational landscape is changing and ways that school leaders can get involved to drive the agenda for this new landscape.
 
Hosted once again by BBC Midlands Today presenter, Mary Rhodes, the packed conference programme will include information on how networks of support can be unlocked through the £140million Strategic School Improvement Fund. A plethora of high-profile figures are speaking including The Baroness Estelle Morris (former Secretary of State for Education and Skills), Ann Mroz (Editor and Digital Publishing Director of TES), Christine Quinn (Regional Schools Commissioner for West Midlands) and Lorna Fitzjohn (Regional Director, West Midlands for Ofsted).
 
The Conference is officially supported by TES and will bring together primary and secondary school leaders, educationalists, governors and local authority leaders from across the region. The Conference provides a mixture of presentations, interactive sessions and facilitated dialogue which will focus on the progress of the school-led system and its sustainable developments.
Ann Mroz, Editor and Digital
Publishing Director, TES
There will also be an opportunity to strengthen networks in the six West Midlands sub-regional groups, which will be invaluable in the development of more local and relevant approaches.
 
Andrew Warren, Chair of the Teaching Schools Council, and Richard Gill, the West Midlands Representative on the Council, agreed that: “With the continuing changes to the educational landscape, this conference will provide a vital forum for delegates to discover how to be at the centre of the leadership system. It is also a unique opportunity to meet and network with the key individuals involved in shaping these changes”.
 
The conference, which will incorporate a small specialist exhibition, is being held at The Chateau Impney Hotel & Exhibition Centre in Worcestershire and is sponsored by Unistage, Screenflex UK and Design3i.
 
Registrations are being taken via the official conference website wmschoolled17.eventreference.com and the Early Bird rate is available until 27th March.

      

 

 

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