The Education Show and other conferences of interest

I spent last Friday at the Education Show in the cavernous Excel centre in London.  It’s always hard to predict if it’s going to be worth going to these types of events, because of the market place nature of them, but this free event actually delivered some valuable education discussion, ideas and speakers. Highlights for me were:

Laura McInerney talking about her view on key trends in education today which included:

– the possibility of some increased central government funding in the light of the pressures on teacher retention, low salaries and pensions
– the focus on the curriculum from the Chief Inspector and possible implications of interpreting this for schools as everyone has a different understanding of what curriculum is and means
– the cohort effect whereby the low birth rate at the turn of the millennium has resulted in lower numbers of 18 year olds now which will in turn result in lower numbers of graduates in three years’ time.  These graduates are likely to have greater choice about what they do next – and doing their PGCE may not be what they choose if they can go and earn a lot more elsewhere.

Dean Povey talking about leadership in the face of adversity and the need for courage in leadership.  He talked about the need for leaders to

– Embrace change
– Be open to opportunities
– Understand three things – yourself, your organisation and the landscape around you
– Have resilience – everyone has a plan until we get punched in the face
– Take action – and recognise that if we take action we will occasionally fail
– Engage with people – leadership is a team sport

Jane Nolan, TES headteacher of the year, gave an inspiring insight into her personal experience of turning around her Grimsby school – how she got there and the importance of working with staff to help meet both their intrinsic and extrinsic values as a way of building a successful and happy team.

I hadn’t intended to go to the BETT show which focuses on technology in education but as it was right next door and free, so I popped in.  The scale and variety is completely exhausting unless you have a clear objective or plan.  What was great about the show was seeing groups of school children taking it all in – I’m sure they could get their heads round it much more easily than me.

In 2019, other conferences and events that are worth considering:


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