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:
- NAHT Leading Schools in the 21st Century Conference, Birmingham on 8th February .
- The Academy and School Leaders Conference, 28th February in Manchester – £99 to attend but free to National Governance Association members by emailing: Carys.Ward@nga.org.uk
- Inspiring Women to Lead Education – the #WomenEd Unconference on the 9th March (International Women’s Day) at Regent High School in London
- Institute of Education’s Celebrating Education Conference on 20th March in London.
- Confederation of Schools Trusts Spring conference on the 31st March in London – Effective, Accountable and Ethical Governance is the theme.
- The Schools and Academies Show at the Excel Centre in London on the 3/4th April and the NEC in Birmingham on the 13th and 14th November – used to be known as the Academies Show. It’s free to attend.
- The Inspiring Leadership conference on the 6-7th June at the ICC in Birmingham providing key note speakers and workshops on topics ‘spanning innovation, leadership, partnership, development and technology’ – this costs £480 for the two days – but they do have the presentations from the previous year on their website (available for free) which are worth a look at.
- The Festival of Education on the 20th and 21st June in Wellington, Somerset – focus is on leadership, CPD and debate.
- Failing that, the next Education Show is the 22-25th January 2020!