It is our belief that over the last few years, our education system has lost sight of one of its strongest and most important assets – its humanity.
Values more akin to the business world have seeped into the system with schools encouraged to see children as data, other school leaders as competitors and results as the ultimate goal of education. We have seen too many school leaders ‘disappear’ with many being forced out, sometimes on the back of just one disappointing set of results.
Consequently, we’ve noticed a growing culture of fear within in our education system. Increased levels of public scrutiny and personal accountability have only served to intensify this. As have new structures and roles which have added unnecessary layers of complexity and ambiguity. Many heads now feel they are in a constant battle to prove they know what is being asked of them in this new era and prove that they are “good enough.”
We don’t feel this is the way education should be. Something needs to change. That’s why on Thursday 18th October, we hosted our unique “Education for the Soul” conference.
It was designed to help School Leaders develop a new and empowered outlook and approach for addressing the many challenges of headship today. The conference will enable you to write new and inspired chapters for yourself, your school and those you lead.
Featuring expert talks from authors and storytellers such as Jan Blake, Geoff Mead and Belinda Harris, workshops and roundtable discussions, the conference was designed to equip leaders with the strategies and solutions they need to successfully manage and respond to the complexities and emotional demands of School Leadership.
Why was this Conference Different?
Having worked with school leaders in close personal settings, we know that the most valuable and empowering conversations often happen in nurturing and supportive environments.
That’s why at the conference we tried to created a safe space and collegial meeting place where school leaders could:
– Talk truthfully and honestly about the challenges of school leadership
– Feel Encouraged and supported to discover ‘the best in themselves’
– Let go of their ‘leadership mask’ and experience what it’s truly like for the ‘person in the role’ to be listened to and taken care of
– Experience the companionship of fellow school leaders in ways which are collegiate and supportive – and see that you’re not alone with the challenges you face.
– Explore how to make lighter the weight of school leadership
Why did we host the conference?
We hosted the conference as we wanted to support School Leaders to…
– Challenge the damaging “narratives” in our education system that focus around competitiveness, data and scarcity – and develop a new and empowered outlook to the challenges that School Leaders face
– Strengthen their confidence, remind themselves of their value as a school leader and the unique strengths and qualities they bring to the role – and how they can put these to best use in their school.
– Understand the stories that have made them the leader they are today, so that they could determine which serve them best and which may need to be let go of in their current context.
– Re-connect back with the values that guide their leadership, their passion for education, and their purpose for being a school leader.
– Regain ownership and control of their leadership story so that they can lead in a way that is authentic, fulfilling and achieves their unique vision for their school.
The conference was for all those who passionately want to bring humanity back into school leadership, including but not limited to…
• Executive Head teachers • Academy CEOs • Head teachers & Principals
• Deputies & Vice Principals • Assistant Head Teachers • Chair of Governors
What did the Conference Offer?
Through the exploration of leadership narrative we provided the space and opportunity for…
Where leaders could be themselves and probe for meaning and purpose amidst the daily challenges of school leadership
Where leaders could deepen their knowledge and get a better understanding of how to harness the power of their own stories to create compelling visions of success for themselves and others
Where leaders could find solutions, practical ideas and suggestions for taking care of the person in the role as they seek to create schools that are aligned to their vision, passion and purpose
Where leaders could share, laugh and have time to talk with others about how to achieve the very best for themselves and those they lead and manage
My Reflections on “Education for the Soul” Conference 2018
The day was a very special one indeed, and it was deeply humbling to see so many school leaders drop their leadership masks and come together, in service of one another and in service of shared hopes, dreams and ambitions for our children and our schools.
The conference created a space where leaders could consider the role their stories play in their lives as educators. In the absence of Ego, competition, data, comparison to other schools or OFSTED, real work could be done; work of depth, work of meaning, work of connection. A place had been created where school leaders could be nurtured and supported to maintain their ability to lead and inspire others…
What did those who attended ” Education for the Soul” 2018 say?
It was an amazing experience and so good for the soul…
The conference thoroughly exceeded my expectations – great structure and quality content. It really challenged my thinking.
The day provided me with a fantastic opportunity to think about what I really stand for, reassess my values and how I can be an authentic leader…
I feel like my soul has been nurtured. It’s just invaluable to start to feel again that education is not about competition, it’s about compassion.
Our Conference Partners
We are proud that Education for the Soul Conference 2018 was partnered by several fantastic organisations from the education sector and beyond. To find out more about our partners, please follow the link below…