Over the last few years, there have been considerable changes to our education system.
With the de-centralisation of educational provision and an increase in the delegation of powers to schools, values that are more akin to the business world have had a significant impact on the policies and practices in our schools today.
Some have managed to navigate the changes successfully, for others it continues to be an uphill struggle. With far too many teachers and school leaders having to constantly find ways to marry their principles, with those of a system that frequently appears to operate with values that are diametrically opposed to their own.
Sadly, shrinking budgets, growing workloads and rising personal accountability, have only served to exacerbate the situation and unfortunately, there are far too many teachers and school leaders who have chosen to leave the profession or have simply ‘disappeared’
That’s why on the 17th October 2019, we hosted our 3rd “Education for the Soul” Conference, for Headteachers & School Leaders from across the country around the theme of “Inspiring Authentic School Leadership.”
It was designed to ensure that those who join us would be inspired to embrace their own unique leadership approach; one that is truly authentic and supportive of their values.
What happened on the day?
Featuring expert talks from authors and storytellers such as Lemn Sissay, Kevin Graal and James Pope, the conference explored what authenticity means in the life of a school leader today and how leaders can stay true to themselves, their values, passion and purpose.
This year’s conference focused around the theme of “Inspiring Authentic School Leadership,” very simply because we know that great leadership comes from the heart.
It cannot be reduced to simply a matter of technique or style, but rather it comes from the very identity and integrity of every individual who has chosen to take on the mantle of school leadership.
Moreover, we know that the majority of school leaders are not driven by data, numbers or spreadsheets. We know that instead, their motivation comes from within; from the very core of who they are, their values and their sense of vocation and purpose.
That’s why building an authentic approach to school leadership is so important. If our leaders are to succeed and stay in the profession for the long-haul then they need to be supported to develop the leadership practices that will help to sustain them.
They also need safe and collegiate spaces that will enable them to explore what authenticity means in the lives of school leaders today, which is exactly what October’s conference provided.
Why are these Conferences Different?
Having worked for many years 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 this conference created a safe and collegial meeting space where school leaders could:
– Talk truthfully and honestly about the unique challenges facing them and the impact of leading in our schools today
– Share experience and expertise with fellow like-minded school leaders
– Reflect on their personal leadership journey and how this has informed the leader they are today
– Feel encouraged and empowered to respond to the issues they face
– Explore and be challenged to consider new perspectives and solutions that could transform their daily reality of school life
Why did we host this conference?
We hosted this conference to support School Leaders to:
– Increase their understanding about what it means to lead with authenticity and courage in the context of school leadership today
– Challenge the many damaging expectations and narratives that surround school leadership and help leaders mitigate their often corrosive impact
– Strengthen indivduals’ belief in their own leadership approach so that they can lead in ways that are aligned to who they are and what they stand for
– Bolster confidence on a personal and professional level – reminding individuals of their value as school leaders, the unique strengths and qualities they bring to the role and how they can put these to best use in their schools.
– Foster a deep re-connection with individuals’ original purpose and motivation for leading in education, so that amidst the challenges of school leadership, they can maintain their ability to lead and inspire others.
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 authentic leadership, the day provided a 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 gain a better understanding of how to use their own unique set of skills and traits to create compelling visions of success for themselves and others
Where leaders could find solutions, practical ideas and suggestions for taking themselves and their schools forward in the coming year
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
What I discovered at
“Education for the Soul” Conference 2019
On Thursday 17th October 2019, we hosted our third ‘Education for the Soul’ conference.
As I shared with delegates on the day; in 2016, when we hosted our very first conference, I was somewhat fearful and unsure whether we could create an environment in which Heads and school leaders could;
– Safely let go of their leadership masks?
– Allow themselves to be nurtured from the inside out?
– Experience a space similar to that which is created in our one-to-one coaching sessions?
– Be shielded from ego politics and competition?
– Step out from behind personal defences and quietly and simply say, ‘I am here to be seen’?
After this third conference, I am no longer afraid. I know that the answer to these questions is a simple ‘Yes’. Here’s why…
What have those who attended our “Education for the Soul” Conference 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
Several organisations from the education sector and beyond partnered us and exhibited at “Education for the Soul” Conference 2019. To learn more, please follow the link below…