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Final speakers and workshops announced for Governors for Schools conference

GfS conference

Day 1 - What's in store?

The Governors for Schools conference will kick off with an introductory session exploring wellbeing in schools. Attendees will join Andy Mellor, National Director of Wellbeing at Schools Advisory Service, Faye McGuinness, Director of Programmes at Education Support, and Emma Hawker of Governors for Schools, to discuss key findings from Governors for Schools’ 2022 Wellbeing Report, which launches this October.

The focus will then shift to consider what good governance looks like in 2022. Join governance experts Steve Barker and Linda Waghorn of Better Governor to hear cutting-edge insights about best practices. This session is ideal for those short on time, offering clear and digestible tips for improving your efficacy as a board.

This year, the Governors for Schools Conference is sponsored by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). As well as helping to fund the conference, the organisation will host a morning session on day one of the conference. Gavin Woodruff, Education Sponsorship Manager for the IET, will introduce delegates to the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and how the IET can support schools in delivering these vital areas of the curriculum.

When lunchtime rolls around, delegates can join a session exploring the implications of academisation – a must-attend for those keen to learn more about the procedural aspects of joining an academy trust. At the same time, Governors for Schools will be hosting a session covering recent reforms to the Curriculum for Wales. Then, David Ardill, Head of Trustee Recruitment at Governors for Schools, will wrap up the lunchtime period with a demonstration of Governors for Schools’ new Trustee Recruitment Service.

The next afternoon sessions will start at 4pm to ensure as many volunteers as possible are able to join. Katherine Howard, Digital Safeguarding Specialist at Smoothwall, will discuss how the government’s Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022 guidance links to digital safety. Then, we’ll conclude the first day of the conference with a high-level overview of the government’s special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) review, featuring expert panellists from the Key for School Governors and current HMI Jenny Tosh.

 Check out the full conference timetable   


Day 2 - A reflective keynote session, workshops and panel discussions

The second day of the conference will begin with a session by Trustee and current Chair of Governors Dominic McGonigal, who will detail his experiences of supporting a failing school to attain ‘Outstanding’ status in Ofsted inspections. Independent Governor Support’s Pat Barber will also join Dominic to outline what her organisation does and how it can support board development.

Next up, GovernorHub’s Ellie Cheshire will lead an induction planning workshop, followed by a workshop on succession planning with the NGA’s Steve Edmonds. These practical sessions will provide an excellent opportunity to improve your board’s processes over the next academic year.

At lunchtime, delegates will have the opportunity to join a panel discussion exploring pressing issues surrounding staff recruitment and retention. Speakers from Teach First and eteach, as well as author and policy analyst Tony Breslin, will discuss this vital challenge with our CEO Hannah Stolton.

For many schools, attendance represents a significant concern. As such, our final panel discussion will discuss potential solutions to high absence rates. Speakers will include experts from Place2Be, The Difference, and the Office for the Children’s Commissioner, as well as Scott Walker, attendance advisor to the Department for Education. This session is ideal for those who wish to explore the nuances of school attendance and how governors can help.

At 4pm, there will be a session on Pupil Premium, with insights from CEO of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) Becky Francis and Georgina Burt of the Child Poverty Action Group. Becky and Georgina will provide an overview of the EEF framework and key considerations surrounding Pupil Premium, including the wider cost of living crisis and poverty within school communities.

The conference will close with a workshop focusing on the Schools White Paper 2022, supporting governors to develop an action plan for their board.

With a packed two-day timetable, delegates will benefit from access to multiple sector leaders in governance. The conference is sponsored by IET which has enabled the charity to offer this timetable free of charge. The conference is also accredited by the CPD Certification Service, demonstrating the high-quality learning experiences on offer.

Find out more and book your sessions

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