Being a Head of a British school in Greece, it is easy to feel detached from British education and to develop a belief that the challenges I face are unique to our school and our context. For that reason it was really valuable for me personally to attend the ASCL 2017 Annual Conference, held in Birmingham last month.
ASCL is the Association of School and College Leaders and represents the voice of Headteachers and other senior managers across the UK’s schools. The conference was a high-profile event and the calibre of speakers impressive; from Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening to the inspirational advocate for education, Malala, who was shot in the head by the Taliban for attending school in Afghanistan. I learnt a lot at the conference, but I would suggest that the greatest benefit for me was the chance to talk to other school leaders about current themes in education; hopes and concerns; everyday challenges and how to meet them. Hearing about the experiences of other school leaders helped put my own challenges into context and, on a number of issues, reassured me on the direction I have been taking. I also got a lot of ideas and came away suitable inspired.
You can get a flavour of the conference by clicking on this link and in case you do, enjoy the fact that of about two thousand school leaders present, the video producers happened to select the opinions of a certain Head in Greece for inclusion, starting at the 1 minute 05 second mark!