Heads Up 24 March 2023


Dear Headteachers,

This week, I was privileged to attend the headteacher conference on Thursday 23rd March. The atmosphere was electric, with more than 130 head teachers in the room. 

We heard from the inspirational ‘fastest blind man’ Steve Cunningham who told us his story of going blind at the age of twelve, having been a great athlete and captain of his football team. He didn’t allow his life barriers to get the better of him and he went on to have a career in sports, breaking land speed records, aviation records - as well as continuing to play football and meeting England stars David Beckham and Michael Owen - to name but a few.  

It’s perhaps a reminder of the critical and valuable work we do to support children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. All children can thrive, given the right environment. 

At the conference, headteachers had an opportunity to contribute to the education strategy and lots of lively debate took place. I had some very engaging discussions with colleagues. Common themes raised with me were around SEND, transparency and communication between the local authority and schools. Next week, I am visiting the secondary Rugby heads consortium and a small group of primary heads, which I am really looking forward to. 

One of the most important and valuable elements of the conference was to see schools sharing effective practice. My thanks to Chilvers Coton Infant School; Michael Drayton Junior; Evergreen School and Shires Academy Trust who shared their strategies under the theme of ‘Good practice with those children vulnerable to poor outcomes’. 

The school-led system is one I feel is the most effective -encouraging groups of schools to work together across boundaries and localities could be of huge benefit to Warwickshire’s children. 

On that positive note, I hope you enjoy the weekend, as the countdown begins to the Easter break. 

Best wishes 

Johnny Kyriacou,

Assistant Director for Education Services.