Welcome to Heads Up this week.
Hello all and hello again to all of you who were at the Headteachers Conference on Tuesday morning. Feedback on the event, unlike the feedback from the microphone, has been very positive.
It was an excellent day and I was delighted to see so many headteachers attend. I appreciate what a commitment that is for you, to take such a significant chunk of your week out, but I hope you think it was worth it for the chance to take stock, share some best practice, network and keep the contact with colleagues in our Warwickshire family of schools.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council spoke first and thanked all teachers for the ‘precious nurturing’ that has contributed so much towards the excellent performance of Warwickshire schools.
She went on to stress the council’s commitment to supporting our most vulnerable young people while we seek to ensure our economy is supported by young people with the best possible skills and training. Both aims are key to our education strategy.
Cllr Colin Hayfield followed Izzi and, for those who weren’t able to attend, I can report that he reiterated our commitment to getting early years learning right, simplifying our approach to school admissions, improving the levels of educational attainment in Nuneaton and increasing support for SEND and inclusion, and finished by stressing his wish that we look at a broad curriculum of which arts and music are integral. It was good to see both members talk specifically about where we will be prioritising our efforts so that nobody in the room was in any doubt as to what our priorities for our young people in education are.
The other sense I got in the room was the real commitment towards our young people and a genuine passion for helping them, particularly the most vulnerable. Stuart Guest, a headteacher from Colebourne Primary, gave a fantastic talk on the impact of trauma in early childhood and how this affects behaviour. Stuart did a wonderful job of stripping away prejudices about behaviour, highlighting reasons behind it and giving proactive solutions for how we can help young people who have had such difficult starts in life.
Stuart was followed by Ivan Humble who gave an amazingly candid account of how he had been a member of the English Defence League but was now campaigning against hate crime and Islamophobia. It must be so difficult for Ivan to talk about the path he was taking but the wonderful work he is doing now to bring our communities together is worthy of the highest praise and he held the audience captive as he recounted his tale.
I’d like to wish you all a restful half term break and please look out for the next Head’s Up in two weeks time.
With best wishes
Assistant Director for Education Services