Our Local Conference
On Tuesday 15 November 2022, in The Cotswold District Council’s Council Chamber, The Corinium Education Trust hosted a local conference for schools in the South Cotswolds. Delegates from Cirencester’s primary and secondary schools were also joined by a group of primary headteachers from the Stroud Valleys. A total of 17 schools were represented.
‘It was lovely to welcome headteachers, school leaders and governors to our conference and to talk about ways in which we can all work together to support children and young people, their learning and life chances.’ Chiquita Henson, Trust Lead.
The programme for the afternoon meeting focused on the recent White Paper, ‘Opportunity for all: strong schools with great teachers’, which is currently making its way through the House. In anticipation of the new Education Bill, Chiquita Henson, Trust Lead (CEO), Kirsten Harrison, Gloucestershire County Council’s Director of Education, and Jo Hunter, Interim Director of Education at the Diocese of Gloucester, reflected on the key issues and opened a conversation about what the future education landscape might look like locally. The discussions were engaging and productive.
‘I am especially grateful to Kirsten Harrison and Jo Hunter for initiating the discussion with me. There was definitely a shared understanding of the challenges all schools currently face and a determination to work together to find sustainable solutions.’ Chiquita Henson.
Roy Blatchford, Chair of the new Gloucestershire Education Forum, experienced school leader and consultant, also attended the conference. Roy shared some of the positive impacts on children and young people that can be achieved when school leaders and teachers work collaboratively and illustrated this with compelling examples from Essex and East Sussex. Those attending the conference found him inspirational and we are all excited about the potential for a local and collaborative ‘Year of Reading’ in 2023.
‘Thanks for the invite and the opportunity! There was real momentum in the room - grasp it!’ Roy Batchford.
During the conference local school leaders considered the main themes in each chapter of the White Paper and discussed pupil attendance, behaviour and targeted support. The Corinium Education Trust’s headteachers shared some of the strategies they are using to support their pupils and they reflected on the benefits of sharing practice.
Towards the end of the event, and in the spirit of conversation, Chiquita Henson, invited those present and others who might be interested to continue the conversations. This was well received. She offered the following:
- A reading challenge – A pilot collaborative project covering reading from 2-16.
Action: working group to take this further – invitation to Heads and/or English/reading leads to first meeting on Thursday 8 December at 16:00 in the conference room at Chesterton Primary School.
- A local solution – Collaboration and co-creation of a local solution or ‘blueprint’.
Action: working group to explore the future education landscape and the potential for development – invitation to Heads and Chairs of Governors to first meeting on Tuesday 13 December at 16:00 in the conference room at Chesterton Primary School.
'I came away feeling positive. Thank you. The afternoon was fascinating.' Donna Mylechreest, Headteacher, Thrupp C of E Primary School
‘I thought Roy was inspirational and I’m looking forward to exploring the reading collaboration!’ Libby Pringle, Headteacher, Chesterton Primary School.