Bookmark and Share

Annual conference: CPD for the whole team

ASCL annual conference is just a few weeks away and delegate numbers look to exceed expectations yet again. As in previous years, we are finding that more schools are sending groups of senior staff, using it as professional development for their extended and senior leadership teams.

Here’s what ASCL member and Senior Vice Principal Elma McElligott had to say about her experience last year in Manchester: “Each year the senior leadership team at Woodside High School (London) attend the ASCL conference for a weekend of CPD and team-building. We start the process by looking at the programme and deciding which seminars might provide food for thought and then we try and organise ourselves so that we can attend them in pairs, usually at least one of us can then give an account to the others back at school.

“We set up an inset day so that there are no students on site and we organise our middle leaders to be in charge. Some departments use the day for moderation, others use it for group training.

“We usually travel in groups in one or two cars but last year we travelled to Manchester by train. There was a fear among some colleagues that we might lose our way after Watford Gap!”

“Following the seminars, platform speeches and copious note taking by the more diligent members of the team we return to school fully equipped to implement some of these innovative practices gleaned from our educational sojourn. The timing is ideal as we usually start to prepare the school development plan for the next year on our return.

“Aside from the great wealth of speakers and important people in the world of politics rubbing shoulders with us – or is it the other way round – there exist ample opportunities to gauge the opinions of other leadership teams, be that over coffee, dinner or even on the dance floor. Indeed some rather odd partnerships have sprung up over the years between Woodside and others following a long session in the bar in the evening.

“If ever there was an occasion where senior leadership team members were able to rejuvenate and reinforce the values that are at the forefront of good teaching, then this was no doubt it. From start to finish the ASCL annual conference more than lives up to expectations.”

whole team cpd