Diocesan Education Conference brings delegates to Leeds

Education experts from across our diocese and beyond have gathered for the annual School Leaders’ Conference, the first to be held since the outbreak of covid-19.

Some 150 delegates took their seats at the Queen's Hotel in the heart of Leeds to be welcomed by Bishop Helen-Ann, chair of the Diocesan Board of Education and Richard Noake, Diocesan Director of Education.

Students from St Mary’s Primary School, Riddlesden began the day of listening and learning by leading the opening act of worship.

The Rt Revd Nick Baines, the Bishop of Leeds, then gave a presentation entitled ‘Encourage one another: the point of education?’

“I think there is no more important job, including my own, than teaching,” said Bishop Nick, pictured.

“In teaching you’re not just chucking stuff out at little products called children. You’re dealing with the stuff of people’s lives.

“As teachers you have to be parents, social workers, increasingly you have to feed kids and you’re trying to enable children to flourish at times when they turn up at school and haven’t eaten.”

Chief Executive of the Chartered College of Teaching, Professor Dame Alison Peacock then spoke on 'Professional learning without limits’. Following this was another talk given by Dr Margaret James, the National Director of Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools.

Staff from the diocese’s Children and Young People’s Team were amongst many stalls offering a huge range of resources (pictured below).

The afternoon began with more worship, led by another one of our schools, Trinity Academy in Halifax. 

Amar Latif, an entrepreneur and TV presenter, gave a presentation reflecting on life’s obstacles and how we can choose to overcome them. 

“Being a good leader is about adaptability, drive and vision but it’s also about creating better opportunities for those who look up to you for guidance,” said Amar.

“The key thing I’ve learnt is that leadership works best when you know what you want to do but also recognise that the obstacles between you and your goal aren’t blocks in your path but opportunities for development.”

The final presentation of the day was delivered by Hywel Roberts, who focussed on ‘The Botheredness Journey: making learning matter’.

A gallery of images from the day can be found here.

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