School leaders in North East to come together for annual conference

Issues in education are to be discussed by school leaders at the Rising to the Challenge 2013 Summit held by SCHOOLS NorthEast

David Pearmain, chair of SCHOOLS NorthEast
David Pearmain, chair of SCHOOLS NorthEast

School leaders from across the North East will meet this month to discuss challenges in the education system.

Bringing together national educational experts and decision makers with local school leaders, the Rising to the Challenge 2013 Summit will address how schools in the region can be improved.

This is the fifth conference held by SCHOOLS NorthEast and it will focus on rising to the challenge of improving outcomes for children and young people in the North East.

David Pearmain, Chair of SCHOOLS NorthEast said: “The success of the SCHOOLS NorthEast Summit demonstrates the appetite amongst our region’s school leaders to work together, support each other and use our collective efforts to tackle the persistent and deep-rooted challenges we face.

“The Adonis Review published early this year set out ambitious objectives for North East education and we are determined to rise to this challenge, as the future of our region is in schools.

“With the continuous stream of new policy announcements, reforms, budget cuts and targets it is more important than ever that school leaders take time to step away from their office and the classroom to reflect on how we can best develop the talents of the children and young people we serve in this fast changing landscape.

“The summit provides the perfect setting for head teachers to consider the challenges and opportunities facing North East schools, to be empowered by experts, to be inspired by success stories, to be provoked by cutting edge thinking and to connect with colleagues.”

Nick Hudson, Ofsted Regional Director, NE, Yorkshire and the Humber will open the conference, setting the scene as to how North East schools and educational outcomes compare to other regions and highlighting priority areas for action.

He will then be joined by a panel including Pat Glass MP for Durham and member of the Education Select Committee and Mr Pearmain to debate how the region’s schools can best address these challenges.

The conference will also see a keynote address from former Education Secretary Lord Ken Baker.

He is expected to share his vision for secondary education including the future of university technology colleges and studio schools.

Other issues expected to be discussed at the conference include the fact that the North East has the highest proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM) outside of inner London and the widest gap in attainment between these students and non FSM-eligible students.

Also speaking is Professor Robin Alexander, who led the influential Cambridge Review of Primary Education, and Charlie Taylor, CEO of the National College for Teaching and Leadership.

The conference will take place at St James’ Park in Newcastle on Friday, October 11.


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