2021 National Conference

2021 National Conference

November 4, 2021,
Worsley Park Marriott Hotel, Manchester

The engage in their future 2021 National Conference took place on Thursday 4th November and Friday 5th November at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel, Manchester.

After such an extended period of working in relative isolation, the conference offered a much needed opportunity to reconnect with colleagues from across the country. The chance to talk, listen and share our experiences is essential for our own well-being as well as our professional development.

The theme of event was Quality of Life: Mental Health and Wellbeing Matters and delegates enjoyed a carefully curated programme of inspirational keynote speakers and practical workshops around this theme.

There were keynote talks from –

  • Natasha Devon, body image and mental health campaigner, writer and activist (School Staff: Wellbeing, Self-Care and Boundaries)
  • Aaron Phipps, Paralympic Gold Medallist and motivational speaker (Blood, Sweat and Wheelchairs)
  • Kiran Hingorani, CEO of Swalcliffe Park School (Quality of Life (QoL) Matters: Now More Than Ever?)
  • Richard Berry, Mental Health First Aid Trainer (What is Mental Health – what are its origins and how can we as educationalists affect someone’s wellbeing)
  • Student Panel, former students from SEMH settings (Roots and Wings)

Delegates also enjoyed a selection of workshops –

  • Carolyn Eyre on safeguarding
  • the William Henry Smith School on their experience and application of the Quality of Life framework
  • Laura Stagg from the Education Development Trust who considered culture and staff wellbeing
  • Debbie Bailey and Paul van Walwyck on their research into Headships at special schools.

For many, the Teach Meet session hosted by Larry Bartel was a highlight. Delegates had just a few minutes to share examples of high quality practice and teaching innovation. It provided a great opportunity to learn something new and share professional experiences of teaching.

Thank you to everyone that took the time away from school to attend the 2021 National Conference. It was great to be able to gather together again in person to network, share and connect.

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