Thursday, January 26th, 2017.

Sue Williamson, CEO of SSAT, addresses the conference at Excelsior

More than 50 leaders from schools across the North East packed the SSAT’s regional conference at Excelsior Academy to discuss the hot topics impacting the education sector.

Excelsior Academy Executive Principal Craig Taylor welcomed guests to the event to learn about the latest developments in leadership, policy and governance.

Student representatives from ten regional schools, including Excelsior, summarised learning from a motivational workshop with social enterprise group Humanutopia – helping them to think about and improve their life chances.

Staging the prestigious event follows on from Excelsior Academy’s teaching team Tracey Kelly, Saarah Nijaila, Sara Reed and Hannah Dabbs winning rave reviews for their presentation to the national SSAT event in Birmingham at the end of last year.

The packed itinerary featured Sue Williamson, CEO of SSAT, focusing on the eight principles of school leadership from SSAT’s National Conference and what the challenges are for leadership in a school led system.

Tom Middlehurst, Head of Policy, SSAT, looked at how the latest policy changes impact schools and what they can expect in the future.

Other topics included managing funding and curriculum challenges and governance in a packed two-and-a-half hour agenda.

SSAT chiefs were determined that all young delegates in attendance had the opportunity to enjoy the experience, make new friends and meet new people from other schools, better understand their own behaviour and experiences and realise that they are not alone by meeting other young people who are experiencing similar issues.

Mr Taylor said: “Following the resounding success of the workshop presentation delivered by the Excelsior Teaching and Learning Team at the SSAT National Conference in December, we were approached to provide the host venue for the upcoming regional Leadership Conference.

‘We were delighted to welcome the SSAT, regional school leaders and their pupils to Excelsior Academy for this exciting event.

“The combination of a leadership conference and inspirational workshops for pupils was really interesting and different.

“Increasingly, Excelsior is being recognised for the quality of our work as a leading edge academy and we are more than happy to share our ideas and excellent facilities with others.

“In December we also hosted the successful multi-academy Laidlaw Schools Trust CPD Day, which was attended by over 300 teachers from different schools across the North East.”

The SSAT event also showcased the premier of the latest film created by Year 9 Excelsior pupils in conjunction with New Writing North and Emily Wiseman. The film, written and performed by students is a creative exploration of the stress and tension associated with examinations, testing and fulfilling expectations.