SCHOOL leaders across the region are being invited to a Darlington conference which will showcase the talents of individuals who have helped make schools top performers.

The ‘Inclusively Outstanding’ conference organised by North-East company SENtral Consultants Ltd, on Thursday October 23 is bringing to the region some of the country’s outstanding school leaders.

Four speakers – including a North-East head - will address the issue of how schools can achieve the very best outcomes for all their pupils, regardless of class, race, culture or innate ability.

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Last year, Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector said, “If they attend a school that focuses relentlessly on the quality of teaching, forges strong links with families, intervenes where necessary and reinforces high expectations, (children) can get really impressive results” and it is this agenda which provides the focus for the day.

The conference will be held at the Hall Garth Hotel and Country Club, Coatham Mundeville, near Darlington and head teachers or school leaders from across the region are welcome.

The speakers include Dr. Rona Tutt, a hugely experienced school leader and past president of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT).

She has taught pupils of all ages in state and independent, day and residential, mainstream and special schools.

Former Manchester Academy “superhead” Kathy August, who was made a dame for her services to education, is another speaker.

She turned around the failing Ducie High School in Moss Side and steered it to “outstanding”. The inspectors reported: “ As a result of the principal's outstanding leadership and her leaders' very high expectations, the academy brings about an exceptional improvement in the outcomes for students,”

Speaker Brian Lamb has played a leading role in establishing the agenda for the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities reforms, which come into effect in September 2014. He led the Lamb Inquiry into SEN and wrote an influential report in 2009, identifying many key themes and helping to establish the need for schools to adopt high expectations for all their pupils.

Chris Wain is one of the North-East’s own educational stars. As head teacher of Pallister Park Primary School, in Middlesbrough, Chris has seen the school achieve and maintain “outstanding” status, as well as becoming a national teaching school and a school where (Ofsted report) “pupils have excellent educational experiences which enrich their lives”. The inspectors add: “The very capable and uncompromising leadership of the headteacher is key to the school’s continued success. She provides the school with extremely strong and highly effective leadership. Her high expectations are shared by all staff, ensuring a strong sense of teamwork”

All four speakers have achieved the Government’s aspiration, of “making opportunity more equal”.

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