I’ve spent the first day at the Seizing Success conference in Birmingham with nearly 2000 school leaders from around the UK. The conference organisers have done a good job of uploading highlights and references from the day’s event on the conference website, and on the conference blog. You can also see what delegates are saying on twitter by searching the tag #conf10
Highlights for me were Andy Hargreaves with his colleagues, Alan Boyle and Alma Harris who provided a very stimulating overview of the characteristics of excellent leaders, based on their recent research into successful leaders in the education, business and sporting fields. They had cleverly summarised their findings into a list of “15 Fs” – all of which will appear in their soon to be published book by the title “Leading Beyond Expectations”.
The other highlight for me was Baroness Susan Greenfield, who provided one of the most informed and challenging addresses I’ve heard for a long time. Drawing on her experience as a neuro-scientist, she posed some serious challenges to educators about the role and impact of technology in learning, particularly the impact of games and gaming on brain development. What I especially appreciated about Susan was that she was focused on scientific evidence, and extrapolating some of the concerns and challenges we must address, but not in an alarmist way, nor in a way that is anti-technology (she’s a self confessed technology user). (BTW – Susan is the person credited for introducing the term ‘yukawow‘ into our lexicon 🙂
I’m now looking forward to tomorrow when we will be hearing from the new Secretary of State for England, Michael Gove – there’s considerable anticipation here about what he may have to say in the wake of the recent change of government and the numerous cuts in education spending that have been announced.