Friday, 23 September 2011

Education leaders head to Leeds to talk passion, potential and performance

Leaders in education from across the whole country are being challenged to think differently to tackle the changes facing the industry at the UK’s biggest annual education conference which this year, is being held in Leeds.

The North of England Education Conference,
is an annual event which has taken place for over a hundred years and attracts some of the country’s most high profile speakers on education and children’s services. This year’s conference is being hosted by Leeds City Council and partners including Leeds University and Leeds Met University, and will take place at the Royal Armouries museum between 4 and 6 January 2012.

Billed as the education conference, the Leeds North of England Education Conference is an opportunity for those involved in education and children’s services at all levels to come together and create the latest thinking around children and young people. This year’s theme; passion, potential, performance: thinking differently – poses challenging questions about the purpose of education and learning.

The conference will explore how greater passion can be inspired in the system so that more young people, and the people who work with them, make inspired choices, continue learning and aspire to world class performance. The debate will be inspired by powerful and diverse perspectives on the potential of all of us to think differently about what can be achieved and how people learn.

The conference is not just about exploring the issues, but giving delegates the skills and the inspiration to challenge existing practices and return to work equipped to make a difference. The Leeds conference will focus on inspiration: be inspired by the debate; be inspirational in their work; and, inspire children and young people to be passionate, realise their potential and perform to their best ability.

A strong feature of the conference is the involvement of children and young people.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services at Leeds City Council, said:
“We are very proud to be hosting this prestigious event, which is a must in every education professional’s calendar. This is a great opportunity for education and children’s services leaders to share their ideas and opinions; and help to shape the future for children and young people in the UK.

“We have some great speakers coming to the conference already and we’re especially looking forward to welcoming Jude Kelly back to Leeds. Mick Waters will be a great president and we look forward to the challenge, direction and enthusiasm he will bring to the Leeds conference.

“Children and young people will be participating in all aspects of the conference which will help to focus the proceedings on the impact of decisions and actions on the end users – the children and young people in our cities.

“This will be a great opportunity to showcase the city of Leeds and the great work we are doing here for our children and young people. We are very proud of Leeds and look forward to welcoming everyone to our great city.”

The Leeds North of England Education Conference will be a dynamic, interactive, participative experience. As well as listening to the opposing viewpoints of the nationally and internationally recognised keynote speakers, delegates will engage with and form an integral part of the debate that will shape the direction of the conference over the three days, and beyond.

Professor Mick Waters will be presiding over the Leeds conference 2012. With wide experience in the world of education, Mick is perhaps best known as the former director of curriculum at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.
Making her return to Leeds Jude Kelly OBE, artistic director of the London Southbank Centre and former director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse, is one of the conference’s key note speakers. Other speakers already announced are:
Professor Sir Tim Brighouse, the former London Schools Commissioner;
Matthew Syed, broadcaster, journalist, Olympic sportsman and author of Bounce;
Dylan Wiliam, Emeritus Professor of educational assessment, Institute of Education, University of London;
Dr Barry Hymer, freelance educator and former educational psychologist;
Steve Munby, chief executive of the National College of School Leadership;
Professor Stephen Heppell, founder of Ultralab and;
Ian McMillan poet, broadcaster, commentator and programme-maker, and;
Professor Gervase Phinn former teacher and education advisor and schools inspector, and author;
Nick Hudson, director of children’s services at Wigan Council;
John Dunford, chair of Whole Education and the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors; and
Andre Imach government advisor on special educational needs;

More speakers will be announced in the coming months.

Places are still available, and a special discounted rate of £395 is available for the first 250 people to book before 30 September. The normal rate is £495. For more information on the conference and how to book, visit the website, email Suzanne Caine or call 07891 278 035.

Despite the conference name, delegates attend from across the UK and beyond. In recent years the conference has taken place outside of the north of England.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713