Senior Leaders Trust Conference

In a conference that brought together senior leaders from across Prep Schools Trust, speakers looked at challenges and opportunities facing our sector in the coming decade.

From digital learning to the complex role of school leadership, the conference covered a spectrum of topics. Emma McKendrick, Chair of Trustees gave a keynote speech which set the tone for the conference saying that “.....there is no more important job than the education of young people and if we believe in the same thing, educating children and excellence, we will thrive and have a bright future ahead”.

Jane Bassnet, Director of Digital Learning at Downe House joined the conference to talk about AI and the need to prepare our pupils for their future. Rebecca Morris and Laura Curtis, Assistant Heads at Kitebrook shared their experiences of 'Embracing co-curricular partnerships and the local community.' They shed light on the importance of building strong ties with the community and leveraging co-curricular activities to enrich the educational experience.

Addressing 'The Leadership Journey,' Andy Boyle, Head of Barfield, shared his experience of becoming a Head, how he knew he was ready to step up from Deputy and what he’s learnt about leading a school community since taking up the role. 

George May, Head at Cothill House, echoed Emma McKendrick’s words on the importance of the job of educating pupils in the prep sector and said that he felt “....leading is serving” and “we need to look at where we want our pupils to be in 10 years and beyond”. 

As Bursar at Radley College, Andrew Ashton offered valuable insights into managing educational institutions as enterprises to maximise our estates and gain commercial income which can be invested back into our schools for the benefit of our pupils. 

 The conference concluded with a panel discussion facilitated by Jo Fitzroy-Ezzy, Director of Marketing at Prep Schools Trust. Panellists included Emma McKendrick,  Peta Darnley, Trustee, Christine Cook, Head, Chandlings and Tom Beardmore-Gray, CEO. The panel addressed questions spanning 9 broad themes from staff shortages to EDI to compliance and educational developments.

The conference finished with a dinner which gave our leaders valuable time to network, share ideas and get to know one another.  

The day after the conference, senior leaders came to Trust Office for a series of workshops on the services provided by the Trust team to support our schools. Useful and interactive sessions were delivered on finance (including budgeting and looking at the headwinds of a change of government), IT and HR.