Belmas Annual International Conference 2010
Venue: Wokefield Park, Reading
Date: Friday 9th July 2010 - Sunday 11th July 2010
Autumn Tooms, Associate Professor, Kent State University, Ohio
Is our transatlantic Keynote Speaker whom we hope will play a full part in other aspects of the programme.
Autumn Tooms is currently a professor at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. Before joining the faculty of Kent State, Autumn Tooms was principal at elementary, middle, and senior high schools. She is coauthor with Nancy Padak and Tim Rasinski of The Principal's Essential Guide to Literacy in the Elementary School (Scholastic, 2007).
Bridge Leadership: Foundations, keystones, and caveats of new organizations in education
School leaders function in environments rife with accountability issues, certification requirements, and pressures of management. At the same time, these leaders are pulled by the moral imperative to promote/ protect student equity in terms of curriculum, support, and safety. Unfortunately, a school leader's commitment to honor such issues in everyday work is often throttled because of the omnipresent pressures and constraints of accountability politics. With that said, how can we help future practitioners recognize, prioritize, and operationalize social justice issues in their work when it is not necessarily an acknowledged cultural value? How do we help our future leaders connect and internalize a sense of moral leadership in conjunction with the more immediate, visceral demands found in the everydayness of the profession? How do we rethink the connections that can be fostered between all stakeholders in a school community in order to embrace accountability in terms of resistance to injustice and the complete support of students and their families? And most importantly, how do we wrestle with oppressive structures within society that constrain the definition of what it means to be a "leader"?
Such questions strike at the very heart of school leadership and leadership preparation within the ever changing political climate of the early 21st century. By understanding first that school's role can be as conduit within a community (and thus society) we have opportunities to articulate leadership in new and transformative ways that stretch the bounds of what is thinkable.
Don Ledingham, Executive Director of Education and Children's Services, East Lothian Council
Don has been a teacher, principal teacher, university lecturer, assistant head and depute head teacher. He trained at the Jordanhill College of Education and subsequently at Heriot Watt University. He holds a B.Ed. in Physical Education and Humanities and an M.Phil in Education.
Don lists his professional interests as: learning and teaching; and educational leadership and cultural change. He writes a monthly article for the Times Educational Supplement Scotland and since 2005 has been recording ‘Don Ledingham's Learning Log.'
"New Organisations, New Leadership - Community Ownership of Schools"
Throughout the world educational governance is under intense scrutiny. The common factor is a dissatisfaction with the centralised bureaucracy which characterises so many of our systems and stifles innovation, local control and diversity.
Allied to this exploration of the principles of governance is a recognition that the costs of a centralised bureaucracy must be reduced to reflect the financial reality which is impacting upon public services throughout the world.
In the course of his presentation Don Ledingham will reflect upon changes to school governance on a global scale and use this context as a backdrop for the changes taking place in Scotland.
The evolving model of "Community Ownership of Schools" being developed in Scotland is in direct response to a singular challenge presented by the 2007 OECD Report on the Quality and Equity of Scottish Education. A key finding of that report was that the Scottish system was essentially a "command and control" model with relatively little autonomy or accountability being transferred to schools. This leads in turn to a lack of innovation or diversity between schools. The outcome of this uniformity of provision is that Scottish education is being gradually overtaken by other countries in relation to educational attainment.
Community Ownership of Schools rests upon a governance model whereby a local community takes on responsibility for delivering an agreed set of outcomes for its local primary schools and associated secondary school. A local Board of Governors will oversee the development of the educational process for children aged 3-18. The funding body - currently the Local Authority - will provide significant freedom for the local community to develop local solutions to meeting the agreed outcomes.
Liz Nicholson, Director of Children's Services in Shropshire
Liz Nicholson was the Director of Children and Young People's Services at Shropshire Council for ten years. She took up her new responsibilities in April 2005 having previously been the Corporate Director of Education Services for Shropshire County Council. She moved from Lincolnshire in January 2000, where she had been an Assistant Director. Liz started her professional life as a teacher in Coventry and Solihull.
As part of her role in ensuring high quality services in schools, early years, youth services and social care, Liz championed the development of multi-agency work across Shropshire, engaging with all partners and stakeholders. Shropshire Council's Children and Young People's Services have consistently been rated by Ofsted and the Audit Commission as a high-performing authority.
She chaired the Shropshire Children's Trust and the Shropshire Safeguarding Children Board. Liz also ensured that the voice of the child and young person was central to development of services across Shropshire.
Ten years of organisational and policy change from 2000-2010 : the impact on leadership from the perspective of a Director of local authority services for children and young people
The last ten years have seen significant policy and organisational change for schools and for local authorities providing services for children and young people. The question I want to consider is what impact have these changes had on leadership? I will attempt to address this question from my personal perspective as a leader in a local authority. I will explore how personal values impact on leadership style; consider leadership approaches to managing organisational change and the impact on leadership whilst working within a political environment. In providing a brief historical journey of the changes that have materialised over the last ten years I will also consider how leaders will need to use their experience to effectively manage the significant challenges that will all be faced in the future as a result of reducing public expenditure and the implementation of an even more fragmented educational system.
FULL SPEAKER INFORMATION AND BIOGRAPHIES WILL BE UPDATED REGULARLY.