Headteachers' Roundtable Strand

  • Curated by the Headteachers' Roundtable
  • Five invaluable sessions on day two
  • Topics include teacher retention to creating evidence rich schools
  • Over 10 leading speakers and contributors

This year the Festival is delighted to host a strand curated by the influential Headteachers’ Roundtable. The Headteachers’ Roundtable originated from a roundtable meeting on 12 October 2012 at The Guardian newspaper offices. It grew out of frustration regarding current government educational policy and the Opposition response to it. Its origins and subsequent growth are down to the power of Twitter as a tool for connecting people to try and bring about change where they feel it is needed. Taking place on day two of the Festival the strand aims to cover several key challenges for schools leaders from teacher retention to life after an Ofsted inspection, and exploring if headship is the best job in the world.

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HTRT Strand sessions

Session 1 – Creating an Evidence Enriched School

Stephen Tierney

The evidence enriched school has: the right priorities; implements them superbly well without getting side tracked by the incidental or urgent and systematically enables and empowers staff to be co-construct the culture.  Using examples from his work, as part of the leadership team at the EEF Research School at St. Mary’s Catholic Academy, Stephen will give a series of suggestions and steps all schools and teachers can implement in their own context.


Session 2 – Life Post-Ofsted; Being Good Rather than Looking Good

Ros McMullen

Our schools have allowed themselves to become obsessed with audit and justification, working to agenda set by external accountability.  The consequences of this have been extremely harmful and we see the impact on teacher recruitment and retention. In this session @headsroundtable explore how we can change the emphasis from looking good to being good.


Session 3 – Teachers: Getting Them In; Keeping Them In

Professor Sam Twistelton & Sam Sims

The Teacher Gap is growing; the impact on the quality of education offered will be substantial unless we can turn back the tide of teachers leaving the profession.  Getting to the root of the difficulties that too many teachers are facing; there is a need for radical change.  A regional response to trying to solve the ever developing teacher recruitment and retention problem by joining up ITE and early career support and development is urgently required. It involves all accredited ITE providers and their partners working together to pool resources and expertise.


Session 4 – Headship: The Best or Worst Job in the World?

Chair: Laura McInerney

Panel: Vic Goddard, Keziah Featherstone, Binks Neate-Evans, Nav Sanghara

Demographics are against us and in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country the pernicious accountability culture isn’t helping either.  Add in the worse funding crisis for a generation and the cracks are beginning to appear in the supply of school leaders.  When all hope has nearly been lost, step forward Vic, Keziah, Binks & Nav to explore and debate why headship may still be the “best job in the World”.


Session 5 – What Should We Do to Re-establish Teaching as the First Choice Profession?

Chris McShane & Caroline Barlow

Teaching mustn’t just be one choice that graduates and undergraduates consider; it needs to be their first and foremost choice.  Anything less will leave schools with insufficient high quality teachers; our children and young people will pay a heavy price.  Rooted in their experience as school leaders; a series of practical and sensible to make teaching the “profession of professions” will be discussed and explored.