The Governor Conference in March 2021, postponed from November 2020 and delivered digitally for the first time, focused on ‘Education - Bridging the Gap’ and we were pleased to record 426 governors booking on to allow access to the webinars, and welcome 279 governors to the “live” remote event.

    Delegates had access to a range of webinars (11 in total) for a period of 6 weeks.

    At the live event on Saturday 20th March 2021, delegates were able to listen live to:

    • Dr Kathy Weston (Chief Executive Officer – Tooled Up Education) on the governors’ role in closing the gap in education2 keynote speakers
    • Kieran Murphy (Director – Phase) on mental health within schools and the importance of promoting wellbeing and resilience with young people

    Feedback to the ‘most useful aspects of the conference’ included:

    • the importance of addressing mental health wellbeing issues before trying to push learning, especially with the vulnerable. (Fay Clark – Spellbrook Primary)
    • the emphasis on exploiting the positive outcomes of the pandemic for the school, families and children and fostering the culture of resilience. (Elke Batters – All Saints CoE Primary)
    • sharing Kathy Weston presentation; agreeing a Mental Health & Wellbeing governor and a Recruitment, Induction and Mentoring governor (Jenny Jenkins – Castle CE Federation)
    • current thinking, reference to sources of help, literature etc and a feeling of involvement - being a governor can feel quite lonely and it is good to connect with others governors and think about our role and how we can do better. (Anne Garland – Ridgeway Academy)
    • information from Andrew about schools involvement in reducing carbon emissions and working towards becoming an anti-racist organisation. Kathy's on anxiety and mental health and the importance of positive communication with parents. How to be a mentally healthy school. Kieran's presentation about the importance of students feeling connected in school and asking everyone about their wellbeing explicitly. The resources and links I will share also (Kirsti Byrne – St Michael’s Catholic High School)
    • this conference was very relevant for this moment in time, but it has highlighted some very important issues. (Jacqueline Webby – Dacorum ESC)

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