Conference Season

I am recently back from the annual HMC conference, this year in Belfast, and then the following day went straight into the Rank Foundation Conference here in Blackpool. Not quite as much drama as the average Conservative party conference, but still very worthwhile attending. The after-dinner speaker, Josh Littlejohn, was inspirational. Josh is a social entrepreneur who has established a small chain of sandwich and coffee shops in Scotland, Social Bite, which gives away over 100,000 items of food and drink free of charge to homeless people each year. Over dinner, I had a fabulous conversation with Melodie Crumlin, the CEO of PEEK, a children and young people’s charity in Glasgow which is deploying all kinds of creative ideas to give opportunities for children to play, create and thrive.

The HMC annual conference was a very different affair. The HMC is the amassed body of Heads, Headmasters and Headmistresses from the major independent schools across the UK and some overseas, so quite a formidable gathering! Nevertheless, with the conference this year organised by Old Rossallian, Keith Budge, now the highly respected Head of Bedales School, it was also very enriching and fun. Keith had taken as his theme ‘Celebrating the Difference’ so we had some excellent speakers and workshops to attend around this theme.

With two back-to-back conferences, I find myself in information overload, but buzzing with inspiration and little ideas that I can discuss in Rossall. It is good to be back in school.


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