As we head towards 2024, there is a palpable sense of change in the air for our sector.
After a long period of (relative) stability and a benign interest rate environment, a combination of economic, societal and political pressures is driving schools towards re-thinking their strategies.
Many are re-considering firmly held assumptions and looking at possible economies of scale. This means not only are individual schools reshaping themselves, but also new patterns and groupings are emerging, with more schools coming together in groups or foundations and others looking for different kinds of wider associations.
“Many schools are re-considering firmly held assumptions.”
In turn, this is raising some questions about the future shape of governance and executive leadership in our schools, and the working relationship between the two. “Nimble, agile and strategic” are three key words we hear repeated time and again as the vital elements of school leadership for the future.
With that in mind, the theme of the 2024 AGBIS Annual Conference, held at the QEII Centre in Westminster on 18th March, will be “New Constellations”.
After introductions and welcome from the chair of AGBIS, Mark Taylor, and myself, delegates will hear from a stellar line-up of keynote speakers, including Sir Anthony Seldon (head of Epsom College, former vice chancellor of Buckingham University and a prolific political historian), Priya Lakhani (founder and CEO of Century Tech, who will be focusing on AI in education), the Rt Hon Lord Knight of Weymouth (Lord Jim Knight, former Labour education minister and current chair of COBIS) and Vanessa Ward (chief executive and chief inspector of the ISI).
“The forces of change are gathering momentum in the sector.”
An expert panel will also be on hand to address the issues of the day, including Julie Robinson (CEO, ISC) Barney Northover (partner at VWV and AGBIS board member) Sue Woodroofe (chair of HMC and head of The Grammar School at Leeds) and Russell Speirs, (founder and chair of RSAcademics Ltd).
In addition, a range of stimulating breakout sessions will allow plenty of space for discussion and debate with other delegates throughout the day on issues of common interest. Regular breaks will afford the opportunity for refreshments and networking with others, whilst visiting exhibitors’ stands.
The event will conclude with an early evening drinks reception, hosted by AGBIS and supported by headline conference sponsor Class Technology, at which the AGBIS Annual Awards for 2024 will be presented. The three award categories will be: School of the Year, Clerk of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award (for an individual who has contributed significantly to the sector as a whole over their career).
It is not too late to submit nominations for this year’s Awards – for details of how to do so, please click here.
All in all, with a general election in the offing this year and the forces of change gathering momentum in the sector, this is an unmissable event. To register as a delegate, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the website.
The whole AGBIS team and I look forward to seeing you there and to sharing thoughts on the future shape of our sector.
This article first appeared in the latest edition of School Management Plus Magazine, out now.