May 2018
The 2nd Regional School Improvement & Learning Innovation Show - Better late than never proved to be Bigger and Better!

Due to the ‘Beast from the East’ we unfortunately had to move this huge event from the original date of 1st March 2018 to a couple of months later.  The show finally took place on 2nd May 2018.  Although it didn’t feel great at the time this extra time proved to serve us well.  With changes to be made the day went ahead two months later and once again proved to be a great success.  With the additional time we were able to secure more businesses to exhibit at the show.  We also had time to collate extra merchandise for the delegates goody bags!


Informative and interactive seminars ran throughout the day with the opportunity to network with colleagues, and to also engage with local businesses exploring what was on offer and how they could work with schools.  A variety of raffles, tombola’s and other games were provided by businesses with the temptation of afternoon teas and iTunes vouchers. 


We were delighted to have exceptional, motivating Key Note Speakers who were honest and open reflecting on their own experiences.  Beryce Nixon, our Director of School System and Resource Development opened the day with the ‘Aims of the show’ and explained that it’s not a one size fits all approach.  At Partners in Learning we want to assist our schools and colleagues in making a difference, making improvements and also incorporating change. “Hopefully today will challenge thinking!”


Damian Allen, Director of People and ‘Champion for Children’ presented on ‘The Local Landscape’.  Damian explained how he is struck by the level of ambition within Doncaster and that the act of the teacher is to extract the magic from within.  Teachers have to break down barriers and challenges to build character.  There are a lot of barriers that some people may not have been aware of.  With insightful knowledge Damian opened our eyes to how the local authority has a place shaping the role of children and disclosed some concerning statistics – There are 700 identified young carers in Doncaster, the youngest is 4 years old.  They believe there could be around 2000 young carers that have not been identified.  This worrying statistic shows us what children are having to live with away from the school environment and really makes us think.  Damian closed his presentation with the poignant message of “The children and young people’s plan won’t settle, ambition is to be made into a reality for all children”.


The second Key Note Speaker was Rob Carpenter, CEO Inspire Learning Partnership, who followed on with ‘The National Perspective on Education’.  Rob was extremely engaging and gave some great statements:


  • “Change happens over time”
  • “It’s got to be about bottom up not top down leadership - it’s about behaviours, relationships and making it safe to fail”
  • “Revolutions start in the classroom, not sanctuary buildings”

Rob’s presentation generated a high number of tweets and elevated interest on the day.


Mary Myatt, Education Advisor and Author of Hopeful Schools closed the mornings Key Note presentations with a perceptive talk on ‘Progress Beyond the Numbers’.  Mary said that we have to “run schools for our children, not for inspection” and that “every data conversation should be a curriculum conversation”.  There are masses and masses of spreadsheets and data but we need to see the impact of assessment.  Mary spoke with refreshing honesty and helped us to look at this aspect from all angles.


Our final Key Note speaker (at the end of the day) was definitely worth the wait. CEO of The Chartered College of Teaching, Dame Alison Peacock’s presentation was focused on ‘The Teaching Profession’.  Dame Alison spoke with infectious enthusiasm about, in her words, “The Best Job in the World”.  With heart-warming reflections on her own experiences and the benefits of using creativity. Dame Alison ended the conference on a high.  


You can view updates and photographs from the day on Twitter by searching #PiLShow18 (@DoncasterTSA).  We would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who came along and supported our show.