The Norfolk Headteachers’ Conference

In collaboration with Educate Norfolk

The Norfolk Headteachers' Conference | 12 October 2023

Norwich City Football Club, Carrow Road

A huge thank you to everyone involved. With over 150 Norfolk school leaders attending there was a huge sense of learning and unity in the system. 

"It was a really worthwhile day. The speakers - Sam and Jaz, were absolutely amazing! Insightful and interesting. Our workshops were good too - the IQM and The Difference."

Keynote: The Power of Everyday Heroes with Jaz Ampaw-Farr

You came into Education to make a difference. The problem is that there are a lot of barriers in the way whether it’s retention, inclusion, SEND or funding there is always the challenge to do more with less. What’s important to remember while navigating chaos is that not only have you survived 100% of your toughest days but you also have agency and resources to create and embed real change.

In this keynote Jaz will share her incredible journey and how education and more importantly the individuals in school made it possible for her to go from a broken little girl to Speaker of the year and International resilience expert. Be prepared to laugh, cry and leave on a high with practical tips and strategies that you can apply the very next day.

Jaz Ampaw-Farr

"Jaz takes audiences from laughter to tears and back again in the space of two sentences.” As CEO of Human First Ltd, Jaz helps leaders who want to influence, inspire and motivate their teams with greater engagement in order to grow their businesses and leave a lifelong legacy. Jaz combines lessons learned from a challenging and often brutal childhood with those from her rise to a TV presenter, TEDx Speaker, stand-up comedian and Z-list reality TV star.
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The political environment, and the impact on our schools

Sam will join us to provide an overview of government and Labour party schools policy and what to expect in the run up to the election; as well as the major challenges that whoever wins the election will have to deal with.

Sam Freedman

Sam Freedman is a senior fellow at the Institute for Government and writes regularly on politics and policy for Prospect, New Statesman, TES, FT, Guardian and Sunday Times. Sam and his father, Lawrence Freedman, co-author their popular substack newsletter ‘Comment is Freed’ which has over 25,000 subscribers. Previously he was CEO of Education Partnerships Group, which supports governments in sub-Saharan Africa to develop education policy and was an executive director at Teach First. He worked at the Department for Education as a senior policy adviser to Michael Gove between 2010 and 2013. Sam is also a senior adviser to the education charity Ark; Vice-Chair of Ambition Institute; and a trustee of the Holocaust Educational Trust.

Educate Norfolk is the Headteachers’ Association for Norfolk primary and secondary schools. In a fragmented and often challenging landscape, they provide support, collaborative opportunities and a collective voice for school leaders in Norfolk.

Their purpose is:

VNET Education CIC is a wholly independent, not-for-profit, Community Interest Company dedicated to supporting schools’ self improvement journeys.

VNET Education CIC supports schools, academies and MATs across East Anglia and beyond through a vibrant network. They facilitate CPD, training, consultancy, events, conferences, research and longitudinal projects across our community to support education professionals, for the benefit of children and young people.  Read more…

Conference Schedule:

8:30am – Refreshments and exhibitor fair 
9:00am – Welcome from VNET and Educate Norfolk
9:05am – Welcome from Sara Tough, Executive Director of Children‘s Services
9:15am – iRock School of Music 
9:30am – Workshops
10:20am – Refreshments and exhibitor fair
10:50am – Compass 
11:05am – Sam Freedman: The political environment, and the impact on our schools
12:25pm – Workshops
1:15pm – Lunch and exhibitor fair 
2:05pm – Keynote: The Power of Everyday Heroes with Jaz Ampaw-Farr 
3:45pm – Close

Using an effective and child-centric MIS to help shape individual learning journeys.

Workshop 1:

Using an effective and child-centric MIS to help shape individual learning journeys.

In this session, Dipa Chohan, Lead Business Development Manager at Compass Education UK will explore the effective use of modern MIS technology, and the importance of data in helping to shape individual learning journeys to improve outcomes.

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Becoming more inclusive

Workshop 2: 

Becoming More Inclusive – The Difference

In this session, Mohamed Abdallah, Head of the Inclusive Leadership Course, will explore the fundamental principles for school leaders to challenge their preconceived notions of inclusion and reach beyond their immediate boundaries, in order to foster a more inclusive school community. Drawing upon The Difference Whole-School Inclusion Principles, Mohamed will explore valuable insights on leveraging key inclusion frameworks and cultivating effective relational practices. Through these strategies, school leaders are empowered to design and implement practices and systems that effectively address the unique contextual challenges faced by their school communities.

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Teaching emotional literacy

Workshop 3:

Teaching Emotional Literacy: how to increase pupils’ confidence, engagement and learning

There’s a missing foundation in education, according to teacher and author Richard Evans – one of emotional literacy. Not just our pupils’, but ours too. And it’s this ability to understand ourselves, and those around us, and adapt accordingly, which he believes underpins everything pupils and educators try to achieve at school.

In this session, Richard will show you how emotional literacy can be taught in schools through a process of deep listening, empathy and joint problem-solving. He will share with you his passport – a resource which helps staff work with students to unpick their barriers to engagement and learning – describe the impact it’s had in his and other educators’ practice, and show you how it can be tailored for your own school’s needs.

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Understanding the drivers behind low attendance

Workshop 4:

Understanding the drivers behind low attendance and measuring the impact of attendance support – ImpactEd 

Attendance continues to be a core focus for schools and trusts across the country, this year more than ever. We know that there are numerous ways to monitor attendance and compare with others. ImpactEd are running a national programme to explore these drivers behind low attendance and unpick the nuances around what’s working well and what’s working less well. Through analysing recent research and working with partner schools, we’ve developed pupil-facing measures to help schools understand, identify and assess key drivers for low attendance in their school. These include looking at pupils’ behaviour, school engagement and feeling of safety in school. This session will focus on exploring these drivers. and sharing some of the findings from the programme 

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Whole school inclusion and the benefit for recruitment and retention

Workshop 5:

Led by Kevin O’Neill, Ambassador for the Inclusion Quality Mark Award

How a focus on whole school inclusion can be significant for recruitment and retention

Join Kevin and his colleagues to learn how they have successfully utilised inclusion policies in their schools to positively benefit recruitment and retention within their schools.

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Wellbeing for inclusion

Workshop 6:

Wellbeing for inclusion

Ever wondered what a class wellbeing challenge might do for those who might not feel part of the wider school community? How about what mindful breathing might offer for the most disaffected in their worst moments? Ariane and Josh have undertaken extensive reading and research and worked with young people in Norfolk and beyond for many years and in this workshop will show how a focus on wellbeing for students, and staff can lead to a more inclusive and cohesive school community.  

The workshop will introduce you to our framework for schools aiming to create a culture of belonging and inclusion for staff and students.

Key topics include:

  • Research into longevity, general wellbeing and brain health
  • Aspects that a health and wellbeing literacy curriculum could include
  • Practical tools that you could embed in your daily practice
  • Examples from countries where a health and wellbeing curriculum is already embedded in schools.

Ariane Hoppler
Ariane Hoppler has an MA in Education and Learning Sciences, BA in Religious Studies, BA in Social Work, Pedagogy and Health and an MA in Art History. Ariane is also a Yoga and Mindfulness teacher. She has been a lecturer for Health, Social Pedagogy and Education in Germany and is still a visiting lecturer for German Universities.

Ariane has worked extensively in various fields of youth work including youth mental health projects as well as international youth work and education projects funded through the European Erasmus programme. Currently, Ariane is also supporting the education of children in rural Cambodia through the New Futures Organisation, supporting the training of local teachers.

Joshua Barnbrook

Josh has a BA in Education and Social Science and a BTEC Level 3 in Education and Training. He’s worked in a Primary School as Teaching Assistant for children with additional needs such as learning disabilities and autism. He also delivered Lego therapy and Speech Therapy to children across all age ranges.  He’s volunteered with LGBT+ young people and young people with additional needs.

Josh’s interest in health and wellbeing was sparked during his work with the British Red Cross as a First Aid trainer. He led Wellbeing initiatives for staff and was part of the team implementing the Health Education England Mental Health Project for young people at Centrepoint. He’s a qualified Mental Health First Aider and has collaboratively designed and delivered Healthier Lifestyles training to staff at Norfolk County Council.

He’s also been delivering Equality and Diversity training for almost 20 years at a range of organisations in the private sector e.g. BP, PwC, JP Morgan Chase; the voluntary sector e.g. Centrepoint and public sector e.g. Norfolk County Council. Most recently he was the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion lead for Learning and Development at Norfolk County Council.

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With thanks to our sponsors:
iRock School of Music Compass

Compass Education UK

About Compass Education UK

Compass is a fully featured, cloud based MIS supporting over 2,000 schools every day, helping to make the school day more productive, more impactful and more enjoyable. With over 40 available modules, Compass easily handles all areas of school administration from student and staff management, reporting, statutory returns, parental engagement, to timetabling and much more! Allowing you to create the right combination of tools to unlock productivity for administrators, and make life easier for teachers and parents.

Schools that use Compass tell us that they spend less time on administration, drive better parental engagement and spend more time delivering inspiring learning experiences. We’d love to help you do the same!

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iRock School of Music

About iRock School of Music

iRock School of Music is a peripatetic music service for primary schools, specialising in teaching children how to play in rock and pop bands! 

At iRock School of Music, they focus on developing the whole child, providing an engaging learning experience where children can express themselves in a safe and positive way. By offering accessible music education that breaks down many traditional barriers some lessons can have, children can flourish academically, gain confidence, foster positive friendships, and develop invaluable life skills.

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The Norfolk Headteachers' Conference – Exhibitors:


This approach provides clear models for learning, based upon a secure evidence base. In 24/25 join the Norfolk WalkThrus cohort to provide a network to integrate this pedagogical approach to improving teaching and learning across our schools. CPD, networks and instructional coaching all included in membership!