Norfolk School Leaders’ Conference 2024

In collaboration with Educate Norfolk

Norfolk School Leaders Conference | 17 October 2024

Brought to you by Educate Norfolk and VNET Education CIC


The opening keynote: Punk Leadership – Keziah Featherstone FCCT

School leadership is becoming awfully compliant; flat pack headteachers and homogenised leadership teams. When did all this conformity ever bring about any lasting change? Drawing parallels between the fiercely independent punk spirit and the demands of modern school leadership, Keziah offers a fresh perspective on how to navigate the complexities of the education system while staying true to your values and vision and making it fit for your school and context.

Keziah Featherstone FCCT

Keziah is currently Executive Headteacher across The Mercian Trust. Her schools – secondary and AP – serve diverse, multi-cultural communities, many of whom experience socio-economic disadvantage. Keziah is co-founder and a strategic lead of WomenEd, as well as being a member of the Headteachers’ Roundtable. As well as writing articles for Tes and Schools Week, Keziah has co-edited the WomenEd books 10% Braver and Being 10% Braver. Her first solo book Punk Leadership, was published by Corwin in September 2024. She lives in Birmingham with a husband, daughter and various cats and pugs.

The closing keynote: Keeping them on the bus – Vic Goddard

How do we create, maintain and develop a positive culture in our schools in a world that is undoubtedly more angry? As school leaders we have been one of the few professionals that the parents/carers of our students have had access to. This has led to us being involved in more and more things that are not directly about learning in the classroom. In his keynote Vic will share how Passmores has dealt with these additional pressures and how against the tide, the wider community has come along with them, resulting in Passmores being by far the most oversubscribed school in town.

Vic Goddard

Trust CEO
Vic is the CEO of a Trust of 4 local schools across primary and secondary with specialist provision but is desperately trying to not lose the connection he has with his community. Vic feels privileged to be a headteacher and is humbled every day that parents/carers are willing to trust him to educate their children. Vic has a passion for inclusion and has been very vociferous in calling out practices that go against this. ‘Family comes in many forms’ is a phrase you often hear Vic use when explaining what makes his schools special places, although not always the easiest to work in.


Workshop 1: Inclusive Attendance – Wayne Harris 

During the workshop, Wayne Harris (CEO and Founder of Inclusive Attendance) will explore the August 2024 DfE statutory Working Together to Improve School Attendance paper. This session goes beyond mere compliance, offering insights into surpassing expectations with the unique Inclusive Attendance accredited programme, the first of its kind in the UK. Participants will engage in a comprehensive review of their current practices using the online self-assessment tool and explore an attendance strategy which fosters a culture of collective responsibility. Additionally, Wayne will provide a brief introduction to Inclusive Governors, the sole accredited CPD Attendance programme designed for Governors and Trustees.

Workshop 2: Resilient Leadership – James Heale

In this practical workshop, James will explore how we can make this bonkers job of school leadership doable and more importantly, enjoyable over the long term. Using his insights from over ten thousand hours of coaching James will share some of the common challenges faced by leaders across the country and offer some takeaways to help you thrive. Context is key and not everything works for everybody but we are confident that this session will provide tangible ideas and tools for you, and those you line manage, to put into practice immediately.

Workshop 3: Recruiting and retaining women in leadership – Keziah Featherstone FCCT pm

Teaching is experiencing a recruitment and retention crisis and we know that the largest demographic we are haemorrhaging from the profession is women in their thirties. We need these valuable colleagues to move into and stay in critical leadership roles, whether they are job shares, part-time or flexi-working in other ways. This workshop examines how inclusive and creative practices can improve recruitment and retention of women.

Workshop 4: Who are they? What are we doing?

There is no doubting that our children have found living through a global pandemic to be life changing. Attendance, relationships with families and outcomes have taken a hit for many of us. So what are the challenges we are facing with our current young people and those that are coming? What is unique about the offspring of two millennials? A chance to reflect and start to plan.

Conference Schedule:

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:

  • To identify and address the most poignant issues impacting on Norfolk’s leaders and their schools
  • To improve the wellbeing of Norfolk leaders
  • To encourage and support system generosity for the improvement of all Norfolk schools
  • To act as Norfolk’s voice in the wider education landscape
  • To work with and be a conduit of information to and from local and national organisations including the DfE, local MPs and the LA, furthering Norfolk causes on a national stage
  • Facilitate and support effective induction for Headteachers.
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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…

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With thanks to our sponsors:

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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EDClass Ltd

About EDClass Ltd

EDClass is an online platform that offers a virtual learning classroom and management portal with resources to impact learning, assessment and catch-up.

The platform provides a robust and safeguarded platform delivering personalised learning for remote, blended and flexible learning with UK-qualified teachers available, live and on- demand.

Schools can drastically reduce their workload and time spent searching for solutions for their students who require support as EDClass can help in a quick and efficient manner!

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Norfolk School Leaders' Conference – Exhibitors: