The following timetable offers details about every session that will take place during the Governors for Schools Conference 2023, including timings, panel topics, and speaker credentials.

Tuesday, 26th September

08:00 – 09:00

The case for inclusion

Our inaugural conference session will discuss the importance of inclusion in education and governance. What is inclusion? Why does it matter within governance? And how can you ensure your school maintains inclusive strategies? Join us to find out.

 

09:15 – 10:15

Good governance in 2023 

Our ‘Good governance’ session is designed to provide governors in England and Wales with examples of best governance practices, as well as offer handy tips for making a positive impact in your school. Join us for up-to-date insights and the chance to get your governance questions answered. 

10:15 – 10:30

AM Coffee Break (Morning Networking)

Network with other attendees, sharing your governance experiences and what you’re enjoying about the conference. Please note that there is limited capacity for all networking sessions.

10:30 – 11:30

Teacher retention in schools

Join Education Support CEO Sinead Mc Brearty for an overview of the findings of the recent commission on teacher retention. Worrying findings paint a bleak picture for schools, but what can governors do? Join us for a solution-focused discussion, ideal for governors who want to ensure their school gets it right when it comes to teacher retention.

11:45 – 12:45

STEM skills – Where now?

This session is a roundtable discussion focusing on STEM subjects, including possible career pathways and the opportunities and risks young people face. The webinar is ideal for governors interested in raising attainment, boosting aspirations, and wholeschool approaches to inclusivity within STEM. 

12:45 - 13:30

Networking Lunch

Network with other attendees, sharing your governance experiences and what you’re enjoying about the conference. Please note that there is limited capacity for all networking sessions.

13:45 – 14:30

EHCPs and ILPs – What are they and why do they matter to governors? 

Inclusion is about incorporating all learners’ needs into educational provision. Education, health, and care plans (EHCPs) and individual learning plans (ILPs) are vital tools for achieving this aim. But what are they? Why do they matter? And what should governors know about them? This session is ideal for governors who want to learn more about EHCPs and ILPs and a must-watch for SEND link governors. Suitable for all governors/trustees.

14:45 - 15:15

PM Coffee Break (Afternoon Networking)

Network with other attendees, sharing your governance experiences and what you’re enjoying about the conference. Please note that there is limited capacity for all networking sessions.

16:00 – 16:45

Alternative Provision and PRUs – What are they and why do they matter to governors?

Alternative provision (AP) settings and pupil referral units (PRUs) are vital educational resources for some learners. Does your school access an AP provider? Do you know what to ask your board when it comes to accessing AP for learners? What is a PRU and what does it offer learners? This session is ideal for governors looking for an introduction to these two pathways. Suitable for governors/trustees in England and Wales. 

17:00 – 17:45

Why your company needs a school governors’ network

Why should school governance matter to your company? This session will explore how your organisation could benefit from a partnership with Governors for Schools, including the CPD opportunities your staff will access. Join us to find out more about how we can support your organisation. Ideal for corporate social responsibility practitioners. 

18:00 – 19:00

Becoming a governor with Governors for Schools 

An outreach workshop for prospective governors. This session will demonstrate the range of support on offer with Governors for Schools and introduce you to the community of which you’ll become a part if you volunteer. 

Wednesday, 27th September

08:00 – 09:00

School readiness A guide for governors

With research suggesting more and more children are not schoolready, what should your board be doing to support school leaders and prepare young pupils for their education journey? The session will explore why school readiness matters and its impact on later school engagement and performanceIdeal for all governors and trustees in England and Wales.

09:15 – 10:15

Parent and pupil voice

Is parent and pupil voice key to school improvement? Is your school effective in this area? Join us for a roundtable discussion from experts in the field to reflect upon your own schools practice when it comes to engaging with stakeholders. Ideal for all governors/trustees in England and Wales. 

10:15 - 10:30

AM Coffee Break (Morning Networking)

Network with other attendees, sharing your governance experiences and what you’re enjoying about the conference. Please note that there is limited capacity for all networking sessions.

10:30 – 11:15

Effective challenge – A fireside chat

What does effective challenge look like in practice? How can you evidence its efficacy? Join us for a discussion about how you can effectively challenge senior leaders, record evidence of such interactions (for the purposes of Ofsted or Estyn inspections, for example), and do so in a professional way. Ideal for all governors/trustees – especially those who are not confident in challenging senior leadership teams. 

11:45 – 12:45

Taking the chair 

Taking the chair can be a daunting step. What can you do if you’re new to chairing or are thinking of becoming a chair? What challenges do you face? How can you overcome these challenges and what does best practice look like? How can you lead an inclusive board and include all voices? This discussion-based session will cover key chair duties and responsibilities, with peer discussion and networking opportunities to build support contacts. Ideal for new or aspiring chairs, or those looking to embed a holistic support programme in their succession planning strategy.

12:45 - 13:30

Networking Lunch

Network with other attendees, sharing your governance experiences and what you’re enjoying about the conference. Please note that there is limited capacity for all networking sessions.

13:15 – 14:15

Peer support: Setting a budget during times of difficulty

This session provides practical tips for effective budget management, with suggestions for grants, sources of income, and creative tips for making budgets go further. The webinar will include interactive elements, sharing ideas and session polls. The key takeaway will be an action plan/budget audit document. Ideal for governors who want to learn from peers, consider and reflect upon their own budget practices, and consider new ways of thinking. 

 

14:30 - 14:45

PM Coffee Break (Afternoon Networking)

Network with other attendees, sharing your governance experiences and what you’re enjoying about the conference. Please note that there is limited capacity for all networking sessions.

16:00 – 16:45

The case for reading for pleasure in Primary School

Reading for pleasure has been squeezed out of some schools. However, new research from Farshore questions whether schools can really afford to ignore the power of storytime. Ideal for primary governors interested in the potential impact reading for pleasure can have on whole school attainment. 

17:00 – 17:45

Wales – Setting a vision and ethos that promotes Welsh culture 

How can your governance foster a positive and inclusive ethos that promotes Welsh culture? What does success look like in this area? Join us to find out more! This session is suitable for governors in Wales who want to learn more about creating an inclusive vision and promoting Welsh culture and identity in schools. 

17:00 – 17:45

What the sector needs to ensure boards are fit for purpose

In this session we will consider what the education sector needs to ensure that their governing boards are fit for purpose and able to support school challenges and improvement for the future. We’ll share thoughts on what makes an effective governing board and welcome thoughts from the audience to establish the future direction needed.
18:00 – 19:00

Board diversity 

Roundtable discussion exploring what is next for diversity in the sector. What are the challenges? How can we tackle such challenges and how can governors adapt their practices to promote diversity? Ideal for governors/trustees in both England and Wales. 

Conference Programme

Stay up-to-date with our complimentary guide, featuring timetables, speaker information, and on-the-day tips and guidance.