This December, the MyTutor team joined hundreds of school leaders at the SSAT National Conference in Birmingham. After two great days of inspiring keynotes, here’s what we took away from the show. Did you attend the SSAT National Conference? We’d love to hear more about which speakers inspired you the most. Get in touch on Twitter @MyTutor.
The theme of the conference was “Pure Imagination”, and the speakers definitely stepped up to the challenge of thinking creatively and offered up sessions packed with innovative ideas to change up learning for the better. Charlotte Church, singer turned educational campaigner, delivered a passionate speech about setting up a brand new student-centred school – quite the ambition! She challenged some of the traditional ideas of what it means to be a school, asking questions such as, “Do we need a classroom to deliver learning?” Her creative ideas definitely sparked up debate, and gave teachers plenty to talk about over lunch.
The panel on teacher workload raised some important issues shared by many school leaders, such as the problem of out-of-hours working, and the expectations of marking and feedback. One Deputy Headteacher, David Lowebridge-Ellis from Barr Beacon, spoke of a huge improvement in his school due to a reduction in marking, but stressed the need to address the culture of overworking more generally. Ani Magill, Chief Executive at Xavier Catholic Education Trust, encouraged schools to think more carefully about their individual budgets to ensure every single penny is spent as efficiently as possible.
David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham (and Spurs enthusiast), took part in a heated Q&A on learning inequality. He emphasised the need to take steps towards tackling the issue head-on. Coming from a working class area in North London, he spoke of how he was able to succeed despite coming from a less privileged background – with the help of fantastic, caring teachers. He spoke compassionately about the challenges faced by schools with disadvantaged cohorts, and emphasised the importance of teaching resilience, and providing students with real-life skills that will equip them for the world post-education.
At MyTutor, we believe learning can happen anywhere – at this very moment we have students being taught all across the globe by the very best tutors in the country currently studying at top universities (only 1 in 7 applicants succeed to be a tutor). We know that teachers are incredibly busy, that’s why we make sure our schools tutoring programmes are simple, easy to set up, and deliver impact. And when it comes to learning for everyone – we support disadvantaged students in over 270 schools and have found that having 12 weeks of tuition helps students to achieve 2x the progress!
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