This year, BSME launched its inaugural Leadership Conference, and what a fantastic learning and networking opportunity it turned out to be! BSME hosted 50 senior leaders at Rashid School for Boys on the 23 - 24 November 2016. We heard from brilliant speakers considered leaders in their fields as well as Principals in the region who have outstanding track records as leaders in international contexts. Post-Conference Surveys indicated that you would like this to be an annual conference – we would agree! We left feeling inspired and ready for new challenges (and possibly a few kilogrammes heavier thanks to the excellent catering provided by Glyn’s team at Rashid!)

The Conference was opened by Sugata Mitra, Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University in the UK. Sugata, in his trademark engaging, story-telling way, captured our attention as he introduced us to new technological approaches to teaching and learning. From the Hole in the Wall approach to learning to Building a School in the Cloud, which includes Self Organised Learning Environments or SOLEs and, finally, we witnessed the impact his Granny Cloud Project is having on children in underprivileged communities. We were particularly interested in the use of SOLEs in UK schools. This approach promotes learning at the edge of chaos - a community, place and experience to discover and explore children’s learning, from infant through to post-16 age groups, as a self-organising system. 

Gamestorming then moved us to consider a visual approach to meetings, an approach we agreed was seldom used, whilst Leonie Tovell supported us in identifying our personal “brand” as senior leaders!

We were privileged to witness the leadership journeys of three exceptional Principals: Mark Leppard MBE, Ed Goodwin OBE and Sarah White. Whilst it was clear that each of their journeys to successful school leadership had been quite unique, some overarching truths emerged, nuggets of wisdom for all aspiring and current schools leaders to heed. 

These included:
People matter. Treat your staff like the parents or children or siblings they are. 

Students matter most. When staff are no longer serving students’ best interests, change is necessary.

You don’t do this job for the Christmas cards. Leadership can be lonely and alienating, but the outcomes are incredibly rewarding, both personally and professionally. 

Change. Constantly. Until it works. 

Model success. Find it and use what works best in your context. Failing that, see number 4!

On Day 2, Roy Blatchford CBE, demonstrated how the content one reads shapes how one leads! We had th opportunity to delve into some of the reading material he recommended as well as share our own gems, not only for leadership, but anything which inspired us to a broader world view. 

Mark Evans MBE, a teacher by trade but an adventurer by heart, took us on a journey through the “empty quarter”, demonstrating how meticulous planning, overcoming fears, and finding motivation even at the most seemingly hopeless and frustrating of moments, are amongst the ingredients that have repeatedly led him to success. The perfect way to end a leadership conference!

Google Summit of Learning 2017
Early bird discount for the Bahrain Google Learning Summit. Get future ready!

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BSME is forging closer links with the Department for International Trade. 

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Annual Leadership Conference 2016
If you missed it, enjoy a review of this outstanding BSME Conference!

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