SSAT (The Schools, Students and Teachers Network) at Mind the Gap Conference


Today’s event was packed. In fact there was a waiting list. So we didn’t know what we were going to get, but we’ve been blown away by the enthusiasm.

We talk now increasingly about employability skills, and I think it’s really important that education and business come together within this particular work.

We’ve got a conference full of school leaders, policy makers, writers, academics. I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to organise this conference.

I am delighted that UBS has been able to support this.

I was one of a small group, including Graham and Carlo from humanutopia. Bill Watkins from SSAT, and friends from Business In The Commmunity. We sat down about a year ago to discuss what we could do to get some common understanding – not just of the language and the definitions, but of the right framework for this whole topic of character education.

That’ll get them an interview, but that’ll get them the job and keep him in the job. So it shouldn’t be a competition.

Today’s been really, really useful for myself. This year, part of my role was to try and raise the awareness, and also as the DFE’s current agenda in character education. Quite a difficult one, because it’s often everything we do, we’re trying to – to make sure the students go away with that feeling and that enhanced character value is quite difficult. Today all the workshops and the guest speakers and the keynote speakers have given me some amazing ideas to take back to the Academy to share with the leadership team.

We’re very convinced that the need for character and resilience in the workplace is very similar to the skills that need to be built in schools. So the closer we can align and support the alignment of business to schools, the better outcome I think for all young people.

We have to help them discover their potential and their true intelligence.

That was a very enjoyable day. Particularly the panel discussion at the start of the day with the 3 different panellists and Dame Julia Cleverdon. Very impressive, very thought provoking. And in particular, the workshops on mind formulas, with the practical activities on what schools are doing and how to bring it into school’s very useful.

It’s been a really successful day so far. It’s a critically important agenda. Not just for output measures in schools, but for the well-being and the happiness and the health of young people across the country.