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Leadership Conference

Leadership Conference

Thurrock Trailblazer invites local education professionals to High House Production Park each year to attend a Head Teachers and Governors Leadership Conference to explore the cultural learning offer in Thurrock and nationally.

Our Leadership Conference for 2017/18 will take place on Wednesday 8 November (8.00- 11.30). To find out more and to reserve your space, please email

Please see below for last year’s conference round up:

Leadership Conference 2016/17: Creativity and the Arts- supporting your school’s journey to outstanding

Head Teachers, Senior Leadership staff, School Governors and Royal Opera House Cultural Partners explored the benefits of an arts-embedded curriculum, with a keynote speech from Professor Mick Waters, inspiring Thurrock Trailblazer case studies and an introduction to the new National College for the Creative and Cultural Industries by principal Jane Button.

Professor Waters, from the University of Wolverhampton’s Centre for Developmental and Applied Research in Education and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Teachers, challenged delegates to think differently about the essentials of education. He urged educators and artists to encourage learners to go beyond their own scope and to ensure that school contributes to a joyous childhood for all young people, while emphasizing the role that culture can play in supporting these ideas.

He said, ‘It was professionally heartening to be part of the Thurrock Leadership Conference. The workshops led by schools and cultural partners showed just what can be achieved through the Trailblazer model. It was good to see school leaders recognizing the value of the resource on their doorstep and accepting the invitation to cross the threshold, to the benefit of pupils in their schools.’

Teachers and artists working in four Royal Opera House Thurrock Trailblazer schools presented case studies offering insights into different approaches to engaging young people in cultural learning, and showing how to involve the whole school in creativity.

Jillian Barker, Director of Learning and Participation at the Royal Opera House, said, ‘Thurrock Trailblazer is an exciting and unique programme and it was wonderful to see a room full of head teachers, senior leaders, governors and arts professionals coming together to enjoy such a thoughtful and inspiring morning. Mick Waters’s provocative presentation reminded us all of the importance of arts and culture in children’s lives, while the examples presented by Thurrock schools demonstrated the breadth and depth of programmes delivered by schools in Thurrock.’

Roger Edwardson, Head of School Improvement for Thurrock Council, said: ‘It was an excellent conference and I particularly enjoyed the key note speech from Professor Mick Waters, whom I have known for many years. It was good to see so many of our Thurrock head teachers and their cultural champions attending. This is a unique relationship with the Royal Opera House and is highly valued by the council and our schools.’