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SLASH conference: growing our leadership talent

Growing our talented leaders is a key priority for ODST as we look to support staff throughout their careers, and provide opportunities to develop skills and take on new leadership positions.

A new development opportunity for those that are 'second in charge' in their schools kicked off on 22 March - the inaugral ODST SLASH conference. SLASH stands for 'Senior Leaders Alongside and Supporting Headteachers', -those who might be a deputy, assistant head or have had some experience 'stepping up' into these roles or a head role.

Bob Pattenden, ODST school improvement adviser who devised the conference, said:

'The conference was very well received by all who attended. Over half of ODST schools were represented and five SLASHers led the way presenting to the group. 

Rebecca Patchett (AHT at The Blake) shared her experiences of shared leadership in her school and Kate Hawkins (DH New Town) discussed her period acting up as headteacher. This was followed by Sam Coleman (AHT Blewbury), Iain Curtis (AHT St Peter’s Alvescot) and Anthony Putman (AHT Holyport) leading a session on the tension for many SLASHers of balancing time and energy between teaching and leadership commitments. The morning ended with the HR team presenting on the challenge of ‘Difficult Conversations’.

Time during the day to meet colleagues and network was appreciated, we all know how helpful it is to realise there are others with similar problems and worries, sometimes even solutions! Feedback during the afternoon suggests there will be further SLASH events, providing opportunities for helpful and practical training and support. Watch this space!'