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School leaders find their inner 'chimp' at ODST conference

ODST heads at Leadership Conference

We were delighted to be able to bring many ODST headteachers together for a face to face conference on 26 November, with a keynote speaker from Chimp Management.

A positive and vibrant atmosphere reflected that the conference was the first time ODST headteachers have met as a group since February 2020. 

ODST Chair Kathy Winrow and CEO Anne Dellar opened the event, with a thank you to heads for their work through the pandemic, acknowledging the challenges overcome and those that are still being faced, and a reminder that as a trust everything we do is for the children in our schools.

Chimp management - managing your mind

Ian Connors, Lead Education Officer, and Christine Gibbins, HR Business Partner, introduced keynote speaker Adam Wright, from Chimp Management, explaining that the session would help school leaders to 'manage their minds' and offer insight and skills needed to get the best out of themselves and others - a welcome support for the challenges school leaders often face day to day.

The Chimp Management approach is grounded in neuroscience, and Adam began by explaining functions of the brain and how our inner 'chimp' brain contrasts to our human brain. A number of activities encouraged self-reflection, asking delegates to consider how they make choices and how their chimp and human brains impact on those decisions.

The session went on to explore how school leaders can become responsible for their 'chimp' brain, recognising what it needs, 'exercising' it, and refining skills to manage it when it becomes an 'imposter' and gets in the way of the 'human' brain choices they'd rather make.

Feedback from the event was unanimously positive, with headteachers equally happy about the Chimp Management training as being able to meet and talk with colleagues, some of whom were meeting colleagues face to face for the first time having joined ODST during the pandemic.

'A chance to reflect on leadership strengths and weaknesses'.

'So great to be able to work with colleagues face to face again... great to have something valuable for us personally but applicable to our roles and others in school too.'

Feedback from ODST school leaders conference