A message from the Bernadette Hunter, the incoming President of the NAHT
Leaders for Learners: stronger together
Colleagues, the value of true leadership has never been more important than now, as we face a time of unparalleled change in education. We are working in an increasingly fragmented, divided and alienated system. The one thing that remains constant is the commitment and passion shown by school leaders for their learners, their schools and their communities.
We cannot underestimate the scale of the challenges we are facing in a climate where schools seem to be under daily attack and criticism from the government, the DfE and Ofsted. The demands of working with new school structures, an increasingly punitive inspection regime, imprudent funding reforms creating winners and losers, a new curriculum that appears to hark back to the fifties and continual changes to flawed assessment systems that lead to unfair judgments about schools and their leaders. As a membership organisation we will continue to provide high quality advice and support for our members and to represent your views and concerns to the government through effective negotiation and dialogue.
As a professional association, we are uniquely placed to influence and impact educational debate, policy and practice. We have learners at the heart of all we do and this gives us credibility and authority. We are the experts who know what is best and now is the time for us to stand strong together to build a better education system – it is in our hands to do it.
The NAHT is fighting back and seizing control of the agenda. We are being proactive and developing positive alternatives, ways of working that show that we are ambitious for our schools and ambitious for the education system. We are developing a new school improvement model, an alternative approach to inspection, working on a curriculum design project with RSA and making more effective links between research and practice. We are building connections that make us stronger.
As your new President, I look forward to welcoming you to Birmingham, the lively and cosmopolitan ‘second city’, for our annual conference in May 2013. We have made revisions to the format of Annual Conference after listening closely to your feedback from last year, so there will be time to discuss key issues for the Association in smaller groups so that Executive and HQ staff can really hear the voice of members.
There will also be a full programme of motions to debate, informative seminars and updates on a wide range of issues to support you in your work. Conference sets the direction of work for the Association for the coming year and we are keen to hear your views and opinions on how we should move forward. There are many pressing issues for us to debate and discuss including performance pay, assessment, inspection, pensions, funding and facilities time. We will be considering a number of important decisions affecting the Association and this is your opportunity to influence the future and to shape policy. Please come along and be part of it!