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NAHT's annual conference - leading together

Conference crowd

Liverpool preview

Spring is conference season when school leaders from all sectors and regions join us at our sovereign decision-making forum to decide how we will operate for the next year. And we’re expecting more than 400 members at the ACC in Liverpool from 3 to 5 May this year.

If you haven’t been to conference before, you may wonder what we get up to for three days under one roof. On top of a vibrant exhibition, lively debate, impassioned speeches, challenging policy-making and the chance to hear from our national officers and guest speakers, conference also offers the perfect opportunity to network and share ideas.

It truly is an event not to be missed, and for the first time, we’ll be running 10 workshops on an eclectic mix of topics. So not to limit this great opportunity just to elected representatives from the regions and branches, everyone is welcome to join us for the Friday. Those who do attend this special professional development day will also get to hear directly from education secretary Damian Hinds, NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman and incoming NAHT president Andy Mellor.

I’m coming! Book your workshop place 

Not to forget the trade union side of conference, our AGM will take place on the Thursday and we’ve also dedicated the whole of Saturday to motions. Each year we receive a large number of motions from our branches and regions. It’s a true test of stamina evaluating and grouping them together,
but motions offer a chance for members to call for change and shape how we work, and each one passed at conference forms part of our policy for the year ahead.

Ahead of the event, Andy Mellor told us: “Traditionally, presidents take a sabbatical from their school and spend a lot of time travelling, representing the association at a local, regional and national level. Before I get on the road, I’m looking forward to a special performance by the choir from my school. If you’re joining us in Liverpool, you’ll also see the posters that my students have designed. These things will be a great reminder of the wonderful people I’m leaving behind to spend the year campaigning on their behalf.”

It’s also the first conference for Paul Whiteman as general secretary after stepping into Russell Hobby’s sizeable shoes. We asked him for his thoughts on annual conference and what to expect. “This is my first annual conference as NAHT general secretary, so if you are coming to join us in Liverpool for the first time, you are especially welcome,” said Paul. “This is our biggest event of the year, and it’s a great opportunity to meet other school leaders and discuss the big issues facing education today,” he added. “We’ve worked hard to come up with some great CPD workshops to give you something to think about while you’re here and plenty of new ideas to take back to school with you.”

Who’s who at the 2018 annual conference?

  • General secretary – Paul Whiteman
  • President – Andy Mellor
  • Vice president – Judy Shaw
  • Past president – Anne Lyons
  • Treasurer – Judith Stott


The presidential cycle sees elected members move up in office each year, from vice president to president and finally to immediate past president. This year, we say farewell to Kim Johnson as he moves out of office after his three-year term, we thank Anne Lyons for leading the way through another challenging year in education at the helm of the association, we welcome Judy Shaw into the fold as she starts her role as vice president and we celebrate the inauguration of our new president for2018/19 Andy Mellor.

Keep up to date

Whether you’re attending conference this year or looking to stay up-to-date with the latest news from afar, all NAHT members will receive a daily email round-up of the activities, and we will be uploading all the latest news to our website and Twitter channels. Please join in on the conversation using our dedicated Twitter hashtag #NAHTConf.