Pupil Power is theme for school...

Pupil Power is theme for school...

5 Jul

Pupil Power is theme for school conference

Pupil power was one of the central themes at an education conference which took place in Middlesbrough recently (Monday 1 July).

Ad Astra Academy Trust, which has ten primary schools under its umbrella across Teesside and County Durham, held its annual Festival of Education at Teesside University.

Over 350 teachers and educationalists attended the day-long event in Middlesbrough.

Andy Brown OBE, Chief Executive Officer of Ad Astra Academy Trust, said: “Our Annual Festival of Education presents an excellent opportunity to celebrate our successes and maximise the benefits of collaborative working.

“As a Trust we are continually looking at making things better and we focused on a number of themes at this year’s event.

“One of those involved pupils from each of our ten primary schools addressing the delegates and informing them of the things that they would like to see improve.

“Our Pupil Leadership team is a key voice, and it is important that we take their views on board.

“Another important theme at the event was Early Years provision to ensure that we are providing the best possible education for our youngest pupils.”

Speaking at the conference, Andy Brown said: “Despite the challenging circumstances across the world, I continue to have unwarranted optimism about the future of education in this country and the growth and direction of our Trust.”

He also took the opportunity to announce a new Staff Wellbeing Charter for the Trust and said: “The Wellbeing Charter demonstrates our commitment and dedication to support, improve and enhance the wellbeing of employees.

“Wellbeing should be interwoven into everything we do, with the understanding that happy employees perform better and live healthier lives.”

Keynote speakers at the event included Tom Sherrington, an experienced former headteacher who has worked in schools for over 30 years and Bruce Robertson, the Headteacher of Berwickshire High School and author of The Teaching Delusion trilogy.

There was also a passionate presentation from brothers Andy and Matt Smith who were abused as children and have since set up their own company called Smash Life to try and ensure that vulnerable children get the appropriate support to help them achieve in life.

The Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, Sue Snowdon attended the conference and joined pupils in making a presentation to Chris Simmons, who is standing down as Chair of Ad Astra Academy Trust after holding the position since its inception in 2015.

Zarach Charity’s Beds for Heads also benefited from the event – a charity initiative to provide free beds for poverty-stricken families.

The event was chaired by BBC Radio Tees presenter Rachel Teate. It was opened by singers from Sunnyside Academy and closed by Middlesbrough musician Finn Forster.

The ten primary schools within Ad Astra are Barnard Grove, Brougham, West Park and West View in Hartlepool, Crooksbarn and Rosebrook in Stockton-on-Tees, Ayresome and Sunnyside in Middlesbrough and Deaf Hill and Kelloe in County Durham.

Ad Astra Academy Trust was formed in 2015 and over the last nine years has grown across the Tees Valley, providing education for over 3,500 pupils and over 500 employees.


Click on the link below to view the full Festival of Education programme

Ad Astra Programme 2024