"What a privilege to join this vibrant educational community for a day of stimulation, provocation and inspiration in a superb environment. And how humbling to see committed educators continuing to keep progressive and child-centred educational values alive in the most trying of national circumstances. These values should never be held to be incompatible with high educational standards, and it's a joy to see that Prince Regent Street Trust truly 'get it'. Thank you and all good wishes on the next stage of the journey. (Dr Barry Hymer) "

Excellence, Opportunity and Partnerships
‘Excellence in the Everyday’ successful inaugural conference for Prince Regent Street Trust

Around 260 education professionals were united for the first conference held by Prince Regent Street Trust. Staff from the trust, and its three primary schools, were joined by headteachers, teaching and non-teaching staff from schools from across the North East for the ‘Excellence in the Everyday’ conference at Hardwick Hall Hotel on 31st October. 

The trust pulled together an impressive array of national and internationally renowned experts as part of an “inspiring and engaging” conference for delegates from Ferryhill, Hartlepool, Jarrow, Middlesbrough, Saltburn-by-the-Sea and Stockton-on-Tees as well as representatives from Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council.

’Excellence in the Everyday’ was opened by Julia Armstrong, CEO of Prince Regent Street Trust, who presented her vision and direction of travel for the all-primary trust. “I spoke about our three core principles, Excellence, Opportunity and Partnerships, and how these will help us to support every child we care for,” Julia explained. “We are continually striving for excellence and are taking a strategic approach to that, whilst at the same time having the flexibility to adapt. In all cases we are seeking impact on our pupils through achievement, statutory outcomes, and also in supporting their preparation for future life.”

“Opportunity is a key area of focus for the trust, both in terms of our investment in individuals through CPD and career-enhancing opportunities, and in developing working parties and networks which bring staff and governors together to develop good practice. For our pupils we are providing equality of opportunity by offering enriching life experiences. All this is underpinned by effective and strategic leadership. We have an ambitious trust-wide culture, a sense of pride and belonging, and this extends to partnerships with other schools and enables us to secure the highest quality services and providers.”

Director of School Improvement, Keith Morrison, who was previously General Adviser for Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Education Improvement Service and formerly a headteacher, then reinforced the trust’s vision. 

Keith explored the key ‘fundamentals for excellence’ that underpin the school improvement strategy: vision, values and culture; rigorous evaluation and analysis; clear strategic direction; a curriculum that is bespoke and meets the needs of pupils; and teaching and learning that consistently delivers ‘excellence in the everyday’. He promoted the range of CPD and career-enhancing opportunities available to staff in Prince Regent Street Trust and the partner schools and the importance of ‘investing in individuals’, including the development and ‘growing’ of effective and strategic leaders. 

He explained how working collaboratively with a range of partners has ensured an ambitious trust-wide culture; a culture where leaders and staff are outward facing in their pursuit of excellence and where staff are, and feel challenged, supported and appreciated. As a result, pupils at the Prince Regent Street Trust schools receive the unique educational experience that they richly deserve.

External speakers included Joanne Walker, Director of Carmel Research School at Bishop Hogarth Catholic Education Trust, on behalf of the Education Endowment Foundation; Dr Barry Hymer, Emeritus Professor of Psychology in Education at the University of Cumbria; Kieran Rose, author, creator of The Autistic Advocate and international speaker; James Nottingham, an international speaker and creator of the Learning Pit; and Richard Gerver, a bestselling author, an expert in leadership, education and global keynote speaker.

The conference was sponsored by a number of external organisations, with school HR management software provider Every, website design and marketing agency MMD, primary PE organisation PEAK (Physical Education & Kids Ltd), online reading programme Reading Solutions, teacher recruitment agency Vision for Education, and education specialist financial advisors Wesleyan, all exhibiting their services.

“We were delighted with how the conference went on the day and how it was received by colleagues internally and externally,” Julia said. “I would like to thank all our speakers and sponsors for their incredible support. Without them it would not have been possible, and we very much hope to repeat this event in the future.”

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