Lord Sebastian Coe CH, KBE, Olympic gold medallist runner and prolific world record setter

NAHT, keynote speaker, Lord Sebastian Coe, commenting ahead of today's (Thursday 24 June) Inspiring Leadership Conference for members of school leaders' union, said:

“I’m delighted to address NAHT’s Inspirational Leaders Conference, particularly this, of all years. A teacher who inspired me was my head of year; he understood my love of running and he encouraged me. That spirit of confidence in, and ambition for, our children, is what school leaders have shown throughout these challenging months. They’ve had to be motivators and comforters as never before, and society owes them a debt of gratitude.”

Also before the event, keynote speaker, Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, said:

"In uncertain times, leading with empathy and humility is crucial. These are qualities we've seen in teachers over the course of this pandemic as they continue to inspire our next generation."

NAHT general secretary, Paul Whiteman, will say to hundreds of members at today's virtual event that being a school leader is “still the most wonderful job in the world”.

Opening the two-day conference, Paul Whiteman will say: “This past year, you and your teams have gone to incredible lengths to protect and care for pupils in the most unimaginably challenging of times. There is no doubt that this vital work helped to shield large numbers of children from the worst effects of the pandemic. 

“As many leaders have pointed out to me, one of the best strategies for educational recovery is to allow schools to continue to do what they have always done: provide a well-taught, broad and balanced curriculum; support pupils’ personal, social and emotional development and provide additional support to those that need it.” 

“School leadership is challenging at the best of times. Lately, we have experienced the worst of times, and I know that it is by turning to each other that school leaders have found the strength to carry on.  

“I hope this conference will reaffirm that school leadership is still the most wonderful job in the world.” 

Keynote speakers for the conference include Lord Sebastian Coe CH, KBE, Olympic gold medallist runner and prolific world record setter, chairman of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and president of the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations); Professor Tanya Byron, clinical psychologist who works closely with children and young people, journalist, author and broadcaster; and Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, one of the most senior women firefighters in the UK, award winning research psychologist, and author, who began her working life as a homeless teenager selling The Big Issue. 

The Inspiring Leadership Conference is the only conference of its type in the education sector, with a diversity of leadership speakers chosen not just for their leadership credentials but also for their ability to engage and inspire school leaders to think about what we do and why we do what we do. 

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