A dynamic and collaborative sector

More than 140 delegates from the specialist Further Education sector meet in Birmingham

A dynamic and collaborative sector

More than 140 delegates from the specialist Further Education sector came together in Birmingham this week for the Annual Natspec Conference.

The theme of the conference was “Leading Organisations”, challenging delegates to examine different aspects of leadership, whether that be their own personal style, the place of their organisation in the wider system, or methods of developing leaders, networks and positive collaboration from within organisations and communities.

Keynote sessions included contributions from Emma Lewell-Buck MP, the Shadow Minister for Children and Families, Sarah Newton MP, Minister for Disabled People, Dame Christine Lenehan, and Nigel Evans, Ofsted HMI lead for high needs in FE. Delegates also took part in two masterclass sessions, led by international facilitators Cormac Russell from Nurture Development and Di Neale from the Leadership Centre, where they discussed building relationships with a wide network, embracing complex issues and “starting with what’s strong, not what’s wrong”

Conference and Natspec Chair Ruth Thomas said “We are delighted that the conference was so well received by delegates this year. There is a great deal of pressure on high needs funding in further education, and the conference gives everyone a chance to share ideas for future working and also celebrate the success that our members have achieved, and how they have overcome some of the challenges they face”.

Read more from the conference:

Asset based development: “Every individual has a gift to give”

“High Needs funding is under intolerable pressure” Dame Christine Lenehan

Shadow Minister sets out Labour’s vision for education and laments the failure of the SEND reforms: “A bureaucratic nightmare”

“Law trumps policy” ISPEA CEO Ali Fiddy navigates SEND and the law

Sir Richard Stilgoe speaks at conference dinner and guests celebrate success of Maths Week

Ofsted’s Nigel Evans says farewell to Natspec, challenging delegates to ask “will it make the boat go faster?”

Natspec delegates speak to TechAbility experts