Issue 131 - 2024 Summer term

It has been a tremendous privilege to represent school and college leaders as your President and to work with the fabulous ASCL team.

Celebrating great leadership

John Camp OBE
ASCL President 2023/24
Celebrating great leadership
I can’t believe my year as ASCL President is nearing its end. It has been a tremendous privilege to represent school and college leaders and to work with the fabulous ASCL team. As a leader in the primary and special school sectors, I’ve been able to ensure that the challenges that leaders face in these institutions have been elevated, alongside broader issues that affect the system.

It has also been a privilege to work with two general secretaries over the year, as we said goodbye to Geoff Barton and welcomed Pepe Di’Iasio to the role. Geoff transformed ASCL over his seven years as general secretary and Pepe has started his tenure with a compelling vision for the continued growth and development of the association. And in this election year, Pepe and the ASCL team are focused on elevating the concerns of members, highlighting the challenges the sector faces and articulating the solutions that would help.

ASCL Annual Conference in March was an important moment for the association and marked 150 years of great leaders in education. It was also an important opportunity to hear from key leaders and politicians whose decision making directly affects schools and colleges. It was a wonderful conference with more than 1,000 school and college leaders from across the UK, gathered together for conversation, challenge and connection. In my keynote speech, I called for a change of tone in the national debate about education so that it is less corrosive and celebrates the great strengths and successes of the sector. I also appealed for a change in the way that policy is developed, arguing for greater engagement with the lived experiences of leaders in schools and colleges. Policy rooted in the research and the day-to-day experience of those in schools and colleges will ultimately be more effective.

Let’s hope education features prominently in all parties’ manifestos as they work towards the election and communicate their ambition for all young people.

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