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400 education chiefs turn out for conference on Basildon kids
9:00am Thursday 1st November 2012 in News
MORE than 400 headteachers, teachers and teaching assistants came together to discuss how to improve aspiration and attainment in Basildon.
The conference was put on by the Basildon Education Services Trust (BEST), which is a company with charitable status, which has been running for two years and is working in partnership with 36 schools in Basildon to give them extra support.
It was the second year the charity had put on the conference and it was twice as well attended this year, with Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock making the opening speech. Tracy Slater, head of operations of the charity, based at the Basildon Lower Academy in Timberlog Close, said the conference was a “great success”.
She said: “The aim of the conference was to get as many heads in one room who work in the Basildon education system and see how we can help try and improve aspiration and attainment in the community.
“Basildon is a challenging area but our children deserve the same as children in other areas and this was what the conference was about.
“We want to encourage the schools to work together and encourage networking so more people can share advice and opinions and bounce ideas off one another. The conference was a whole day and it went really well.”
The conference was held at James Hornsby School in Leinster Road, Laindon on Friday and everyone who attended also took part in a series of workshops so the teachers could discuss ideas and share best practice on a number of issues ranging from increasing the impact of literacy in the classroom, to adapting to changes in national testing.
Mr Metcalfe, who is also a patron of the charity, added: “The conference was there investigate ways in which schools can work in partnership, and to focus on strategic ways of raising aspiration and achieving impact in schools.
“I was delighted to have been asked to speak at this event. I am passionate about education and passionate about giving the young people in my constituency the best possible foundations on which to build the rest of their lives.
“Forums such as this are vital if we are to drive forward the education agenda in Basildon. The message from BEST is that we must not settle for second best.
“We must raise aspiration; we must improve attainment and we must work together to overcome the many challenges facing schools in Basildon. I wholeheartedly endorse this message and will do all I can to support teachers and staff in achieving these goals.”
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