“I thought the conference was a great success. Many Headteachers have said the same to me.”

“…Venue – fabulous, catering – great, and speakers all very good. I think everyone there got a lot out of it; everyone felt it was well worth a day away from their schools!!!“

2016 Review

What was striking about the event was a remarkable coherence of message that was not pre-planned, but that came simultaneously from The Dept. of Education, BCC, and BEP and was well reinforced by external speakers.

Here is a quick reminder of the key messages from the day:

Chris Quinn

(BEP Vice Chair)

All Birmingham Heads are BEP. There is lots to be proud of with a growing track record for effective school improvement, peer review and work around wellbeing.

Estelle Morris

(BEP Chair)

This is a key point in time. After thirty years of growing delegation of power to individual schools and the dismantling of the system, we have turned a corner to start rebuilding. MATS and system-wide partnerships are our opportunity to make things work. Schools must take the lead now: BEP is the key vehicle for taking hold of this moment.

Lisa Williams


Following on from Ruby Wax – Resilience is huge, more than character, grit or mindfulness. It involves schools in anything they can do to re balance the scales that some children have stacked against them. Few things are more important – use the academic resilience model.  Plug into what BEP is doing with wellbeing, a unique opportunity to work together.

Ann Mroz

(TES editor)

A strident rallying cry for the profession to stand up and fight. Stop being door mats for Ministers. Find your guts together.

Colin Diamond


Partnership is everything. BCC stops having responsibility for School Improvement from August 2017, but retains key functions.

Robert Hill


Those trying to bring order to the system are on a crowded pitch. There is a great need to clarify roles. BEP is in pole position to make things work in Birmingham…but it needs paying for, it needs you to stay engaged and united in purpose. It is better to be part of the team than going it alone. BEP is seen as a leader nationally.

Tim Boyes


We cannot afford to have schools and children destined to be losers in the system or to allow the strong unintentionally to harm those with less capacity. BEP’s original moral purpose is as strong as ever. Right now school improvement – support and challenge – must be a priority for all of us to buy into. We need to work together at tough issues. High Needs Block funding and poverty alike need us to join together. There are things we need to get better at.
A new model: BEP is not going to become a MAT (it would make us partial), but is ambitious to be a strong agent welding us (converter academies and maintained schools) together, in a new family of Birmingham MATs. We have the treasure.

Sir David Carter

(Dept. of Ed)

BEP is to be treated like one of the big 9 national academy chains…called to account by himself. It needs everyone to make it a success. We need to share data and to learn from the best elsewhere. We must engage everyone in the vision making for a new joined up city delivering better outcomes for children. Start today to talk together about our shared beliefs and ambition with realism – start consulting with staff, governors and parents. We are building for the next 40 years.