REVIEW: What were you doing on January 18, 2017?

EdExec LIVE brings a host of sector experts together to discuss hot issues, present innovative solutions and tease out answers to the most pressing matters in school business management and our Northern event – held in Manchester – was, on all accounts, a roaring success. We take a look back, reminisce and take note of what we learned over the course of the event
At EdExec HQ we love when a well-laid plan comes together; on January 18 that’s exactly what happened as – after months of hard work and planning – EdExec LIVE North landed in Manchester! For those of you who are not familiar with our school business management event it’s a day packed with seminars, workshops and SBM-chat that delivers the most relevant school business management information, insights and, importantly, innovations. So, think National Funding Formula, marketing matters, Ofsted, business-school relationships, academisation, restructuring, HR, legal titbits – to name but a few – and you’ll start to get a feel for what EdExec Live is all about!
 Start as you mean to go on
We hate to use clichés but…EdExec LIVE North got off to a flying start with our keynote speaker Graeme Hornsby. An individual who doesn’t sugar-coat his words, Graeme explored the evolving education landscape and the developing – and changing – role of the SBM within that; one delegate described it as, ‘excellent and inspiring’. There are moments and situations where we wish time would stand still and things stay the same – for example, when away on a tropical holiday – but, sadly, we realise that this is not possible. This is certainly the case for those in the business of managing schools and it’s time to embrace change, rise to the occasion, seek professional development and focus onbeing among the best, not being the best as an individual’ – as SBM Hayley Dunn put it in her blog, ShropshireSBM.

“A great and very well organised event with the right and balanced level of sophistication. Excellent use of time and relevant content. I call it an ‘over the wall’ experience and a ‘must attend’. Since the management of time is such a precarious exercise within a daily walled-garden routine in school. Thank you again for the invitation and for the lunch. This, by the way, was amazing! Thank you.”
– Carla Castro, finance and support services manager, St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School

Graeme set the tone for the day and, fully fuelled and ready to seek the CPD that he promoted, we broke out into the first sessions of the day. Some ventured into Marketing matters which looked at how your school brand can attract students – and teachers – as well as how to manage a PR crisis; many delegates explored how management software can drive efficiencies while still others looked at the academisation process and the benefits of finding the right sponsors. A quick coffee break – to mull over everything that had been said during the morning period and catch-up with sector colleagues and ready ourselves for the next set of seminars.
 Where time is of the essence…
As a SBM, a day away from the desk can hardly be afforded – who knows what might (or might not!) happen in your absence. That’s why we strive to ensure you have a day that runs smoothly and allows you to decide how you want to spend it. A lunch that has been described as ‘EXCELLENT’ (caps intended) was followed by afternoon seminar sessions which offered masses of highly relevant information – in highly digestible seminars.

“Great day; collected really useful information to bring back to school to share with SLT. Seminars were varied, appropriate and informative. Booking each of the seminars prior to the event made the day run much smoother.  Is this all the same person? Perhaps put it into one para if so. Opportunities for networking were invaluable and the lunch was excellent!”
– Lynne Tate, business manager, Ludworth Primary School

According to post-event survey feedback some of the day’s highlights included Micon Metcalfe’s session on collaborative purchasing which gave a measured view on the power of schools working together and which also touched on the power of the SBM as an individual. Navigating budgetary turbulence, which one delegate said provided, ‘some good ideas for budget forecasting and how to make best use of the information available’, Building business partnerships, Outstanding administration and one delegate told us she had already put into practice some of what she learned at Excelling in the workplace – an EdExec favourite – all proved popular among delegates. Each seminar brought something different to the table and each opened up discussion during their allotted time and after – over coffee, at lunch, as delegates moved from session to session, on journeys home and, hopefully, in school corridors and board meetings in the days and weeks which followed.
Closing remarks
Nothing tastes like success so much as a chilled glass of wine after a long – and worthwhile – day and this is how the EdExec LIVE day drew to a close – very civilised… This year, once again, we received some phenomenal feedback, at the event, over social media and through the survey that delegates kindly returned. But this doesn’t mean we are going to sit back on autopilot – no, we intend to up our game! Already we’re in the throes of planning for our London event – May 23 – formulating seminars, tracking down speakers and looking for the perfect venue to cook up a school business management storm.

“Absolutely brilliant day. The seminars were very good and I gained a lot of valuable information.  It was good that they were about what’s ‘out there’ at present and what is available for your school. It was not just about them selling their individual products. Is this all the same person? Perhaps put it into one para if so. The venue was very good, easy accessible by car or train. The lunch was extremely good and the glass of wine (or 2) at the end was a fantastic finishing touch! I will definitely be attending again next year.”
– Katie Howbridge, bursar, Farnley Tyas First School

To those of you who attended, thank you for making EdExec LIVE North the great success that it was; to those who didn’t make it we hope that you will join us in the future. Our events are run by us for you – so if you have any suggestions, anything that you would like to see – or would rather not see – at future events, then please get in touch. We hope to see you at the next EdExec LIVE – but in the meantime, adieu!
EdExec LIVE returns to 30 Euston Square on May 23. Jump to the EdExec LIVE page to see what’s going on…
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