DHT/PT Conference 2024
DHT/PT Conference 2024

DHT/PT Conference 2024

Taking place on 29th May, this conference will be a packed day with sessions running from 0900-1440. These sessions will include two fantastic keynotes speakers and a choice of six workshops (delegates will be able to attend two).

AHDS member rate - £55+VAT

Non member rate - £150+VAT

New member offer - Join AHDS and receive a free place at this conference. To be eligible for this offer, book your place at this conference here and complete your membership application within a week to get a free place. Invoices will be sent at the non-member rate if a completed membership application isn't received within the timeframe expressed. 


Keynote 1: Professor Mark Priestley - Curriculum making: concepts and practices

Curriculum for Excellence requires schools and teachers to develop their own locally responsive curricula. This can provide great opportunities to innovate, but it can also be challenging due to shortages of time, resources and expertise in curriculum making. A particular issue lies in often narrow conceptions of curriculum as syllabus or content, which can restrict the ways in which issues of knowledge/content, pedagogy, provision and assessment are considered in tandem. In this presentation, I address these issues. I shall first set out a definition of curriculum as social practice – as something we do or make, as opposed to a list of content. Drawing upon a multi-level typology of curriculum making, I shall explore the different social practices that comprise curriculum making across different levels or sites of the education system, emphasising the need for a systemic and holistic approach to developing the curriculum. Starting with considerations of educational purpose, I consider curriculum as process – a logical progression from why, to what, to how. Finally, I shall briefly consider the importance of knowledge, examining the relationship between subject and interdisciplinary learning.

Mark’s Bio

Mark Priestley is Professor of Education at the University of Stirling. His research interests lie in the school curriculum – theory, policy and practice – and especially the processes of curriculum making across different layers of education systems. Mark is Lead Editor of the Curriculum Journal, a member of the Scottish Government’s key education advisory committees, the Scottish Education Council and the Curriculum and Assessment Board, and a Co-Convener of the EERA network 3, Curriculum. His publications include 'Teacher Agency: An Ecological Approach' and 'Curriculum making in Europe: policy and practice within and across diverse contexts'.

Keynote 2: Professor Daryl O’Connor - The dangers of stress (and how to change your relationship with it)

Stress directly influences biological processes across our lives (e.g., blood pressure, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning). Stress may also indirectly contribute to health risk and reduced longevity to the extent that it can lead to changes in diet and/or helps maintain maladaptive health behaviours. Daryl will discuss the relationship between chronic stress, perseverative cognition (worry and rumination), the cortisol response and suicide risk and health outcomes. He will also share information about the ways in which childhood trauma and Covid-19 can add to these impacts.

Crucially, Daryl will try to help you reduce your stress levels by sharing information about proven stress management interventions e.g. morning exercise, mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy, self-affirmation and written emotional disclosure.

Daryl’s Bio

Daryl O'Connor is Professor of Psychology at the School of Psychology, University of Leeds. He is a registered health psychologist with strong research interests in psychobiology and currently leads the Health and Social Psychology Research Group in the School as well as heads up the Group's Laboratory for Stress and Health Research (STARlab; Daryl’s current research focuses on: i) investigating the effects of stress and psychological interventions on physical and mental health outcomes (e.g. suicide behaviour, eating behaviours, cortisol levels, wellbeing, burnout), and ii) exploring the effects of interventions on the uptake of cancer screening behaviours. Daryl is a past Chair of the British Psychological Society’s (BPS) Division of Health Psychology and the BPS Psychobiology Section, Chair of BPS Research Board and Chair of the European Federation of Psychology Associations (EFPA) Board of Scientific Affairs and was a Trustee of the BPS between 2015 and 2021. He is Editor-in-Chief for Cogent Psychology and Associate Editor at Psychosomatic Medicine. Daryl is also a regular studio guest on BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind.


Delegates will be able to select one workshop with a code ‘A’ and one with a code ‘B’:

A1: “Into Headship” (Mark Priestley, Alison Weatherston, Joanne Bastow, Cathy Mackenzie)

Uncertain about your next steps towards school leadership? Into Headship is Scotland’s national programme for aspiring school leaders and is specifically designed to enhance your leadership development in your context.

Come along to hear more about the programme experience. This workshop will include insights from Education Scotland’s Lead Specialist for Into Headship, a university course tutor and two previous participants. This is a great opportunity to discuss how the programme supports you in aspiring to headship, but we are also keen to address any questions or concerns you may have about Into Headship or becoming a headteacher, aiming to reassure!

A2: “What you need to know about a Working Time Agreement (but didn’t want to ask!)”

(Aileen Spence, AHDS Area Officer)

  • Why do we have this?
  • Where did it come from?
  • Where will I find background information about it to guide me through it?
  • What are the benefits of having a collegiately-agreed WTA?
  • What are the common challenges during the process in establishing a WTA?
  • How do I deal with difficult questions from staff?

Our aim for this session is to better-inform you about the WTA process and to better-equip you to deal with the challenges to ensure that a collegiately–agreed WTA is established for your school, while in your current role or in the future as a HT.

Participants will be encouraged to share their experience/ level of involvement to date, in the process of establishing a WTA. There will be an opportunity to explore some of the challenges that can make this a daunting process.

A3: “Accessibility and iPad”

A hands-on session led by an Apple Professional Learning Specialist looking at the wide range of built in features that can be used to support children with additional learning needs in the primary classroom.

B1: “Curriculum making: concepts and practices” (Mark Priestley)

This workshop will explore further the concepts raised in Mark’s keynote presentation. In particular, there will be opportunities to discuss:

  • The different implications for practice that emerge from differing definitions of curriculum – as syllabus and as social practice.
  • The practicalities involved with employing a process (or purposes-led) approach to developing the curriculum in your school.
  • Why knowledge is important and what that means for the organisation of the curriculum in your school.

The workshop will comprise group discussion around the above issues and a hotseat session to pose questions raised by the groups.

B2: “Difficult conversations: The importance of evidence” (Linda Crone, AHDS Area Officer)

Following local authority and national guidance and procedures to the letter and collating evidence in testing situations can be a daunting prospect.

From supporting and mentoring a NQT probationer or teacher who is under-performing, to moving forward and improving performance with stronger members of your team, thoroughly collated evidence is essential.

This workshop will look at practicalities and ensure that you have a solid base to support your passage through these situations which can often call for difficult conversations.

B3: “AI use in schools” (Education Scotland - Brian Clark & Ollie Bray)

The education landscape is constantly evolving, and artificial intelligence (AI) presents a unique opportunity to revolutionise how we teach and learn. This session will explore the transformative potential of AI in Scottish schools and develop your understanding of its applications and implications. Access to a laptop during the session would be useful, but not necessary.

Key Takeaways:

• Demystifying AI: Gain a clear understanding of AI concepts and applications relevant to education.

• Unlocking Possibilities: Explore how AI can support leaders, teachers and learners in schools.

• Scottish Context: Examples of AI in Scottish schools.

• Navigating the Challenges: Address ethical considerations, data privacy concerns, and the changing role of teachers in an AI-powered learning environment.

Exhibition & Prize draws

We will only have two exhibitors as there are very restricted opportunities to engage with you as delegates. The first is Wesleyan, who will be on hand for anything related to your personal financial planning. The second is Leckie&Leckie who will be delighted to discuss their resources with you.

Both exhibitors will run a prize draw on the day. To take part, all you need to do is speak to their team on the day. The prizes:

  • Happy Healthy You is a complete toolkit designed specifically for the primary health and wellbeing Curriculum for Excellence. Worth £650, it contains lesson plans, classroom resources, PowerPoints and assessment materials to help schools teach health and wellbeing with confidence and consistency.
  • Wesleyan will be offering a bottle of Champagne in their prize draw.


08.30 Registration and coffee

09.00 Keynote 1

10.00 Coffee

10.30 First Workshop session

11.30 First Workshop session ends

11.40 Second Workshop session

12.40 Lunch

13.40 Keynote 2

14.40 Conference ends

29 May 2024 - 29 May 2024 - Cumbernauld

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