Leading Edge 2020

Leading Edge 2020

Due to Covid-19 this event is cancelled.



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Our Annual Event for DHTs and PTs

Members: £45 +VAT              Non-Members: £145 +VAT

New Member offer – join now and attend for free*

Book your place and complete the application form here - Join Us

Opening Keynote: Gayle Gorman, Chief Executive, Education Scotland

An Empowered System.  Gayle will explain the evolution of the Empowered System, sharing the latest developments and reflecting on the challenges and opportunities it presents.

Closing Keynote: James Docherty “Navigating the school environment with ACE’s: The difference between survival and resilience”

This session will be led by James Docherty from Community Justice Scotland.  James advocates strongly for change and awareness in how we address the hidden cost of untreated trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) in our society. Previously he has worked with a leading Children’s charity on diversion programmes with young people on the cusp of organised crime.

James has both professional and personal experience of navigating the care and criminal justice system.

James is a  Community Justice Advisor with Community Justice Scotland, responsible for increasing knowledge across teams and advising on approaches to strategies, projects and priorities.  James is also a Development Officer within the Violence Reduction Unit. He has previously worked on various VRU projects Mentoring people with convictions seeking to re-create their lives and supporting change.

Workshops - 1st Session

1. Difficult Conversations (Ann McIntosh)

“An organization’s results are determined through webs of human commitments, born in webs of human conversations”. Fernando Flores.    In order to ensure that you maximise opportunities to improve learner’s experiences and achievements leaders must demonstrate authenticity and build credibility and trust. One of the most critical skills is the leader’s ability and willingness to engage in challenging, sensitive – in a word, courageous –conversations.

Together we will look at the key aspects which will support you as a leader to develop staff whilst protecting achievement and the attainment of children.

Build Relational Trust; Challenge assumptions at individual and organisations level; Integrate analysis, predictions and discussion of the next level of work in every  debrief with staff.

There will be practical tips and sharing of our collective wisdom!

2. LGBT Awareness (Caitlin Wood)

This 1-hour workshop led by Caitlin Wood from LGBT Youth Scotland will focus on LGBT inclusion in primary and early years. The session will aim to build on the knowledge, confidence and skills of participants in supporting LGBT learners. There will be a focus on terminology and definitions; helping participants feel confident in their use language, an overview of policy and legislation specific to LGBT inclusion work in schools and lastly, practical scenarios allowing participants to put into practice their ideas and solutions guided by tips for best practice.

LGBT Youth Scotland is Scotland’s national charity for LGBTI young people, working with 13–25 year old’s across the country. They play a leading role in the provision of quality youth work and are a valued and influential partner in LGBTI equality and human rights. LGBT Youth Scotland also deliver the LGBT Charter programme and training to schools, organisations and businesses. Working with over ¼ of schools across Scotland, the LGBT Charter programme supports schools in creating LGBT inclusive environments from practice to policy through a whole-school approach.

3. Competence (Lily Proudfoot)

This workshop will look at dealing with Staff Competence Issues highlighting appropriate approaches to holding meetings, providing support, appropriate record keeping and formulating action plans. It will also cover working with and mentoring failing Probationers and the requirements necessary for the GTCS to take successful action.

Lily is AHDS Area Officer for Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth and Kinross. She is an experienced HT and a former elected member of the GTCS Council who served as a Panel Convener for Professional Standards. She is currently serving, as an appointee, as a Convener and Panel Member in GTCS Fitness to Teach Panels and Hearings

4. Coaching: PT focus (David Burgess)

This session will explore directive and non-directive coaching and the opportunities and barriers to developing a coaching culture. It will also signpost participants to programmes and reading to further develop their coaching skills

Workshops - 2nd Session

7. Competence (Lily Proudfoot)

This workshop will look at dealing with Staff Competence Issues highlighting appropriate approaches to holding meetings, providing support, appropriate record keeping and formulating action plans. It will also cover working with and mentoring failing Probationers and the requirements necessary for the GTCS to take successful action.

Lily is AHDS Area Officer for Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth and Kinross. She is an experienced HT and a former elected member of the GTCS Council who served as a Panel Convener for Professional Standards. She is currently serving, as an appointee, as a Convener and Panel Member in GTCS Fitness to Teach Panels and Hearings.

8. Coaching: DHT Focus (David Burgess)

This session will explore directive and non-directive coaching and the opportunities and barriers to developing a coaching culture. It will also signpost participants to programmes and reading to further develop their coaching skills

9. Building and nurturing your own resilience (Aileen Spence)

As a leader, you will, at times, experience great demands on you as you drive forward with your team within your school community and beyond. You will not be required to ‘know everything’ but you will be required to effectively motivate, lead and manage your team and ‘to get the job done’. You will also be required to demonstrate your ability to take the initiative in times of change, challenge and adversity. 

The aim of this workshop session is to offer opportunities to review your ‘self-management’ and to offer tips to build your own resilience in order to strive to ‘get the hours under control’ and to keep aiming for that ever elusive, but essential, Work/ Life balance to ensure your on-going Wellbeing as a leader and to avoid ‘burn-out’.

10. Seeking Headship, my story (Karen Miller)

Karen Miller, former PT representative on the AHDS National Executive, will talk about her route to headship.  This will include talking about her motivation for seeking headship, her experiences in different roles and how they contributed to her leadership journey as well as reflections on undertaking Into Headship and her time so far in the ‘hot seat’.  Participants will have time to reflect on their own journey so far and an opportunity to share, compare and reflect with others at the same stage in their career.


* New member offer: Book your place at conference through the form on this page selecting the new member offer in the dropdown options AND complete the membership application form on our website (you'll need your bank account details for the direct debit mandate). Your free place at conference will be confirmed once your completed membership application has come through.

Click Here for membership application form

If you have any questions contact Gillian on gwebster@ahds.org.uk or 0333 1210051

24 April 2020 - 24 April 2020 - Cumbernauld

AHDS Members: £45 + VAT Non Members: £145 + VAT

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