School Business Managers, Finance professionals, Senior leaders; and Estates staff from schools and Trusts across Essex came together to network, meet with subject matter experts, gain CPD from informative talks, and learn about the products and services that can save their schools time and money at the first event of the series in Zenergi’s 2023 Invest In You conference at Hylands House, Chelmsford, on 21 June.
The event aims to address the demands the role of the school business professional places on those at the sharp end of managing ever tighter budgets and increasing workloads. The day was designed with wellbeing in mind and the objective of leaving delegates feeling refreshed and energised, armed with a toolbox of tips and ideas ready to overcome their challenges.
As in previous years, Vic Goddard, CEO of Passmores Co-operative Learning Community, Headteacher at Passmores Academy and star of Bafta-nominated TV series Educating Essex, opened the event with his own unique perspective on how to overcome the challenges faced by today’s School Business Managers.
The first keynote speaker of the day, Darren Edwards, a former mountaineer and Army Reservist, delivered a powerful and moving talk about his own personal story of overcoming a life-changing injury and demonstrating how to overcome adversity with a positive mental outlook. The talk was awe inspiring, demonstrating what can be achieved with the right attitude, combined with hard work and determination. Two delegates were selected at random for a signed copy of Darren’s inspirational book.
Following a break allowing delegates to visit the exhibition and enjoy the complimentary refreshments, Nadia Ismail, a self-development and career coach continued the discussion with a practical session helping delegates learn how to develop a toolkit for positive mental health and wellbeing. Nadia works with school leaders helping them build a resilient team and encourage a positive mindset that can be applied to both work and personal life.
Lunch was served on the sunny rear lawn, allowing delegates to continue to nurture their wellbeing, with plenty of time to network, enjoy the excellent food and relax over a glass of bubbly before visiting the exhibition to gather goodies and learn about the different products and services available from the varied selection of exhibitors.
The afternoon offered three workstreams to allow delegates to choose the topics that resonated most. Topics included net zero and decarbonisation; cyber security; procurement and compliance; and how to benefit from high speed broadband in the classroom. On International Yoga Day, we offered delegates two opportunities to unwind and de-stress with The Workplace Yoga Company bringing Desk Yoga and Mindfulness to Hylands House. Delegates took part in a relaxing session, beginning with gentle stretches and self-care practices to dissolve patterns of habitual tension in the body. This was followed by a guided mindfulness session exploring research-backed techniques to let go of stress, boost mood, and cultivate a calm and clear presence of mind.
The final break offered an opportunity to enjoy an award-winning ‘earth friendly’ gelato from Little Spoon London and a final tour of the exhibition to complete the bingo card for a prize draw.
The afternoon ended with a case study on how to make your school more sustainable; how to manage staff absence; with a closing session offering an update on the energy market. Two delegates were selected at random to win a hamper as part of the ‘exhibitor bingo’ prize draw.
Delegates left Hylands with bags of goodies, feeling relaxed and full of inspiration and ideas to take back to school. But don’t take our word for it, hear what our delegates said for themselves..
“An amazing inspiring day reminding me why I do the job!”
“Such a wonderfully curated day”
“Great day, informative presentations and made some good contacts!”
“It was very useful and very well organised”
And our exhibitors enjoyed their day too…
“Fantastic all round event”
“It’s excellent. Main speakers always very engaging. Good choices!”
“Very well organised event. Look forward to next year’s”
“It was a very good event!”
We’re looking forward to next year already.