wow what a fantastic time we had at the DRB Ignite Conference

17 September 2015


We’ve had a great time at this week, at the NEC in Birmingham. With the topical theme of ‘Building Futures: Leading Today for Tomorrow’s World’, the highly-acclaimed national event was buzzing with head teachers and senior education leaders from primary and secondary schools, academies and other education settings, all keen to hear wise words and dynamic thoughts from an inspiring line up of speakers from the UK and across the world. Speakers included:


  • Dame Dana Ross-Wawrzynski: Chair of The Head Teacher Standards Review, chief executive of the Bright Futures Education Trust, headteacher at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, a National Leader of Education and educational expert consultant.
  • Helen Morrison: leader of the intervention and targeted support team in the Birmingham Local Authority from 1999 to 2004 and Director of drb Ignite.
  • Vic Goddard: head of Passmores Academy, the school featured in the Channel 4 series Educating Essex.
  • Geoffrey Canada: head of the Harlem Children’s Zone and one of Time Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People in the World.
  • Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk: a research scientist working with organisations across the world on children’s innate capacity to communicate and the decisions we take about caring for children.
  • Prof. Barry Hymer: an experienced teacher, professor of psychology in education in the Education Faculty at the University of Cumbria, trainer and consultant to nearly two thousand schools and LAs.
  • Russell Hobby: general secretary of the NAHT and a passionate advocate of the quality of leadership in schools with experience spanning education, private industry and government.


Based on the central premise that leaders are agents of change, the conference programme focused on the power of great school leadership to transform children’s lives. Conference delegates enjoyed a varied programme of keynotes and panel discussions as well as networking events, the learnings from which they were encouraged to take back and share with their school management teams.


In Leaders Understanding Change, delegates gained insights into the most effective leadership behaviours, and how these exemplify and reinforce personal and professional values. They heard how good leadership supports and gives confidence to students and staff, promoting strong learning communities with the assurance to build their future.


In Leaders Being the Change, delegates heard inspiring stories from acclaimed national and global leaders from education and beyond, about the impact of their work in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenge.


In Leaders Living Change, delegates were asked to reflect on new knowledge gained at the conference and how they will embed new thinking into their workplace so as to sustain and maintain improvement, and enhance the life chances of children in their wider community.


Amongst this illustrious company and thought-provoking conference programme, Playforce was one of only a small number of hand-picked suppliers to the education sector invited to join the conference’s Marketplace. As the UK’s leading school playground company, our consultants were on hand to provide expert advice and inspiration to head teachers and school leaders looking to improve their facilities for outdoor learning and play.


As leaders in our market, we believe there are five good reasons why thousands of schools and settings choose Playforce:


  • We ONLY work with education settings
  • All resources are developed by our award-winning in-house design team and are linked to the EYFS and National Curriculum
  • We’re #1 in our sector for product quality and customer service (independent research project, Oct 2014)
  • We’re the supplier that schools are most likely to recommend to others
  • Over 55% of our business each year comes from existing customers.


To discuss your requirements or a challenge that you’d like us to tackle, book an appointment with your local Playforce consultant or by calling 01225 792660.


You can also download our latest Design and Build brochure and shop for Playforce Shop self-assembly resources.

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