REAL Trust's Annual Leadership Two Day Conference 2019

  • Day 1 – Thursday 7th November 2019 (Full Day)
  • Day 2 - Friday 8th November 2019 (AM)
  • This year we will be holding the conference for a full day on the Thursday and closing the event Friday lunchtime
  • Agenda available by clicking 'download flyer' within course details

Dave Whitaker will open the conference Thursday morning with his session “Feeling scared every day and not feeling loved will change me for the rest of my life. This will explore the importance of understanding and knowing children really well and unconditional positive regard as the basis for a school’s approach to behaviour management. Dave will also look at schools being trauma aware and understanding the impact of adverse      childhood experiences.

Dave is an overall principal of a number of special schools, alternative provisions schools and PRUs in the East and North of England and a man who is walking the talk every day.

Working with incredibly vulnerable children and young people from KS1 to KS5 who are presenting with a whole range of social and emotional difficulties, Dave’s innovative work shows the power of care, love, support and, in his own words, ‘battering them with kindness’.

At the heart of all of his work is the principle of ‘unconditional positive regard’, a concept pioneered by the seminal psychologist Carl Rogers. Regardless of their actions - and their actions can be quite extreme at times as you may well imagine – Dave and his team of committed professionals will never lose sight of the human being in front of them, nor lose hope in their ability to make better choices and change their lives for the better.


Thursday afternoons session will see Sir Tim Brighouse reflect on the present challenges facing schools and outline priorities in the practices of school improvement and school leadership which have the best chances of success in his session 'Courageous and Creative School Leadership in difficult times' . Sir Tim is a charismatic, inspirational speaker with a wealth of knowledge and experience.

He began his career by completing a degree in modern history at Oxford University, where he trained to be a teacher in 1961. He continued to teach at various levels for several years. His career in educational administration includes the position of Chief Education Officer in both Oxfordshire and Birmingham, where his work was quoted by Ofsted as "an example to all others of what can be done, even in the most demanding urban environment". During his tenure as Professor of Education at Keele University he founded the Centre for Successful Schools. He completed his full time career in education as Commissioner for London Schools in 2007.

Sir Tim is currenrly a visiting Professor at the Institute of Education, a non-executive board member of Research Machines as well as the advisor to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. He was Knighted for his Achievements in Education 2009.


Damian Hughes will close the conference on Friday morning with his session ‘Unlocking the DNA of a Winning Culture’. Damian demystifies the culture-building process by identifying five key aspects that generate  cohesion and cooperation, and explains how diverse groups can learn to function with a single mind. This concept is introduced with a simple formula:


B: Outlining the ‘Big Picture’ - where we are heading and the trademark behaviours which demonstrate how we intend to get there

A: Helping employees navigate their way through change in order to move forward and avoid the common pitfalls of change

R: The importance of building routines by identifying the keystone habits at the heart of our operation

C: Nurturing people in the team who can influence others and shape their behaviour; these are the cultural architects

A: Authentic leadership - where the leaders role model the behaviours

Drawing on interviews with key architects of high performing cultures, as well as his own extensive experience as a Professor of Organisational Psychology and Change, working alongside leading sports and business institutions, Damian Hughes provides unique insights into the crucial issues confronting the modern working environment, and shows how the lessons can also be applied to develop your own winning culture.

Professor Damian Hughes is an international speaker and bestselling author who combines his practical and academic background within sport, organisational development and change psychology, to help organisations and teams to create a high performing culture.

He is the author of eight best-selling business books, including Liquid Thinking, Liquid Leadership, How to Change Absolutely Anything, How to Think Like Sir Alex Ferguson, The Five STEPS to a Winning Mindset and The Barcelona Way: Unlocking the DNA of a Winning Culture. He has also been nominated for the 2007 William Hill Sports book of the year award for Peerless, his biography of boxing great Sugar Ray Robinson. In 2009, he co-authored a critically acclaimed biography of boxing legend, Thomas Hearns in Hitman: the Thomas Hearns Story. In 2013, his latest biography, Marvelous Marvin Hagler became the UK’s best-selling sports biography.

Damian was appointed as a Professor of Organisational Psychology and Change for Manchester Metropolitan University in September 2010. He is currently serving as a member of the coaching team for Scotland Rugby Union and Canberra Raiders. His innovative and exciting approach has been praised by Sir Richard Branson, Muhammad Ali, Sir Terry Leahy, Sir Roger Bannister, Tiger Woods, Jonny Wilkinson and Sir Alex Ferguson.


REAL Trust Members – Early Bird Offer (Bookings made prior to 30th September)

£170 – Full inclusive for both days / £110 – Thursday only


REAL Trust Members – Bookings made after 30th September

£190 - Full inclusive for both days / £130 – Thursday only


Non members

£250 - Full inclusive for both days / £140 – Thursday only


Please note – any cancellations made after Friday 18th October will still be charged



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