Hillside High School hosts Challenge Partners North West Conference

On Tuesday 27 February, Hillside High School in Bootle had the honour of hosting the Challenge Partners North West conference, a gathering aimed at fostering collaboration and sharing best practices in education. 

Challenge Partners, a nationally recognised organisation known for its role in accelerating school improvement, brought together senior leaders and trust leaders from across the North West for a day of insightful discussions and exchange of ideas.

As part of the Wade Deacon Trust’s Aspire Hub, Hillside High School has been an active participant for several years, contributing to the collective effort to enhance educational standards. Schools from the Aspire Hub took great pride in showcasing their work within the hub to the wider educational community during the conference.

The event kicked off with a vibrant performance from Hillside High pupils, who treated attendees to a captivating section of their rendition of the musical ‘Matilda’. This set the tone for an engaging day ahead, filled with enlightening keynotes and panel discussions featuring prominent figures in the education sector.

Dame Sue John, executive director of Challenge Partners, and Ryan Wain, director of the Tony Blair Institute, delivered inspiring keynote addresses, highlighting the importance of collaboration and innovation in driving school improvement. 

The subsequent panel discussion, moderated by Simon Corner, director of secondary at the Wade Deacon Trust, featured insightful contributions from regional leaders including Vicky Beer, regional director, and Karen Bramwell, CEO of Forward as One CE Multi Academy Trust.

Presentations by Elliott Costas Walker, Aspire Hub manager, and Simon Corner, principal of Wade Deacon High School, provided attendees with valuable insights into the successful strategies employed within the Aspire Hub to promote student achievement and school improvement.

The highlight of the day was the vibrant exchange of best practices during the carousel sessions, where educators had the opportunity to share their innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Hillside High School, recently honoured with the Innovative and Creative Literacy Award at the Educate Awards, proudly presented their Reading is Power whole school strategy, demonstrating their commitment to promoting literacy across all levels.

Amanda Ryan, headteacher of Hillside High School, expressed her pride in hosting such a pivotal event in the Bootle community, stating: “It’s an honour to welcome educators from across the North West to our school and showcase the collaborative efforts driving educational excellence in our region. 

“The conference provided a valuable platform for sharing ideas and best practices, further strengthening our collective commitment to improving outcomes for all students.”

The Challenge Partners North West conference at Hillside High School was a testament to the power of collaboration and shared learning in driving positive change within the education sector. 

As participants departed with renewed inspiration and a wealth of new ideas, the event served as a reminder of the collective impact achievable through partnership and cooperation in pursuit of educational excellence.

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