Head of St Augustine’s Priory delivers opening speech of Heads' conference

Sarah Raffray, Headteacher of St Augustine's Priory, gave the opening speech as Chair of the Society of Heads at their annual conference. She spoke about the challenges schools faced in the past two years and discussed the theme 'Creating Space'.

Mrs Sarah Raffray, Headteacher of St Augustine’s Priory, Ealing and Chair of the Society of Heads, opened the organisation's annual conference by introducing the conference theme of Creating Space.

Examining the past two years of COVID, the situation schools now find themselves in, and looking to the future, Sarah Raffray said: "School leaders have needed every ounce of creativity to care for every member of their community and we know the pressures continue.

"We all created space to balance our approach to bringing people with us."

Mrs Raffray paid tribute to teachers: "Our schools are places of expertise, filled with incredible people who yearn for the best for all children."

She continued: "Skills acquired by teachers and children and a new technical proficiency means that we can step back and ask ourselves, what is next for an education which prepares children for the rest of the 21st Century?"

Mrs Raffray concluded: "Social, interpersonal and emotional needs must be at the heart of a curriculum which prepares students to live alongside robots.

"Education must be about digital, technological and financial literacy as well as sustainability.

"It is time that our examination systems recognised those elements."