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Patrick Moody, British Ambassador to UAE, addressed the gathering of 2,000 educators in Dubai on March 1 Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai:Dubai: Over 2,000 education leaders and professionals recently came together for a two-day annual conference in Dubai to discuss latest innovations in teaching and learning in the education sector.

The ‘Schools Now!’ conference, held in Dubai on March 1 and 2, saw educators and industry professionals from British Council’s Partner Schools around the world.

Schools Now! 2023, themed ‘Transforming Schools: Leadership at all levels’, explored effective leadership across school communities through keynote presentations, panel discussions and workshops. 

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Aida Salamanca, Country Director, British Council, UAE presented a speech during the opening ceremony Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Yvette Hutchinson, Senior Consultant, Schools Global Program, British Council spoke of promoting leadership at all levels in schools to enable an inclusive culture, that nurtures talents and distributes leadership effectively across staff. “Through this approach a safe and enriching environment is enabled where students will have the confidence to step up and develop their own leadership skills that will support them in schools and throughout their lives,” he said.

He also touched upon how effective leadership is more important for schools than at any time in the past as communities emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Patrick Moody, British Ambassador to UAE was also present to deliver a keynote address.

Sir Mark Grundy, CEO of Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust, who delivered the first keynote, explored the topic of retaining the best staff to achieve the highest outcomes for students. Professor Eman Gaad, Dean of the Faculty of Education and a Professor of Special and Inclusive Education, British University in Dubai (BUiD), talked about the perceptions of educational leadership for inclusivity. Other keynotes focused on developing 21st century student leaders and leadership development at multiple levels in the school community.

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‘Leadership at all levels’

Simon Higgins, Global Head of School Exams, British Council, said: “This year’s theme, ‘Leadership at all levels’ will help school leaders to reflect on the challenges they continue to face daily in a post-pandemic world, and also explored ways to develop leadership throughout their school to better support staff, students, and the wider community.”

Mark Walker, Director, English and Exams, British Council, highlighted the importance of bringing together education leaders from around the world to share ideas, best practices, and perspectives.

“At the British Council, we are passionate about changing lives. We work hand-in-hand with individuals to help them gain the skills, confidence, and connections they need to transform their lives and shape a better world. From learning English to gaining internationally recognised qualifications, we are dedicated to helping our partners build networks, explore creative ideas, and access high-quality education.”