Wessex Learning Trust inspires over 600 staff members during Trust-wide INSET day

February 23, 2024

Wessex Learning Trust ran a collaborative conference on Monday 19 February, bringing together more than 600 dedicated members of staff from across its 17 schools, the Mid Somerset Consortium Teacher Training (SCITT) and Kings Fitness and Leisure Centre. The event was hosted at the Kings Fitness and Leisure and Kings Theatre in Cheddar, Somerset.

The day featured enlightening talks from two distinguished keynote speakers. Aisha Thomas, the esteemed founder of Representation Matters, who shared insights on the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in an educational setting. Drawing from her extensive experience as a former Assistant Principle in a Bristol Academy, Aisha sparked thought-provoking conversations about promoting inclusivity and belonging in schools.

Additionally, Errol Lawson from The Art of Brilliance delivered a captivating keynote, sharing his personal journey of transformation and urging staff and leaders to embrace courage, aim high, and actively pursue positive change within their schools and communities. Errol’s message resonated deeply, reminding attendees to reconnect with their ‘why’ and harness it as a driving force for meaningful impact.

During the extended lunch break, staff enjoyed nourishing and indulgent food generously donated by The FSC Group, along with engaging well-being activities including exercise sessions, yoga and swimming at Kings Fitness and Leisure, art, music, Welsh workshops and even a laughter workshop facilitated by Laughter John, a renowned laughter therapist.

Every delegate received a recycled tote bag branded with our Wessex values and theme of the day ‘Everyone Matters, Working Together and Making a Difference’. Delegates feedback was overwhelmingly positive reflecting the culture of professional learning already in place across Wessex. Staff quotes include:

‘Both speakers were very inspiring and engaging. In the current educational climate, it was great to focus on positivity, as well as having some time to focus on our own well-being.’

‘Aisha was MOTIVATIONAL! I hope I am a vehicle for positive change for representation – just like she is!’

‘Errol was so inspiring and got me thinking about positivity at school and beyond!’

‘The donated sandwiches and doughnuts were absolutely delicious!’

In reflecting on the impact of the day, Sarah Hobbs, Director of Learning at Wessex Learning Trust, shared her delight, saying, I am thrilled with how the day went. It was truly inspiring to see our staff come together, engage with thought-provoking discussions, and leave feeling motivated and energised to make a difference in the lives of our young people. This INSET day reaffirmed our commitments to fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation within our Trust.’

Left to right – Gavin Ball (Trust Chief Executive) Sarah Hobbs (Director of Learning) Ruth Butler (Representation Matters) Errol Lawson (The Art of Brilliance) Aisha Thomas (Representation Matters) and Libby Fidock (Trust Deputy Chief Executive)