Co-produced by Curious Minds and DIY Theatre, the 'A Question of Leadership' conference brought together teachers, cultural organisations, artists, performers and academics.
Their purpose was to to hear inspiring stories about inclusive leadership and research practices across the education and arts sectors, and to question notions of leadership and research within these sectors. We were delighted to be hosted for the day by Liverpool Hope University.
The event was the fifth Specialist Leaders in Cultural Education (SLiCE®)
conference that Curious Minds has delivered. SLiCE® is one of Curious Minds' flagship fellowship programmes. It was developed in response to Darren Henley’s 2012 Review of Cultural Education and, since its inception in 2013, has developed a significant number of schools-based cultural education leaders in the region. SLiCE® fellows develop and test new practices in cultural education, researching the outcomes for wider dissemination and benefit to schools and cultural organisations in the region and beyond. The programme was also referenced in the Culture White Paper in 2016
Through the 2017-18 academic year, SLiCE® fellows' research looked at how cultural education can deliver the inclusion agenda. The focus of the 2018 conference, therefore, was inclusive practice - with a particular focus on disability. SLiCE® fellows as well as Mind the Gap
, Creative Minds
, DIY Theatre Company
, Liverpool Hope University
and Open Theatre
participated as presenters and workshop leaders.
Alongside a welcome address from Curious Minds' Director of Education, Leadership and Research, Jude Bird
, the first part of the conference featured keynote addresses from Claire Penketh
, Associate Professor in Disability & Education at Liverpool Hope University and Jenny Sealey MBE
, Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre Company and Patron of DIY Theatre Company. Sue Caudle
, Artistic Director at DIY Theatre Company, introduced their brilliant short film exploring leadership, and Karen Flood, Director of First Step, gave an inspirational address about her work to change society's attitudes towards people with learning disabilities.
During her talk, Jenny spelled out her own definition of what leadership means, this being:
L - learning, language (keep it clear, to the point and understandable
E - enrich, enable, educate, excite, empower
A - authentic , advocate, act, activist, accountability, awareness, articulate, access
D - dare, direction, debate, decision making, destiny, dismantle barriers
E - enabler, empathy encourage
R - risk, responsibility, role models, retell the story, recreate the norm, rights, research
S - support shape, share, skill up
H - help, harness, hone, hope
I - independence, individuality, inspire, initiate, ignite, inclusive, invigorate, investigate
P - provocate, prompt, participate, play to strengths, play, proactive, presence, policy, politice, pathways, progression