Edmund Rice England - Presence . Compassion . Liberation

Heads & Chairs Conference 2017


Last week we met at the Hayes Conference Centre in Swanwick, Derbyshire for our annual Heads & Chairs conference. The theme of the event was ‘Concern for the Whole Person’ : how can we care best for the students and families in our care?

Keynote speaker Dr John Kelly truly made a dramatic impact with his powerful delivery of his findings about how the young brain learns and how , educationally, our national curricula have simply not caught up. Food for thought for all educators. His programme and book are worth exploring: www.fingerprintlearning.com

One delegate said:” Outstanding, thought-provoking, I could go on and on…”

We also heard from Alison Armstrong and Jamie Crompton-Rea from Ascert, Northern Ireland. Jamie told us about ‘Strengthening Families, a programme to facilitate communication between teens and parents. We hope to be able to roll out a version of this programme into our schools. Alison informed us of suicide awareness and about training available to make us all more aware of the signs that someone may be contemplating suicide.

Alison and Jamie

‘Talking Heads’

All delegates left the conference truly humbled by the words of our ex-pupils. All gave moving and heart-felt accounts of the great lives they are now leading in service of others, inspired by the charism of Blessed Edmund and motivated by the experiences they had had at our schools. These are the great men and women we are sending out into the world; true changer of hearts and minds.

Feedback on hearing from the students : “Truly amazing!” “Wow, every new young teacher should hear why our students’ school experience was so formative and important”.

Save the date for next year’s Heads and Chairs Conference; 11th-12th October 2108 at Emmaus In Dublin.

Feedback on whole conference: ‘The whole event reminded me and reinforced to me why I have been part of the network for so long”.


Prayer of Thanks for Blessed Edmund Rice

O God, we thank you for the life of Edmund Rice.
He opened his heart to Christ present in those oppressed by poverty and injustice.
May we follow his example of faith and generosity.
Grant us the courage and compassion of Edmund as we seek to live lives of love and service.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.