Regional Conference brings 300 School Business Managers together

The SCHOOLS NorthEast School Business Management Conference took place yesterday, 23 June 2016, at St James’ Park in Newcastle and brought together 300 school management professionals from across the region.


Those involved in the day-to-day management of schools heard from a fantastic line-up and speakers and networked with their colleagues, as well as with a wide variety of companies exhibiting on the day.

Director of Operations Chris Zarraga gave an opening speach, thanking delegates, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors and the SBM Council in particular for their “help throughout the year, unpaid but certainly not unappreciated, and particularly their help with puting the programme together.” Chris was followed by SCHOOLS NorthEast Vice Chair Iain Veitch, whose speech was a “tribute to all School Business Managers – you are quite simply indispensable.”

Break-Out Sessions 1

The motivational speaker for the day was ‘The SUMO Guy’ Paul McGee. He is one of the UK’s leading speakers on the subject of change, workplace relationships and motivation. SUMO stands for ‘Shut Up and Move On’ which Paul describes as a “life philosophy, not just a catchphrase”.

Conference Room 'full' 4

Paul told the audience to focus on making progress, not perfection: “Build a bridge, get over it. It takes effort and collaboration but at least you are making progress”, adding that the resources needed for success “are already within you, or your team”.

Both of his sessions were lively, interactive and hilarious and we hope our delegates left feeling refreshed and more confident.

Delegates 7.JPG                  Cln_736XEAA9Fza

Paul’s book, SUMO, was also an absolute success with the crowd. Copies were sold during the day, with all proceeds going to Macmillan Cancer Support. Around £700 was raised .

With three rounds of 4 breakout sessions , our delegates were spoiled for choice, but the conference also looked at the ‘Big Picture’. The keynote session saw Stephen Morales, Chief Executive of NASBM, give a speech on the role of the SBM in the changing education sector, followed by a panel debate on the White Paper, academisation, and the national funding formula.

The Big Picture Debate 9

Our exhibition area looked better than ever, each stand colourfully branded, with a lot of character and plenty of freebies up for grabs.

Exhibition 7

Thanks again to everyone who chose to exhibit at this year’s Conference, we hope it was a very fruitful day for your business.

Delegates 4

Three delegates were the lucky winners of our SBM Conference Bingo! Big Congratulations to:

Marie Ballaam, Finance Manager at Tudhoe Colliery Primary School –  A week’s holiday in Spain for two, kindly donated by Main Sponsors Schools Advisory Service 

Lynn Nicholson, School Business Manager at Healthfield Academy Trust –  Sunday lunch for two, kindly donated by Newcastle United Football Club 

Helen Grabham, Office Manager at Finchale Primary School – Spa day for 2, kindly donated by Ramside Hall Hotel & Golf Club 

We would like to thank our Main Sponsor of the day Schools Advisory Service for all their support! We would also like to extend our thanks to Session Room Sponsors Capita Education Recruitment and Delegate Bag Sponsors Ward Hadaway Law Firm.

All pictures taken during the day are available to view here.



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