The WISC Conference on 12/13th October was our 10th Annual one and was a great success for everyone involved, from the delegates, mainly senior leaders in Welsh independent schools, and the speakers and special guests through to the 15 supportive sponsors, many of whom have already signed up to attend the 2024 conference. Special thanks this year go to our Gold Sponsors, Assured Partners Hettle Andrews and Education Horizons. If your company would be interested in sponsoring our WISC conference in the future, please contact Emma Verrier (CEO). We also thank the great staff at the voco St David’s Hotel for all their efforts and help in organising.

The conference always provides many opportunities for networking through our friendly and relatively small set up and we always welcome teachers and leaders from mainstream, special and faith schools. We enjoyed a great range of speakers and presentations over the two days, including Dave Harris (Independent Thinking), the Reverend Canon Sarah Jones, Veale Wasbrough Vizard law firm and Suzanne Shaw. We are grateful to the HMIs from ESTYN who attended and as usual gave us valuable updates and the opportunity to ask questions about inspection, as well as facilitating a very useful session in which leaders were able to evaluate their own schools’ improvement plans. We also held open forum sessions for both mainstream and special schools and an insightful time for an inspection panel with representatives from our own schools that have been inspected and peer inspectors.

A highlight of the event as always was our Annual Dinner, which this year was attended by Ryan Jones MBE, who kindly was our after-dinner speaker. What a gentleman; he was inspiring, motivational, exceptionally funny and such a good sport- especially over posing for numerous photos with admiring fans!

At the dinner Gareth Pearson (Chair of WISC) was pleased to present the WISC Lifetime Achievement Award 2023, which this year went to Elizabeth Turner, a most valued teacher at Fairholme Preparatory School in St Asaph. Elizabeth has taught at the school since 1988 and during this long period has been inspirational to both staff and pupils. She has been instrumental in setting up many initiatives. Her hard work, care and energy mean that she is an outstanding force for good. Congratulations on the award, Elizabeth- very well-deserved!

  Quotes from sponsors

AssuredPartners Hettle Andrews- “We are delighted to be Gold Sponsor for a second year running and to support the Welsh Independent Schools Council at their annual conference.”

Cleverchefs- “We are thrilled to be exhibiting at the WISC conference, showcasing our independent school brand.” Nobel and Eaton- “As ever, we’ve had the friendliest welcome at WISC. As an organisation, it’s clearly purpose-led with a real focus on values and improvement but with a strong sense of humanity and compassion at the heart of what it does.”