ASCL Northern Ireland Annual Conference 2017

08:50 - 16:00, 22 November 2017 Templepatrick

ASCL Northern Ireland Annual Conference 2017 is an exceptional opportunity for you as school and college leaders to get up to date with the latest in education policy and practice, to discuss and challenge the current and future landscape, as well as invest time in your own professional development.

Leading Schools for Impact and Purpose will explore key challenges for school and college leaders and is specifically tailored for the needs of education in Northern Ireland. 

With our inspiring programme featuring expert speakers and workshop facilitators, this year’s conference has a strong focus on proposing practical solutions and strategies for you to take back to your school or college, thereby maximising the impact for you, your team and your students.

An unmissable event in the education calendar - book your place today. 


£170 members
£210 non-members

Bed and Breakfast (Tuesday 21 November): £99pp
Annual Dinner (Tuesday 21 November): £30pp

Tuesday 21 November 2017


Annual General Meeting
(ASCL Northern Ireland members only)


President’s Drinks Reception


Annual Dinner

Wednesday 22 November 2017


Registration and refreshments


President’s address
Dermot Mullan, ASCL NI President and Principal, Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock


Address and Question and Answer session
Derek Baker, Permanent Secretary, Department of Education


General Secretary Address
Geoff Barton, ASCL General Secretary


Refreshment break


Leading for Impact
Andy Buck, Managing Director, Leadership Matters


Leading Teaching and Learning
Geoff Barton, ASCL General Secretary




Breakout sessions:
(delegates can choose from one of the following)

  • Managing deficit budgets
    Julia Harnden, ASCL Funding Specialist

  • Pensions update
    Stephen Casey, ASCL Pensions Specialist

  • Data Protection in Schools
    Clare Bates, Carson McDowell Solicitors

  • The charity registration process and schools
    Sarah Burrows, Cleaver Fulton Rankin Solicitors and Jayne Thompson, PTA UK


Refreshment break


Dawson Stelfox MBE, Conservation Architect and Mountaineer


Final remarks
Deirdre Gillespie, ASCL NI Vice President and Principal, St Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt


Managing deficit budgets
Julia Harnden, ASCL Funding Specialist

In a changing education landscape and as budgets are continually squeezed confidence in financial management is essential. As pressure increases on leadership teams, budget responsibility needs to be shared and understood by more staff in schools.

This workshop provides practical advice to support the development and application of your skills in resource planning. Funding is one of the enabling factors in achieving your vision but requires a down-to-earth understanding of what it takes to work effectively within a balanced budget. What is the state of your school’s financial health? How can you test it?

Data Protection in schools
Clare Bates, Carson McDowell Solicitors

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force in May 2018 across the UK. The aim of this piece of legislation is to update Data Protection across Europe. The UK Government has confirmed that irrespective of the policy in Brexit, GDPR will be adopted within the UK. If you currently comply with the DPA, then significant changes will not be required to ensure compliance with GDPR. You must have appropriate and proportionate governance arrangements in place in your school for dealing with personal information. Now is the right time to review your policies before the law changes in May 2018. Think about the 3 Ps – Policies, People and Procedures

Clare Bates is a leading expert on the area of data protection and has already explored this topic at the joint ASCL/Legal Island Education Law update in June 2017.

The charity registration process and schools
Sarah Burrows, Cleaver Fulton Rankin Solicitors and Jayne Thompson, PTA UK

The education system in Northern Ireland consists of different types of schools which are overseen by the Department of Education and a range of other education bodies.

Some school structures may be required to apply to register as charities with the Commission, while others will not. This will depend on how they have been established.

An organisation must apply for registration as a charity in Northern Ireland, regardless of its income, size or whether or not it has received charitable tax status from HMRC, if:

  • it has exclusively charitable purposes

  • it is governed by the law of Northern Ireland

  • it is an institution, that is, it is an organisation that is an independent body, the hallmarks of which include having control and direction over its governance and resources

Sarah Burrows from Cleaver Fulton Rankin Solicitors is an expert in the charity registration process and has done work for N Ireland schools. The charities legislation has created huge challenges for PTAs. PTA UK continues to support its members with our model constitution, approved by Charity Commission NI and other preapproved resources, but much more needs to be done in communicating the legislative requirement to PTAs and providing the assistance required. Jayne Thompson has extensive experience working with PTAs in Northern Irish Schools.

Hilton Templepatrick, Antrim
Paradise Walk, Castle Upton Estate, Templepatrick BT39 0DD