BSA focuses on ‘Transforming Communities’

Headmaster of Cranleigh School and 2018 Boarding Schools’ Association Chair, Martin Reader, looks ahead to the BSA Annual Conference

The Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) Annual Conference theme for 2018 is ‘Transforming Communities’. Taking place in Brighton from 1–3 May, the conference is a unique opportunity for Heads from all types of school, state boarding and independent, prep and senior, single-sex and co-educational to come together united with a single purpose: to support each other’s endeavours in boarding education and to understand each other’s needs. There is a spirit of camaraderie and networking that is unique to this conference.

The conference theme of ‘Transforming Communities’ reinforces the work we already do in our school communities and how we hope our students will make a difference to the communities in which they will live and work in the future, taking up the challenge laid down by Archbishop Sentamu last year at our annual conference in York.

BSA Boarding Achievement Awards

At this year’s Annual Conference Dinner on Wednesday 2 May we will be celebrating the achievements of our sector through an awards dinner. Our Boarding Awards Ceremony/Conference Dinner will take place in the magnificent British Airways i360 viewing tower, with the drinks reception in the 160m high observation platform overlooking the Brighton seafront. The awards include best boarding school for:

 – Boarding research 

 – New boarding – extension or refurbishment

 – Boarding innovation 

 – Mental wellbeing/health initiative

 – Stephen Winkley Boarding Award

 – Work with vulnerable children

During the conference we will be joined by a number of speakers who will inspire leading Heads to continue on their journey to transform their boarding communities, including: 

 – Reverend Steve Chalk MBE, Founder of the Inspire Project – a peace project for children and schools of all sectors, faiths and backgrounds to mark the end of the Great War

 – Leading futurist and senior associate from the Innovation Unit, David Price OBE 

 – A sector update from Barnaby Lenon, Chairman, ISC

 – Online bullying expert Lauren Seager-Smith, CEO, Kidscape 

 – Ian Davenport, CEO, RNCF/Springboard and Patrick Derham, Headmaster of Westminster School will lead a session on the contribution our sector makes towards vulnerable children

 – Kate Richards, Chief Inspector, ISI, will provide an update on inspection changes

 – KPMG’s Global Head of Corporate Citizenship, Lord Michael Hastings CBE, will lead a session on social responsibility

 – Vice Admiral Ben Key CBE, Commander of the Fleet, former boarder, boarding school governor and boarding parent, discussing leadership under pressure

 – And Dr Laura Henry, Director of Chinquapin Preparatory School, Texas, sharing the inspiring story of a boarding school for low-income students

 – Bettany Hughes, historian and broadcaster will be our after-dinner speaker and will share, we hope, some of the stranger Ideas that Make Us in line with her Radio 4 series

BSA Head of Safeguarding and Standards Dale Wilkins will also be leading a safeguarding panel to update colleagues on recent legislative changes, the inquiries and updates on the current safeguarding landscape. 

The BSA Annual Conference for Heads will take place in the iconic Grand Hotel in Brighton from 1–3 May. For more, visit

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