The newly-formed Bridgwater-based Quantock Education Trust has held its first conference on the theme of ‘Building Character, Shaping Futures’.

Staff from the Trust’s partner schools attended the event at The McMillan Theatre which was led by two distinguished guest speakers from the education sector.

The Quantock Education Trust was formerly established in August 2019 and includes Haygrove School in Bridgwater, Spaxton C of E Primary School and Stogursey C of E Primary School.

Andy Wolfe, deputy chief education officer for the Church of England kicked off the conference by talking about the importance of developing positive character in students and the role of school staff in achieving this aim so that all young people are able to flourish.

Mr Wolfe said: “I was delighted to be invited to speak at the Quantock Education Trust’s inaugural conference and excited to learn that the focus was ‘character education’.”

Mr Wolfe was followed by prominent educationalist, public speaker, writer and chief executive of the Chartered College of Teaching Dame Alison Peacock who spoke about ‘learning without limits’, drawing on her experiences as a headteacher.

Reverend Ed Moll, of St George’s Church in Wembdon, - a member of the Quantock Education Trust Board - said: “I thought this was an excellent conference, very high quality and inspiring speakers.

“I really hope their talks helped all staff remember why they went into the profession and to be inspired to continue to strive within it.”

Students from both primary and secondary level worked together in the lead-up to the conference and, on the day, demonstrated their musical and dancing talents by performing a version of ‘Giant’ Calvin Harris and Rag’n’Bone Man.

Head of drama at Haygrove School, Abbie-Louise Hannaby said: “The older students worked brilliantly with the younger ones, supporting them and encouraging them all along; their collaboration was a joy to see.”

Quantock Education Trust CEO Karen Canham said: “I was thrilled to see our first conference come together, and feel excited by the positive reaction to our mission to develop positive character in our students from pre-school through to young adulthood.”