Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

ICP Conference success for SHA delegation

Tim Andrew and John Dunford were two of the 60 school leaders who represented the UK at the 7th Convention of the International Confederation of Principals (ICP) in Cape Town in July - along with 1,800 delegates from 23 countries.

The highlight was a speech from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in which he contrasted the narrowness of his schooling under apartheid with the freedom of thought that he experienced at university in London.

Archbishop Tutu was given an ecstatic welcome and the singing of the South African national anthem after his speech was as moving an occasion as there can ever have been at an education conference.

Archbishop Tutu is a living example of the courageous moral leadership that we attempt, in our own small ways, to emulate in our UK schools and colleges.

The convention began with a statement on behalf of ICP, read by a female head from Uganda, expressing sympathy with the people of London in the aftermath of the bombings three days earlier.

The statement affirmed the role of education in a troubled world and emphasised the contrast between terrorism and education:

"Schools are places where young people of all races and religions work together in harmony, even when the communities they serve are divided...Terrorism is negative; education is positive. Terrorism is an act of despair; education is a reservoir of hope."

ICP president, David Wylde, a South African principal with experience of teaching in the UK, spoke of the conference theme, Ubuntu, an African word with no exact western translation. The spirit of ubuntu is that we grow as people through other people.

SHA member, Rt Revd Peter Hullah, assisted by Kate Griffin, Andrew Blair (Australia) and Keith Tatum (USA) from ICP Executive, talked about the ICP project on 'the hopeful school'.

Other British inputs included Ruth Winterson and John Jones from Cheshire on an exchange between heads in Cheshire and Holland, demonstrating the critical friend peer-tutoring in which this group of heads is involved.

David Wylde will be succeeded in 2007 as ICP president by former SHA president, Kate Griffin, who was elected as ICP president-elect at the council meeting immediately preceding the convention.

The next ICP convention will be in Auckland, New Zealand on 2 to 5 April 2007. This is the week leading up to Easter. All SHA members are automatically members of ICP and are therefore eligible to attend.

SHA member Kate Griffin has been elected the next ICP president

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