Annual Conference

CISC 30th Annual Conference at

The Hilton Grosvenor Hotel, Glasgow


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Headline Sponsors: Moore Kingston Smith & Stone King

Supporting Sponsor: Powerful Allies


We are thrilled to announce that our 30th anniversary CISC Conference 2020 will be in Glasgow on 16 and 17 January at the Hilton Grosvenor Hotel. CISC will be taking over the whole hotel (a CISC first I believe!) which sits in the West End of Glasgow, alongside the botanical gardens and across the way from the University of Glasgow. It is a wonderful hotel and, I hope, will afford a much more bespoke and personal conference for you all.

The theme of the conference ‘The Pearl of Great Price’ symbolises the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of our schools whose identity and ethos are rooted in the fundamental understanding that our educational imperative is to give life to the full to all members of our school communities. And this fullness of understanding comes through encounter with God, intellectually morally and spiritually.

We are delighted to announce the programme of guest speakers and workshops:

Keynote Speakers

Dame Alison Peacock, Chief Executive of the Chartered College of Teaching

Dame Alison Peacock is an educationalist who, despite her leading national and international role in education, has never lost the perspective of the classroom teacher and school leader. As such, in her current role she celebrates pedagogy and encourages meaningful collaborations between researchers and teachers that give pupils the best opportunities that education affords.  Dame Alison will set our conference off with a vibrant, engaging and sincere exploration of the value of education and the common good.

Professor Sir Harry Burns: former Chief Medical Officer for Scotland and professor of global public health at the University of Strathclyde

Professor Sir Harry Burns has had a distinguished career in medicine and healthcare. An alumnus of our host school, St Aloysius, his career has been marked by a commitment to social welfare and the common good.  As Chief Medical Officer for Scotland he emphasised the importance of the early years as a basis for health and wellbeing in adulthood.  Sir Harry will share insights into how the formative aspect of his years at St Aloysius and ‘the wearing o’ the green blazer’ have informed his career choices and achievements.

Reed Brand Communication present CISC & the Common Good


Ten Ten Resources – Relationship Education

2:20pm – 3:05pm & 3:15pm – 4:00pm

Ten Ten Resources has created a fully-resourced scheme of work in Relationship Education for Catholic prep schools, and RSE for Catholic senior schools, which will fulfil the new statutory curriculum and is fully consistent with Church teaching. In this workshop, Ten Ten will outline how schools can implement “Life to the Full” – a high-quality, contemporary, media-rich programme – in time for the new changes.

Richard Hester and CISC Working with Your Governing Body

2:20pm – 3:05pm

Governing bodies in independent catholic schools typically contribute much, through professional skills and experience, in terms of setting strategic direction, creating robust accountability and ensuring financial probity, and crucially Catholic ethos.  Research has confirmed the importance of good relationships between governors and heads, and especially within the chair-headteacher relationship.   In this workshop, Richard will share and explore best practice in facilitating this critical relationship, the outcome of which will be the development of an audit for good governance in CISC schools.

Barbara Coupar – Inclusion

2:20pm – 3:05pm & 3:15pm – 4:00pm

As head of the Scottish Catholic Education Service, Barbara has been a leading advocate for education that is supportive and inclusive of all students.  Her work with schools in this area facilitates both policies and practice to ensure that staff feel confident, informed and enabled with regards to all aspects of Equality and Inclusion. Barbara’s workshop will explore Inclusion from the perspective that any work with young people in this area is rooted in the Church’s vision of what it means to be in relationship with God and others.

Tina Campbell – Safeguarding

3:15pm – 4:00pm

Tina is the National Safeguarding Co-Ordinator for the Scottish National Safeguarding Office of the Bishops’ Conference, Scotland. She is a leading, national voice both in training and development of strategy with regards to safeguarding and reviews safeguarding processes for schools. Tina’s workshop will chart the review process as a model for good practice and will cover issues and concerns relevant to schools.

Stone King & Moore Kingston Smith – Some Challenges and Some Solutions

2:20pm – 3:05pm & 3:15pm – 4:00pm

With their involvement in so many aspects of the education landscape, our headline sponsors will bring this experience and wisdom to bear in exploring key concerns and challenges facing schools and, most importantly, what can be done to mitigate them. With perspectives from both an operational and strategic viewpoint the interactive nature of the workshop will support exploration of key issues in a supportive environment.


Mass will be at the Glasgow University Memorial Chapel, celebrated by Archbishop Tartaglia with Bishop John Keenan and Canon Michael McMahon concelebrating and supported by the pupils and staff of St Aloysius’ College and Kilgraston.


Annual Conference 2019

The 2019 CISC Annual Conference was held at The Guoman Tower Hotel in St Katherine’s Dock, picturesquely sited on the banks of the Thames beside Tower Bridge and The Tower of London.

The theme of the conference, Faith-Full Leadership, was epitomised through two outstanding keynote speakers who have lived and written about this subject at the highest levels.

The Right Hon Lord Patten of Barnes opened the conference with a personal and moving keynote which was remarkable in its candour and the simplicity through which he communicated his experience as a political leader. This was ‘bookended’ by the closing keynote from a former fellow politician, the Right Hon Ruth Kelly. Her focus on the challenges to and the distinctive nature of Catholic independent education indicated an understanding of the sector that was all the more impressive when articulated through a personal vocation to leadership.

With workshops led by Stone King and Kingston Smith, Rise Theatre Company, and Nick Morrell from Westminster Cathedral Choir School, offered a conference that provided members the opportunity to be revived, refreshed and renewed in mind, body and spirit.

You can read the full Conference Report here.

The presentations, key documents and photo gallery from the conference can be found in the Members’ Area.