When we set up Dine & Discuss ten years ago few of us imagined it would continue into its second decade. The plot was to create a private dining club (strictly “Chatham House” added to the intrigue) limited in numbers and modelled on an Italian “Converzazione” at which high-level “thought-leadership” could take place amidst convivial food and wine. Guests ranging from current to jusrassic heads, leaders of professional associations, MPs, Bishops, even journalists have spoken over the years. Lawyers, accountants and curious investment bankers fly in and out but the main audience consists of practising and aspiring school leaders sometimes sprinkled with Teach First. We start with a welcome glass of champagne followed by a dinner plus inter-course conversation at which our speaker sets the scene followed by roundtable conversation. The evening ends promptly at 9.15pm and is normally held in the Canadian Room of the East India Club. As many women attend as men! And while for some it is a short tube journey others come from afar. A charge is made to cover costs with any surplus given to educational charities.
The new school year will see five or six D&Ds with two planned for the autumn term. On Thursday 13th September David Woodgate, ISBA Chief Executive will kick off with “Future Proofing – the privilege of the bursar over the ages!”. Under David’s leadership the Independent Schools Bursars Association has taken on a new lease of energy with its annual conference providing the business focal point for the private sector. Among many other accomplishments David is former chief executive of both the institutes of Administrative Management and Financial Accountants. He is an irreverent and robust speaker, and serves as board chairman of his old school, Plymouth College. At a time of unprecedented change and challenge David will be kicking off the new school year with some timely warnings and forecasts. This will be followed on Wednesday 21st November by Natasha Devon MBE speaking on “Mental Health in British Schools – Breaking Point!”. Natasha is a regular speaker and broadcaster on mental health and has just seen her book “A Beginner’s Guide to Being Mental, A-Z” published which I warmly recommend. Far too many schools and universities have been touched by the tragedy of student suicide in recent months.
We are expecting high turn-outs for both these events so please contact Nikki Naish to receive an invitation. Wishing you all a peaceful and recreational long vacation! But AMC never sleeps should you need us!!