I have been to a few in my time – HMC, IAPS, SoH, ISBA, BSA, COBIS, FOBISIA – but the latest BSME (British Schools of the Middle East) conference in Abu Dhabi was certainly one of the best! Well-attended, brilliantly organised amidst the splendid setting of the Yas Marina, and made memorable by three outstanding sessions. Hazel Jackson gave stimulating insight into Liz Wiseman’s leadership theory of “Multipliers and Diminishers” – www.bizgroup.ae – which in an earlier life I seem to recall were “Drains and Radiators”. Professor Deborah Eyre (AMC Non-Executive Director) gave an inspirational talk on High Performance Learning linking in with the previous session by highlighting the unlocking of human potential in schools having belief in their pupils capacity to learn and excel. Finally Jane Larsson, Executive Director CIS, spoke powerfully and personally on “Child Abuse Risk and Realities: What school leaders need to know”. As well as a wake-up call on all aspects of safeguarding and child-protection Jane gave us fresh insight into the enormities of paedophilia and its machinations through the Dark Web. But conferences are more than sessions. Enjoyment of old and new friendship, the optimism and dynamism of education in the middle east, the ambience of Yas island Crowne Plaza and the smell of racing oil from the Yas Marina Grand Prix circuit are all good things to take back to the snow and cold of England! Last year I began to question the value of some conferences but BSME has reignited my enthusiasm. Thank you! PS: I have even been forgiven for leaving the AMC tablecloth on the exhibition stand, only remembering it a mile high over Romania on my return journey!! BSME had found it and are kindly bringing it to London on their next trip. Inshallah!