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Welcome to Torbay Teaching School

TTSA Leadership Conference 2019


Thursday 23rd May

Riviera International Centre, Torquay




Debra Searle MVO, MBE

'Choose Your Attitude: It’s not Magic, It’s Mindset’


Debra Searle was hailed a sporting heroine when she became only the fourth woman in the world to row solo across the Atlantic. That wasn’t the original idea. She had set off with her husband, an international oarsman, but he developed an uncontrollable fear of the ocean and she decided to continue the journey alone.
Debra was considered the weakest competitor in the Atlantic Rowing Race. She was a gold medallist in dragon-boat racing, but had never seriously rowed before. She was scared of deep water, the dark and sharks, and she is physically rather small. Sceptics gave her two days at most. In a 23 foot plywood boat, Debra dodged tankers and battled against 30 foot waves and force 8 squalls, though the biggest challenge was solitude. Nonetheless she dared to believe she could make it. A journey that should have taken around 40 days took 112 days and Debra rowed into Port St Charles, Barbados to a rapturous welcome.
Debra recounts her story - the highs and lows, challenges and victories - with her theme of ‘choose your attitude’. She speaks about how, whenever we face the apparently impossible, it’s how we look at the challenge that matter most.
With genuine modesty, enthusiasm and a contagiously positive attitude Debra shows how to build confidence by visualising a series of small goals, and how to draw from reserves of self-belief even in the face of extreme hardship. Her aim is to leave audiences believing they too can achieve targets that once seemed out of reach.
Praise for Debra’s keynote speeches:
“She was absolutely fantastic … and what a story. An incredible woman.”
West Midlands Police


“I have never heard a better speech, anywhere, in any context.”
Bausch & Lomb EMEA
“You were authentic, genuine, real, and approachable. I felt like we were in a conversation vs being presented to. Perhaps the best I have ever experienced in an external speaker.” Nike
Watch Debra’s motivational speaker showreel below


Debra Searle - Female Keynote Motivational Speaker Showreel

Debra Searle has delivered over 1000 motivational speeches across 36 countries to some of the world's largest organisations, from the likes of HSBC to Nike. She is renowned for her ability to tailor her presentation to the client's event and for the thoroughness of her preparation.

Lucy Crehan

‘Lessons from the world’s top-performing education systems’
Lucy is an education explorer and international education consultant. She taught science and Psychology at a secondary school in London before completing a Masters in Education at Cambridge. She then spent time working in schools and living with teachers in five 'top-performing' education systems; the basis for her book, ‘Cleverlands: the secrets behind the success of the world's education superpowers’, one of The Economist’s ‘books of the year 2016’.
On her return, Lucy wrote a book on teacher career structures for IIEP UNESCO, and spent a year as part of a team advising foreign governments on education reform at Education Development Trust. She now works as an independent consultant, and is conducting research for another book.

Richard Parker

'Attachment Awareness in Schools’
Richard Parker has been a youth worker, a researcher, and a secondary school teacher in Inner London. He worked for many years in local government within education and children’s services, in a number of different authorities. In 2010 he joined Bath Spa University, initially as Director of the Centre for Education Policy in Practice and more recently as a senior lecturer in Education Studies.
Richard has a particular interest in the education of children in care, and has been involved in a range of activities to promote emotion coaching and attachment awareness in schools and initial teacher education, at both local and national level. He was a founder trustee of the Attachment Research Community (ARC) and is currently working with the National Association of Virtual School Headteachers (NAVSH) to develop a Postgraduate Certificate for carers and professionals working with care experienced children. He has been a school governor, chair of a multi-academy trust, and is currently chair of a new Secondary School in Swindon due to open – on attachment aware lines - in September 2019.

Roxanne Burness-Moakes

‘The Stitch Project’


Roxanne Burness-Moakes currently works as an ASD  teacher at Combe Pafford School in Torquay. She has been teaching for eight years and started her career in London, where she experienced a wide range of primary settings and worked with children with varying degrees of special educational need. 


At present Roxanne has 7 pupils in her year 5 class, all of which have a diagnosis of Autism. There are also individual needs which are addressed through personalised interventions throughout the year. These include sensory, emotional, communication, behavioural, fine motor and movement therapy. 


When Roxanne joined Combe Pafford in 2017, she was asked to develop and lead The Stitch Project, which aims to support families who are experiencing difficulties with their child’s behaviours.  This has been invaluable to her personal development and has broadened her knowledge of Autism by working alongside experienced therapists and setting up personalised interventions to be delivered at home and within school.



Delegates choose 2 out of 5 options

'Understanding Autism'


Dee Passenger

Autism Champion, Oldway Primary School




  • What is autism?
  • Brief history of autism
  • Prevalence of autism
  • How does autism affect our pupils?
  • How can we help our pupils?
  • Using Social Stories ™ 
  • Sensory difficulties
  • National initiatives – NAS TMI campaign
  • Dealing with feelings and emotions – anxiety
  • Raising awareness – Autism Awareness Week/Autism Champions
  • Lego ™ Therapy 
'Pupil Premium: Developing successful learners'


Director of Kingsbridge EEF Research School


Regardless of prior attainment and FSM status, having high expectations of what all pupils can achieve in the classroom is the first step in closing the attainment gap for our Disadvantaged Students.

Every child can improve as a more skilful and self-regulating learner equipped with the strategies they need to succeed. This workshop will explore the role of metacognition in developing these attributes and provide clear, actionable guidance for teachers to apply back in school.



'Putting the theory into Practice- what does an Attachment Aware school look like and what impact does it have?


Bradley Stoke Community School


Bradley Stoke Community School, which is an all through school, took part in the Attachment Aware Schools programme with Bath Spa University.


This session will share with you the approaches they have used to integrate this learning into the classroom, into training for staff, into inclusive practice and what the impact of this has been. Bradley Stoke Community School also holds the Silver Award from the Healthy Schools Programme for its work on promoting whole school mental health and the attachment aware focus formed part of this award.


Take away ideas and resources to use in your setting that put the theory into practice!
'Creating a real legacy with PE premium funding'


Create Development
An inspirational interactive workshop exploring how we can assure we celebrate a measurable, sustained impact with our PE and Sport premium investment.
Ronnie will demonstrate how by embracing existing holistic, child centred-approaches already used in other curriculum areas, we can create a new ambition for every child in PE. He will propose a new definition of ‘PE specialist’ that explains why generalists primary teachers, with the right training and support provide the very best physical education.
Delegates will leave with the ability to embrace serious challenges but armed with real solutions with proven impact.


'Embedding education-centred strategic financial planning'


Effervesce Ltd


Education leaders must deliver the best possible educational outcomes within the funding available. Changes take time, management and investment. An education-centred strategic financial plan, developed by the team, owned by the Board, brings integrity and credibility to budget planning. In this workshop we will look at some top tips for embedding integrated strategic planning and some of the pitfalls to avoid so that you can make it work for you.






TTSA ‘Full’ Members receive two FREE places within your membership subscription
   (Extra places will be charged at £125.00 per delegate)
*  TTSA ‘Curriculum’ Members & Non - TTSA Members: £155.00 per delegate





Torbay and TTSA Member Schools: book online at


Non-TTSA Member and non-Torbay schools: click on this link


Alternatively, please download and complete the ‘TTSA 2019 Conference external users booking form ’ below