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Welcome to Torbay Teaching School

TTSA Leadership Conference 2019


Thursday 23rd May

TTSA Conference Centre, Oldway School, Paignton




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.

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.



'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.



'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 


'How to be clever with your money'


Susan Fielden

CPFA, Effervesce Ltd


Education leaders must deliver the best possible educational outcomes within the funding available.  Changes take time, management and investment and yet the future is uncertain.  


An education-centred strategic financial plan, developed by the team, owned by the Board, brings integrity and credibility to budget planning, allowing you to focus on what is important for children.


In this workshop we will look at how to embed integrated strategic planning and spot the risks and opportunities, so that you can get really clever with your money.






TTSA ‘Full’ Members receive two FREE places within your membership subscription
   (Extra places will be charged at £95.00 per delegate)
*  TTSA ‘Curriculum’ Members & Non - TTSA Members: £125.00 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




Riviera Education Trust, Oldway Primary School, Higher Polsham Road, Paignton TQ3 2SY (Registered Office)
A charitable company limited by guarantee, Company registration number 09751294 (England & Wales)