Susan Place Everhart, Sabre CEO, speaks at BFSS Grants Workshop 2023

Inspiring workshop focuses on decision-makers

BFSS’ annual Grant Holders’ Workshop was a stimulating day focused this year on the theme of How to successfully work with decision-makers.

We enjoyed a powerful case study from Sabre CEO Susan Place Everhart (pictured above) detailing how they took their project on their early years learning through play model in Ghana to a situation where the approach is now national policy.

“We built trust with officials over a decade, understanding how our approach could align with government goals, and later applying for high profile awards so we shared the success and the government could enjoy recognition for the changes made. We’ve now developed a teacher training manual with Right to Play that has become the official manual and are looking at cross-country collaboration.”

Their decade-long campaign also involved staff secondment to the Ghana Education Service; developing technical expertise and an evidence base; hosting a UK study tour visiting Early Years classes; piloting, testing and sharing learning. The manual is a crucial tool for people to use to help scale up across the country but, Susan said, so too were short videos which could bring the impact of their work alive, capturing hearts and minds.

It was a great example to illustrate the workshop’s theme of How to successfully work with decision-makers. In lightning talks we also heard from:

  • Jeanette Brady of Kyaninga Child Development Centre on their project helping teachers to understand pupils with SEN, helped by a pop-up classroom to show such teaching taking place.
  • Lynne Pritchard of Redearth on how they ensured their teacher CPD programme could run in the future, without them, with a commitment to CPD in Ugandan teacher policy.
  • Emily Wilson of Irise on the power of involving girls to explain the issues in order to improve support for periods in UK schools and reduce absenteeism.
  • Sian Wynne of Consortium for Street Children who also shared how lived experience could transform outcomes: street children, who had to be resourceful to survive, could transform the opinions of decision-makers.

It was a great day, in November, with plenty of opportunities to discuss and network with other BFSS Grant Partners, while exploring how to build relationships with decision makers to improve educational provision and practice, internationally and in the UK.

We hope those who could not join at this year’s event can access the presentations and notes of discussions in the Resources section of our BFSS Forum online. You can also message people you would like to keep in touch with through the People Directory on the Forum.

  • After careful analysis of our June Conference attendees and your feedback we realised the two events have become very similar, so to make best use of everyone’s time we will return to hosting just one event per year, which will be our Grant Partners’ Workshop taking place on 17 June 2024, this will remain focused on sharing great practice. Please save the date.

Published: 1 December 2023