Education secretary Jenny Gilruth has been confirmed as the opening speaker at a forthcoming teaching conference.

The event, which is organised by Scottish Teachers for Enhancing Practice (STEP), will take place at the Stirling Court Hotel on 2 March. Ms Gilruth, a former modern studies teacher, will provide opening remarks at the conference which will be chaired by educationalist and consultant David Cameron.

Professor Walter Humes will deliver one of the keynote speeches for the conference, titled ‘Winning the Hearts and Minds of Teachers.’ An Honourary Professor of Education at the University of Stirling, Prof Humes is a prominent and often critical voice in Scottish education, and was a member of the recent review of Scotland’s education agencies. He is also the author of The Leadership Class in Scottish Education.

Another keynote will be delivered by Dr Khadija Mohammed, an Associate Dean at the University of the West of Scotland. Her speech is titled Becoming, Being and Growing as a Teacher in Scotland.  Before entering academia Dr Mohammed was a primary school teacher and she has also served as the convener of the GTCS council, having been the first person from a BME background to assume the role.

The event also includes a series of short workshops over three sessions – some are led by teachers, while others feature academics, government officials and charity workers.

STEP emerged from the Association of Chartered Teachers in 2014 and has organised a range of events over the past decade.

A spokesperson for STEP said: “We are an independent, grassroots teaching organisation comprising classroom teachers, who organise career long professional learning for other classroom teachers. The committee includes teachers from all over Scotland, from different sectors and at different stages of their careers.

“Though not our only event, our annual conference is the highlight of our calendar. Where possible, we try to give classroom teachers access to experienced presenters, which is often reserved for Leadership Teams. We believe it is vitally important that classroom teachers hear these messages directly, and have the opportunity face to face, to respond with their lived experience.

“One of the strengths of this and previous conferences are the excellent classroom teachers, who come to share their sector leading practice.

“Our delegates leave feeling enthused and inspired, having learned new skills, that they can apply in their classroom the following Monday. Many return year after year as a result.”

Further details about the STEP 2024 conference can be found here.