Conference Agenda

Thursday 10th September, QEII Centre, Westminster, London SW1P 3EE


09:30 - 11:00 Plenary Session

Conference Chair: David Crossley, Education Consultant, Author, former School and System Leader

Sir Michael Wilshaw, Chief Inspector of Schools in England and Head of Ofsted

Professor Graham Donaldson CB MA MEd DLitt, Robert Owen Centre, University of Glasgow

Councillor Claire Kober OBE, Leader of Haringey Council

Dale Peters, Head of Corporate Development, RM Education

Following a refreshment break the day continues with a series of work sessions, beginning at 11:30:

11:30 - 12:10 Work sessions

1A The role of marketing in school improvement
This session will cover key themes linked to marketing and communications including: vision and values, effective communications, creating a unique proposition, how to reach your audience and examples of how marketing has linked to school improvement. The role of marketing in teacher recruitment will also be touched upon.

The session will also see Julie Cordice, Director of Marketing, Communications and External Affairs at Bethnal Green Academy, sharing her experiences of marketing within an academy, how this has linked to their school improvement and offered a return on investment. Julie will also share best practice in dealing with the media.

Isabella Donnelly, Fellow of CIM and Managing Director, Grebot Donnelly
Julie Cordice, Director of Marketing, Communications and External Affairs, Bethnal Green Academy

1B Preparation for inspection: using SIMS effectively to prove that you're making a difference
This session will focus on strategies for the effective leadership and management of data for school improvement using SIMS. It will include an illustration of how analyses in SIMS can be used for self-evaluation and to provide evidence for all Ofsted judgements.

Stephen Long, School Improvement Consultant, Capita SIMS

1C Reclaiming assessment: using the changes to the National Curriculum and accountability framework to reclaim the professional standing of teachers in assessment practice

Everything is changing in education. The new curriculum, new accountability measures and a new inspection focus for Ofsted on progression. This is a huge opportunity for education in England.

Mick Walker looks at how teachers can maximise these changes to rebuild public and professional confidence in assessment practice. From understanding how the changes impact assessment in key stages 1, 2 and 3 to practical ways to utilise assessment as the pivotal point of teaching and learning, the session will look closely at how good practice leads to focused teaching, deeper learning and improved performance.

Mick Walker, Education Strategist, Frog Education


12:15 - 12:55 Work sessions

2A Transforming the way that you use data to support school improvement
Regardless of the Management Information System (MIS) that you use, this session will explore the top 5 things every school should be doing with their data but that many aren’t. Are you making your data work hard enough for you to give you the information that you need to help drive school improvement? We’ll cover how to push the boundaries of how your whole school uses data and what valuable insights they can gain from it, how to analyse your data to get a holistic view around the performance of your pupils in order to understand and break down barriers to learning; how to use data to confidently inform school improvement strategies and interventions that really work; how to provide comprehensive evidence around the success and impact of those strategies and how you can effectively manage and analyse your data whilst reducing costs to your school.

Hugh Lorimer, Business Analyst, RM Education
Kat Howard, Educationalist, RM Education
Cathy Piotrowski, Managing Partner, CBICT


2B Developing mastery in the primary reading curriculum
In this session we will:
- Consider the reading requirements of the new primary English curriculum and what 'going deeper' and 'mastery' look like.
- Explore some high impact teaching activities to support basic comprehension skills and 'mastery' skills.
- Consider Haringey's assessment criteria for reading.

Jane Blakey, Head of School Performance: Standards and Provision, Haringey Children and Young People's Service

2C School improvement - Getting it right, keeping it right
A 40 year career in education, with the majority of it being spent in Headship and roles of equal seniority has taught me some key life lessons; never underestimate the human spirit, never write children off as being uneducable and never believe that there are some educational challenges too great to tackle.

Through my presentation I will reveal how it wasn't money but a human resource, a precious commodity and one which flourishes in a climate of trust, that enabled me to turn around what was described as "one of the worst gang infested comprehensives in the country".

Together we will explore solutions to school improvement which are practical, cost effective and measurable, and discuss how you can create powerful partnerships in which all member schools can thrive and prosper.

The school improvement examples included in the presentation demonstrate a beautiful simplicity, but need the right culture to flourish and culture can't be bought.

Dame Kathy August DBE, Development Advisor, TheSchoolBus

12:55 - 13:45 Lunch and networking

13:45 - 14:25 Work sessions

3A Driving school improvement in the face of non-stop change and a mounting workload - insight, debate and solutions
School leaders have told The Key that in order to improve, they need fewer in-year statutory changes, reduced workload and increased funding. But who is responsible for addressing these issues? Is it the school leadership team, the headteacher, academy trusts, governors or local authorities?

Fergal Roche will lead a discussion to debate and explore the impact of these challenges, what else is missing and who ultimately needs to take part in driving this improvement. You will hear from peers about the practical solutions they are implementing in their schools.

Fergal Roche, CEO, The Key

3B "The 25 characteristics of high performing schools" - a school-led improvement system
Essex Primary schools are piloting a complete system for improving school effectiveness based on understanding “the 25 characteristics of high performing schools”.

We will share our research into the characteristics of high performing schools as well as insights from our unique, national database of real-time pupil progress in 4,000 schools.

Liam Donnison, Project Director, EES for Schools, Essex County Council

3C How BYOD can take your school to the next level - leveraging EdTech to deliver improved grades and performance
Hear from Clevedon School and Ninestiles Academy on how they have turned putting a device into the hands of their students into exceeding school attainment levels.

Chris Silverton, E-Learning Manager and SLE, Ninestiles Academy Trust
Speaker tbc, Clevedon School

14:30 - 15:10 Work sessions

4A The journey to outstanding
What makes an exceptional school? How can I lead my school to be a place of real learning?

In this interactive session, Evelyn will take you through some of the key elements that have worked for her in leading her school and will challenge you to reflect on how your leadership can really make the difference to building a team of highly skilled practitioners and staff.

Evelyn Davies, Head Teacher, Coldfall Primary School

4B Addressing bullying in Wales using the KiVA Finnish school-based anti-bullying programme
KiVa is an anti-bullying programme that was commissioned by the Finnish Government for schools within the Finnish comprehensive system It is based on robust research that shows how the responses of bystanders maintain or decrease bullying behaviour and KiVa has universal actions, at both class and school level, and indicated actions that address confirmed cases of bullying.

The universal curriculum contains lesson units for ages 7-9, 10-12, and 13-15 years that promote social skills and include discussions, role-play, video material, group work, written assignments and whole class activities. Units have online games linked to lesson topics can be played at school and/or at home. The programme contains material for whole school assemblies and for parent’s evenings. KiVa posters are displayed throughout the school and high-visibility KiVa vests are worn by staff at break times. Parent involvement is encouraged and there is a public access website for parents.

There are detailed actions that are undertaken by a KiVa team and the class teacher when a bullying incident is identified. In the Finnish randomised controlled trial (RCT) 98% per cent of referred cases were resolved or improved.

Pupils complete an annual survey at the end of each school year reporting on whether they have been victimised or have bullied others. The results are fed back to the school, along with national figures, so that their progress can be evaluated and compared with the results for the country as a whole. In Finland these surveys are showing year on year reductions in reported bullying

This session will describe the programme and its evidence and report on the positive results from the first pilot trial in the UK and describe the current randomised controlled trial in Wales.

Professor Judy Hutchings FBPsS OBE, Professor of Clinical Psychology, School of Psychology, Bangor University

4C Engaging girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)
- Girls will miss out on jobs offering some of the most rewarding, the best remunerated and highest employability prospects unless we can do more to engage them with the world of opportunity that STEM learning opens up.

- Women make up just 15.5 percent of the STEM workforce; while there has been progress in the number of girls studying some STEM subjects this isn't translating into STEM careers. This work session will investigate how we inspire and engage girls about STEM and offer information about all the free help and support that schools can call on to get girls into STEM.

Melanie Washington, Director of Programme Development, STEMNET

15:10 - 15:40 Refreshments and networking

15:40 - 16:20 Work sessions

5A Mental health in schools - the Academic Resilience Approach
What is the responsibility of a school in relation to the mental health of its pupils? This question has been debated between schools and public services for many years. On the one hand, schools provide a unique opportunity to promote emotional wellbeing and identify mental health problems as they emerge amongst young people. On the other, they have limited knowledge and expertise in this field and must prioritise academic results. What is the relationship between these and what can the research evidence for ‘what works in building resilience’ offer to this debate?

This session will explore the notion of resilience from the perspective of school’s interested in whole school approaches for vulnerable and disadvantaged learners. The session will provide a brief overview of the Academic Resilience Approach which was developed by Prof. Angie Hart and Lisa Williams and adopted by YoungMinds. Lisa was initially inspired to collaborate on this development through her experience as a Governor within Hove Park School in Brighton, a rapidly improving secondary school. Developed and trialled with schools across the country, this approach is free to use and is now the focus of several local authority funded programmes which support schools with adopting the approach as part of school improvement.

Lisa Williams, Head of Commissioning Support, YoungMinds

5B National School Support Programme - the Woodside story
Woodside School in Wood Green has gone from special measures to outstanding - now it's involved in a school support programme.

Dame Joan McVittie, Consultant Head Teacher and; Inspector, Ofsted

5C Rocking foundations
This session will look at:

- Exploring how the removal of levels in the curriculum can improve your lessons
- Showing progression in foundation subjects and science
- Investigating how the new curriculum allows presentation of evidence to be more personal and dynamic
- Analysing how to implement Bloom's taxonomy cross-curricular

Giles Storch, Headteacher, Euxton C.E. Primary School, Lancashire - an Outstanding school

16:25 - 17:00 Panel debate, Q&A and closing remarks

Chair: Dame Kathy August, Development Advisor, TheSchoolBus

Professor Graham Donaldson CB MA MEd DLitt, Robert Owen Centre, University of Glasgow

Liz Free, Head of Professional Development, Oxford University Press

Dame Joan McVittie, Consultant Head Teacher and; Inspector, Ofsted

Chris McShane, Headteacher, Quilley School and member of the Headteachers' Forum

Jim Wade, Principal, University Technical College - The JCB Academy

















Please note agenda, speakers and timings are subject to change