Pupil Premium Best Practice: A week to go

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:

Headteacher Update's National Pupil Premium best practice conference – offering 18 sessions all of which will give practical strategies that can be adapted and adopted for your school’s circumstances – takes place in a week's time.

Organised by SecEd & Headteacher Update and taking place face-to-face on Friday, March 18, the conference brings together senior leaders, Pupil Premium leads, teachers, and other experts to help you discover evidence-based and practical interventions and strategies for raising attainment, overcoming key barriers to learning and achievement, and narrowing the gap for disadvantaged pupils.

Themes include removing the barriers created by poverty, Covid recovery and catch-up work, Pupil Premium evaluation and reporting, long-term strategies, vocabulary and literacy, mental health and wellbeing, assessment, tutoring, and building relationships with troubled young people.

The event offers two keynotes

Our opening keynote features the Cost of the School Day Team from the Child Poverty Action Group and Children North East. This three-year project seeks to identify the barriers that poverty creates to education – both large and small.

The keynote session will explore how policies and practices in schools can pose barriers for low-income pupils and what schools can do to promote inclusion.

The session will offer practical ideas and best practice examples to use in your own classrooms and schools to help reduce the cost of the school day and make schools more inclusive for children from low-income families.

Our second keynote features the former government communication champion Jean Gross, who will discuss how we can close the word gap for disadvantaged students.

There is compelling evidence that limited oral language skills play a key role in the underachievement of many disadvantaged pupils. The DfE’s model Pupil Premium example statements strongly suggest that schools need to include a focus on oracy in spending plans. But what strategies are likely to have most impact?

In this keynote session, Jean Gross will describe practical steps can schools take to build spoken language skills. She will touch upon three key approaches: scaffolded opportunities for purposeful talk, explicit teaching of vocabulary and listening skills, and additional interventions for those that need them.

Sixteen practical seminars

The event also offers 16 seminars: Five dedicated to primary school practice, five dedicated to secondary school practice, and six relevant to both phases.

Primary workshop topics include:

  • Pupil Premium assessment, evaluation, reporting and statements.
  • A takeaway toolkit: A case study of the effective approaches and interventions at Stalham Infant and Junior Schools.
  • Supporting Covid recovery work for Pupil Premium students: Responding to what we are seeing.
  • Pupil Premium after Covid: Supporting pupils' SEMH needs.
  • The four Cs of Pupil Premium practice: CPD, Curriculum, Cognitive Science, Communication.

Secondary workshop topics include:

  • Low-attaining, disadvantaged boys: Strategies, interventions, and teaching approaches.
  • Moving forward not catching up: Supporting Covid recovery work.
  • Moving beyond labels: Converting the causes of disadvantage into consequences in the classroom.
  • Oracy: How to develop the speaking and listening skills of Pupil Premium students.
  • The invisibles: How to stop high potential Pupil Premium students – especially girls – from going under the radar.

Workshops relevant to both primary and secondary include:

  • No quick fixes: Avoiding transactional, shallow and interventionist approaches to the Pupil Premium.
  • The neurology of poverty: How being disadvantaged affects learning – and what we can do about it.
  • Effective formative assessment: Tips, ideas, and approaches.
  • A Champion for Every Child: Pastoral tutoring to support the motivation, self-efficacy, and progress of Pupil Premium students.
  • Empathy not sympathy: Why we must build connections with our students – and how to do it.
  • No Silver Bullets: Getting the Pupil Premium basics right.


Attendance at this event costs £299 plus VAT. An early bird rate of £269 plus VAT is on offer until February 11. For full programme information, visit www.pupilpremiumconference.com

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