National Pupil Premium Conference

Ensuring Successful Outcomes
Friday 15th March 2024

Session content

Descriptions of the main themes and topics that our speakers intend to cover in their sessions are outlined below to assist you in gaining a strong overview of the conference and to help you choose the workshop sessions that best suit your needs and areas of interest:

MATT BROMLEY, Education Author and Advisor, Bromley Education, Yorkshire
Diminishing Disadvantage: A three-point plan

In this keynote session aimed at both primary and secondary phase colleagues, Matt Bromley will present and explain his three-point plan to diminish the impact of disadvantage in the classroom. The session will discuss the most common causes of educational disadvantage and the consequences in the classroom and for the education of our Pupil Premium learners and others facing disadvantage. His three-point plan will focus on equality, equity and extension, and will touch upon the role of quality first teaching, teaching assistant support, adaptive learning, and additional interventions. Matt will also discuss how to build cultural capital and design a curriculum that reflects your pupils' lived experiences among other areas.

HELEN EVERITT & RYAN SALLOWS, Deputy Headteacher & SBM, Oriel High School, Crawley
Pupil Premium and beyond: Practical PP strategies and their impact

In this workshop, delegates will hear about practical strategies and interventions at Oriel High School in Crawley (15% Pupil Premium) which aim to tackle barriers to progress such as attendance, literacy and focus on raising aspiration. Deputy Head Helen Everitt and SBM Ryan Sallows will present a general overview of the school’s PP Team model of working and will share ways in which it gains buy-in and engagement from both staff and parents and uses community links and other providers to enhance provision. And given the cost of living crisis is forcing more and more families into poverty, the workshop will also consider how the school's PP strategy has a wider impact to support all disadvantaged students and not just those eligible for PP funding. The session will include practical, real examples and transferable ideas, including the school's innovative "Year 7 Achievement Voucher" scheme, ideas to kick start Year 11 revision such as "Coffee Club", ideas for reward and engagement developed from the school’s Youth Wing provision, and ideas to promote the love of reading. The session will give delegates something to take away with them and adapt and adopt for their own school settings.

SEAN HARRIS, Doctoral researcher in educational poverty with Teesside University & Trust Improvement Leader, Tees Valley Education
This much we know: Five 'best bets' for Pupil Premium spending

As well as being a passionate educator and the Trust Improvement Leader at Tees Valley Education, Sean Harris is currently undertaking doctoral research into educational poverty at Teesside University. In this session, Sean will take us through some of the most relevant and recent research findings, both his own research and other key studies. The aim will be to help you analyse your own Pupil Premium strategies in light of these findings, including touching on topical issues such as attendance. Drawing on this evidence-based, Sean will discuss five "best bets" for our work to address the consequences of disadvantage in primary and secondary schools.

DR KULVARN ATWAL, Head learning leader at Highlands Primary School in Ilford and Uphall Primary School in Barking Using professional learning to drive Pupil Premium impact and progress

In this workshop for primary colleagues, headteacher Dr Kulvarn Atwal – who is the author of The Thinking Teacher and The Thinking School – will discuss how professional learning in schools can be planned, structured and delivered to drive progress and outcomes for disadvantaged pupils. He will discuss his work across two schools to use professional development as a tool for improving the outcomes of our most disadvantaged children. The impact has been such that Highlands Primary has received the Mayor of London’s Schools for Success Award for five years in a row, reflecting the impact on the progress of low prior attainers – a cohort which has clear overlaps with the Pupil Premium. And in Uphall Primary, the disadvantage gap has been closed in no small part due to the impact of this work. The workshop will touch upon using appraisal processes to support Pupil Premium impact, training staff as coaches in order to support structured conversations with parents and pupils, financing this work and finding the time to make it happen, and above all ensuring that all staff link Pupil Premium work to teaching and learning outcomes. The workshop will offer insights, lessons learned, tips and ideas and Kulvarn will be keen to discuss the work of and challenges facing delegates in their own schools as well.

SALLY ELSWORTH, ESLT for Funded Interventions, Hastings High School, Leicestershire
From CPD to Ofsted: A four-year journey to Pupil Premium success

Pupil Premium outcomes at Hastings High School (18% Pupil Premium) are the highest in Leicestershire with a Progress 8 score of +0.44 – this a transformation from the negative score of four years ago. In May, Ofsted inspectors praised the school for the achievements of pupils, including those who are disadvantaged and those with SEND. In this workshop, Pupil Premium lead Sally Elsworth will talk delegates through the school's journey and the reasons behind its success today. The presentation will cover where to begin when taking on the Pupil Premium lead role, staff CPD and training, getting cultural capital right, and some of the lessons learned from the school's recent Ofsted inspection, when the school retained its good rating. Sally will also touch upon how schools can support the increasing numbers of students who are living in poverty but not yet eligible for Pupil Premium funding. Finally, she will look at how getting to know your pupils' individual needs is at the heart of effective Pupil Premium work – and how this can be achieved in the busy secondary school environment.

HUW LLOYD, Global Professional Instructor
Managing the 5% brilliantly: Avoiding the road of blame and shame

Very often in schools, 95% of our time is spent working with the 5% of pupils who display the most challenging and negative behaviour – it can be exhausting and counterproductive. But rather than a futile road of punishment, blame and shame, how can we engage with our most vulnerable students and work with them to encourage more positive behaviour? With clear overlaps between this work and the Pupil Premium, in this workshop Huw will draw on his experience working in both primary and secondary phases to discuss ideas and approaches that have shown to work successfully for our most vulnerable and challenging pupils. He will share strategies that you can take away and try with your most disaffected learners to create a positive learning and classroom culture that will enable them to overcome barriers and make progress. He will also seek to discuss how these approaches might be adapted for your school's context. 

LAURA MCPHEE, Headteacher, Loughborough Primary School, Lambeth, London
Early help and Pupil Premium teaching strategies

In this workshop aimed at primary school colleagues, Laura McPhee will discuss early help, teaching strategies, and cultural capital as they relate to Pupil Premium practice and our work to support disadvantaged children. Her session will seek to offer practical ideas and lessons learned for other schools, drawing upon the existing evidence as well as work at her school, Loughborough Primary in south London. Laura sees many pupils arriving in her school with deficits in their learning and as such she will talk about structuring early help, including assessing and identifying where pupils need intervention. Laura will discuss a number of the teaching strategies in use at Loughborough, including their work on building pupils' oracy skills. She will touch upon the use of instructional coaching and the school's focus on quality first teaching. And she will discuss cultural capital for our poorest pupils – including why we must all ask: Whose cultural capital we are talking about?

PAUL AINSWORTH, Education Director, Infinity Academies Trust, Lincolnshire, and author, No Silver Bullets: Day-in, day-out school improvement
Insights from 35 Inspections: Understanding Ofsted's Pupil Premium expectations

In his trust-wide role, Paul Ainsworth supports many primary and secondary schools through their Ofsted inspections and has also experienced a MAT-wide Ofsted evaluation. At the time of writing, Paul has supported 35 inspections since January 2015 with a full range of judgements. As well as supporting schools in his own MAT, headteachers from maintained schools also request his presence during their inspections. Drawing on this extensive experience, Paul will in this workshop session consider how we can best prepare for inspection as well as surviving and thriving during the two days – all in the context of our Pupil Premium and wider work with disadvantaged children. The workshop will consider the place of the Pupil Premium in Ofsted inspection, including how senior leaders and middle leaders can prepare in the run-up to a visit, what to do when you get the call, how to present your school at its best during the actual days of the inspections, and the kind of questions you can expect inspectors to ask (including a focus on Ofsted's scrutiny of school attendance). The session will consider generic advice and also specific guidance for inspection of your school's Pupil Premium work. Key questions Paul will answer include: How the latest EIF considers pupil premium? What preparation can senior leaders complete prior to inspection? How can senior leaders support all middle leaders to present the Pupil Premium strategy? What type of questions can you expect in the pre-inspection phone call? How can Pupil Premium be addressed in subject deep dives?

STEVEN RUSSELL, Founder, Elements SEMH Support
Decoding behaviour: Seeing past the masks of our vulnerable learners

Our most vulnerable children and young people can find school difficult for so many reasons and can at times present with challenging behaviour – but does everyone working in our schools stop to consider what this behaviour is communicating or do we continue to push these pupils down the road to exclusion? As a child, Steven Russell lived with nine foster families, was placed into two children’s homes, and attended five schools. He now supports vulnerable children in schools via Elements SEMH Support. In this workshop, Steven will consider the five building blocks of connection with our vulnerable learners – being present, curious, patient, creative and authentic – and will look at how we can put these into practice in our schools. We will discuss strategies to decode pupil behaviour in order to help us identify and better meet their needs – putting connection before correction. He will discuss the barriers to connection that exist in schools and how these might be removed. With clear links to our Pupil Premium work, this workshop will offer practical ideas and will seek to engage delegates in discussion about their own schools' approaches to behaviour and pastoral support.

DR JOHN ALLAN, Head of Impact and Learning, Inspiring Learning
Why you should take your Pupil Premium learners outdoors

How outdoor education can support the engagement and progress of vulnerable learners Practical ideas and suggestions for outdoor learning activities In the school grounds, school trips and outings, and residential visits How can outdoor activities and education support the engagement and progress of vulnerable learners? In this workshop, outdoor education expert Dr John Allan will discuss his work targeting vulnerable groups of young people using outdoor education as a conduit for building skills, motivating students and achieving positive behaviour change. John will discuss how we might use outdoor learning within our school grounds, suggesting ideas and activities, as well as using out-of-school trips and longer residential and adventure interventions. John will also discuss a recent project by the Inspiring Learning Foundation and focused upon building skill-sets for children defined as the "forgotten middle" – a significant middle quartile of learners who are vulnerable and not fulfilling their potential. These individuals neither fail nor significantly achieve academically – they just seem to get lost in the average cohort. John will discuss some of the key lessons learned from this research work and how they might apply to secondary and primary schools' Pupil Premium work.

ED MARSH CEO, The Tutor Trust
Tutoring for Pupil Premium students: Secrets to success

In 2022/23, The Tutor Trust worked with around 6,500 pupils and delivered more than 34,000 hours of tuition. The work of the charity, based in the North West of England, has been the subject of two positive Randomised Control Trials commissioned by the Education Endowment Foundation, highlighting the impact of its tuition, particularly with pupils eligible for free school meals and those with low prior attainment. In this workshop, we will learn the secrets to setting up effective tutoring provision for disadvantaged students. Whether you are looking to set-up provision under the National Tutoring Programme or whether you are going it alone, this session will offer practical "lessons learned" for establishing, maintaining and evaluating one-to-one and small-group tuition. The session will tackle how to launch a tutoring programme, how to select students, communicating with families, ensuring tutoring complements existing curriculum provision, monitoring provision and evaluating impact.

ANN MARIE CHRISTIAN, Independent safeguarding consultant
Vulnerability, safeguarding and the Pupil Premium

In this workshop, safeguarding expert Anne Marie Christian will consider Pupil Premium practice through a safeguarding lens. There is a huge overlap between our vulnerable students and the Pupil Premium cohort, but how should our safeguarding practice interlink and complement our Pupil Premium work? Ann Marie will discuss the range of vulnerabilities that we can encounter across the Pupil Premium cohort and consider the safeguarding implications for those working in schools, including a specific focus on supporting pupils living with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), looked after children, those struggling to attend school, and those with SEND and others. She will consider how we can identify vulnerable students in need of specific safeguarding support and how the Pupil Premium coordinator and designated safeguarding lead can and should work together.

SARA ALSTON, SEA Inclusion & Safeguarding, SEND and Safeguarding Trainer and Consultant
Using adaptive teaching and differentiation to support Pupil Premium learners

For years we spoke about differentiation to support learners in our classrooms. Now we talk about adaptive teaching. But what are the differences and isn't this all simply about identifying each individual pupil's learning needs and then trying to meet them? In this workshop, inclusion expert Sara Alston, co-author of The Inclusive Classroom: A new approach to differentiation, will set out a practical guide to implementing a needs-led approach to teaching and learning. She will discuss how teachers can identify children’s needs so that they can be supported throughout the lesson and how we can make inclusion manageable and less stressful through small tweaks and adaptions. Sara will also take a practical look at building usable and manageable pupil profiles to support this process.