The annual National Pupil Premium best practice conference, organised by SecEd & HeadTeacher Update, offers 18 CPD-certified sessions – all of which will offer practical strategies that can be adapted and implemented for your school’s unique circumstances.

Taking place on Friday 18 March (with full contingency to move the event online should this be required by Covid restrictions), this vital 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 the removal of 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 vulnerable young people.

The event offers two keynotes:  

Our opening keynote will feature 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. This 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 will feature the former government communication champion Jean Gross, who will discuss how we can close the word gap for our 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 an oracy focus in their spending plans. But what strategies are likely to have most impact? In this keynote session, Jean Gross will describe practical steps schools can 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.

The event offers 16 further sessions: 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 & Statements

  • A takeaway toolkit: A case study of the effective approaches and interventions at Stalham Infant & Junior School

  • Supporting Covid recovery work for Pupil Premium students: Responding to what we are seeing

  • Pupil Premium after Covid: Supporting pupils' SEMH needs

  • 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


 Cross-phase workshop topics 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


This event is designed for those working within the primary or secondary education sectors and is relevant to:

  • Headteachers

  • Deputy headteachers

  • Pupil Premium coordinators

  • Senior leadership team members

  • Heads of year and subject leads

  • SEN and inclusion professionals

  • Pastoral leaders

  • Classroom teachers

  • Education advisors

  • Governors




SecEd is the established, trusted, termly publication with daily online content, dedicated exclusively to secondary education. The SecEd brand aims to provide all those teaching in secondary education with news, analysis, best practice guidance, and research-based content.


To learn more about SecEd please click here.


Headteacher Update is a termly publication with daily online content and is distributed free to every primary headteacher in the UK. Packed with updates on policy and legislation as well as practical, applicable guidance for school management, curriculum change, Ofsted guidance and much more, Headteacher Update is the dependable, professional read for the primary school leader.

To find out more about Headteacher Update, click here.