ASCL Primary Conference 2021

A series of keynotes and workshops

Our 2021 Conference for Primary Leaders will provide essential updates on the issues currently affecting these crucial years in education, but also consider strategies and inspiring ideas to build for the future.

We will explore ways to develop your organisation and your own role as a leader, how we can build an even better early years and primary education system and maximise the impact of children’s learning, setting a solid foundation for their future. 

Key topics will include:
  • early years and primary curriculum
  • changing the culture of what is taught
  • priorities for primary inspection
  • financial planning
  • trust leadership in primary education
  • reception baseline assessment from September 2021
  • early years framework
  • engaging reluctant learners
  • primary to secondary transition
  • governance
More topics to be announced soon.

Single delegate attendance:
ASCL Members £99 + VAT, non-members £125 + VAT

Whole school licence (single site): £200 + VAT

For a trust license, please contact for details.

Monday 17 May  
10:50 - 11:00 Welcome and introduction
Tiffnie Harris, ASCL Primary Specialist
11:00 - 11:30 Keynote
Geoff Barton, ASCL General Secretary
13:30 - 14:00 Keynote
The What and The How: Changing the culture of what is taught 

Naheeda Maharasingam, Headteacher, Rathern Primary School, London
15:00 - 16:00 Workshop
Who Looks After the Head? Who looks after the Head's head? 

Peter Hall-Jones, The Spiral Partnership
  In supporting, leading, comforting, challenging and inspiring others to perform better, how do we as leaders refuel, re inflate re energise ourselves? 

In this fast-paced, nurturing and respectful session, Pete will share a number of quick-win strategies to help us all maintain our own and others' wellbeing,
further develop effective mental awareness and healthy mind controls, and tap into new wells of energy, creativity and agency. 

This session is aimed at all school leaders, their ‘heads’ and the heads, hearts, ambition, agency and wellbeing
of all those we care for in our schools and communities.
Tuesday 18 May  
09:30 - 10:30 Workshop
The New Early Years Framework

Dr Julian Grenier, Headteacher, Sheringham Noursery School and Children's Centre, London
  In this workshop, Julian Grenier will outline the key changes to the Early Years Foundation Stage and Development Matters.
The workshop will focus on workload reduction and developing an early years curriculum that enables every child to thrive. 
11:00 - 12:00 Workshop
Disassembling Assemblies: What we lost and gained in lockdowns and what's next for assemblies

Rebecca Leek, Director of Strategy, Asset Education 
  Join Rebecca Leek, experienced teacher and leader, in exploring the whys and wherefores of school assemblies.
After successive lockdowns and imposed segregation, what can theory, research and anecdotal evidence tell us about school gatherings?

Not only a session that invites contribution and reflection from attendees, it will also give practical ideas and insight into how you can make the most of your assemblies,
especially in light of new found skills in using technology. 

A brief overview of statutory duty and current debates around collective worship, insight from multidisciplinary theories, and examples of how to get
maximum leverage out of your time together. Create a strong SMSC offering, and participate in nascent research that asks whether assemblies are outdated
or in fact essential to the life of a school. 

12.30 - 13.30 Workshop
The Enduring Power of Governance

Sam Henson, Director of Policy and Information, National Governance Association
  The impact good governance can have on the lives and futures of children and young people is often underplayed,
but governance is the framework that will allow the system and the people within it to flourish. Although governance is often perceived to be the problem,
for many of the problems the education sector faces today, it is the fundamental solution. 
Join Sam as he leads delegates through the real stuff that makes good governance, exploring why it is that organisations with strong governance don’t fail.
Sam will discuss what accountable, ethical, and effective governance looks like, and the essential role those governing play in thoughtfully generating a narrative and
leaving your leaders and staff to live it.
14:00 - 14:30 Keynote
Phil Minns, HMI Early Years and Primary, Ofsted
Wednesday 19 May  
10:00 - 11:00 Keynote
The Curriculum as a Story

Mary Myatt, Education consultant
11:30 - 12:30 Workshop
A focus on effective transition from Year 6 into Year 7 with a presentation on the ‘SixintoSeven’ platform

Tiffnie Harris, ASCL Primary Specialist
John Camp, Trust Leader, The Compass Partnership of Schools, London 
Lilian Taylor-Bell, Headteacher, Lelyand St James C of E Primary School, Leyland
Sarah Davies, AskEddi
  This session will focus on the importance and benefits of effective transition for Year 6 primary pupils as they move to Year 7
and the barriers faces by school leaders in ensuring a smooth process.

The session will also examine the post-pandemic effects of lost learning and the impact of long-term remote learning on primary school pupils
with an eye on skills they will need in English and maths as they move from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3.

This session will also introduce ‘SixintoSeven’, a child-centred transition platform by ASCL in partnership with AskEddi
using a set of judgements in English and maths by school leaders for school leaders.
14:00 - 15:00 Workshop
Covid-19 and the Impact on Reading, Attainment and Wellbeing

Bernadetta Brzyska, Head of Research, GL Assessment
  GL Assessment’s Head of Research, Bernadetta Bryzska, will share their analysis of the impact of Covid-19
and school lockdowns based on analysis of the New Group Reading Test (NGRT) from schools around the world.

She will compare this data with similar analysis of the Progress Test in English and discuss why different trends have been found in each case.
Bernadetta will also look at the close relationship between student attitudes and reading ability
and consider the implications for school literacy and wellbeing initiatives.
Thursday 20 May  
10:00 - 11:00 Workshop
Engaging Reluctant Learners

Isabella Wallace, Education consultant and author
  Sometimes, the key to great results is engaging the pupils, and we all know that some pupils are less easy to motivate than others when it comes to classwork.
We know that if we have a class full of children who are curious, motivated and happy to be learning, it makes our lives as educators so much easier.

This session will provide you with ways to get even the least enthusiastic pupil to become excited about and engaged in their work.
11:30 - 12:30 Workshop
Looking Forward to Financial Planning in Primary Schools, with a Glance in the Rear-view Mirror!

Julia Harnden, ASCL Funding Specialist
  Sometimes, the key to great results is engaging the pupils, and we all know that some pupils are less easy to motivate than others when it comes to classwork.
We know that if we have a class full of children who are curious, motivated and happy to be learning, it makes our lives as educators so confident financial leadership is essential
to deliver a strategic plan that builds financial resilience, and the capacity to deliver a sustainable curriculum that meets the needs of all your pupils.
Financial planning is about more than just numbers and requires a whole school approach to managing available resources effectively
with a common goal to target as much money as possible into the classroom. 

In this workshop we will look at a sustainable approach to future budget planning, demonstrate the links between curriculum planning and financial planning
and provide guidance on how to assess where you are now and why.
This workshop is relevant for all leaders who have a role in budget planning or a role in ensuring financial accountability.
13:00-14:00 Workshop
The Trust System and the Direction of Travel for Schools and Academies

Rob Robson, ASCL Trust Leadership Consultant
  The Secretary of State recently announced that he would like to see all pupils and students learning in schools in academies that are part of multi-academy trusts.
In this session, Rob will look at the current balance between the maintained and trust and academy system and examine what that direction of travel from
Education Ministers and the Department for Education means for schools, academies and trusts.

He will also look at what ASCL is learning from our commissioned trust review work and how ASCL is working with the DfE
to ensure that the voice of all parts of the sector is clearly heard.

The session will aim to ensure that participants:
  • understand the future for academisation outlined by ministers and the Department for Education and what this might mean for primary schools and academies;
  •  learn from the trust reviews carried out by ASCL
  • have an opportunity to feedback views and information that ASCL can represent when we continue to shape the future with all parts of the sector and the government
15:00-16:00 Workshop
Getting Ready for the Reception Baseline Assessment

Colin Watson, Interim Chief Executive STA
David Malcolm, Head of Pollicy and Central Services, STA
  The Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) is due to become statutory in England from September 2021.
In this session, the Standards and Testing Agency (STA) will give an overview of RBA policy to date and
update delegates on all the latest developments ahead of next academic year.

This will include the feedback they have received from the pilot and early adopter years, the key highlights of the validity report,
as well as everything school leaders need to know about the administration of RBA in the 2021/22 academic year.

Attendees will be able to ask questions on any aspect of the RBA as well as the wider programme of primary assessments in 2021/22.

To attend this webinar live, you will need to ensure you have access to a computer or device that meets the system requirements:

If you cannot attend live you will receive a copy of the recording, links to any resources discussed, and the opportunity to submit questions.

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Mary Myatt

Education adviser, writer and speaker

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Naheeda Maharasingham

Headteacher, Rathfern Primary School

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David Malcolm

Head of Policy and Central Services, Standards and Testing Agency, DfE

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Peter Hall Jones

Innovator and strategist, and former primary headteacher

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Isabella Wallace

Education author

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Phil Minns

Ofsted Special Advisor | Early Education

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Geoff Barton

ASCL General Secretary

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Tiffnie Harris

Primary Specialist

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Julia Harnden

Funding Specialist

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Rob Robson

ASCL Trust Leadership Consultant

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Dr Julian Grenier

Headteacher, Sheringham Nursery School and Children's Centre, London

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Rebecca Leek

Executive Headteacher, Cliff Lane Primary, Ipswich and Director of Strategy, ASSET Education

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Colin Watson

Acting Chief Executive, Standards and Testing Agency

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Sam Henson

Director of Policy and Information, National Governance Association

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John Camp

Trust Leader, The Compass Partnership of Schools, London

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Lilian Bell

Headteacher, Leyland St James C of E Primary School, Leyland

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Bernadetta Brzyska

Head of Research, GL Assessment

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