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Join us as we highlight and explore the significant and growing inequities between the educational experiences, progress and attainment of learners from disadvantaged backgrounds and their more advantaged peers. We’ll share practical strategies for leaders and classroom practitioners to better serve underserved learners and to support schools, settings and trusts to close the disadvantage gap. 


Hear from our five expert keynote speakers: 

  • Lemn Sissay OBE FRSL. British author and broadcaster and official poet of the 2012 London Olympics. Author of My Name Is Why. 

  • Jean Gross CBE An education expert who has led many national initiatives aimed at improving the learning, attainment and wellbeing of disadvantaged children and those with special educational needs and disabilities. 

  • Matt Jones OBE, Principal of ARK Globe All Through Academy.  Contributor to the Timpson Review and founder of The Elephant Group charity, which helps children from disadvantaged backgrounds get into the top UK universities.  

  • Sufian Sadiq, Director of the Teaching School, Chiltern Learning Trust. Sufian speaks extensively on issues of equity and is committed to alleviating poverty through education and empowerment of communities. He sits on the Management Board of the Luton Foodbank and Friends of Bright Eyes (a charity supporting learners with disabilities) and is a trustee of Working Options. 

  • Dr Katriona O’Sullivan, Digital Skills lecturer at Maynooth University, author of Poor, a memoir about growing up as the child of drug addicts, abused, neglected and broken.   

Through our Spotlight Talks we’ll be sharing successful strategies for all settings and phases, co-led by HFL colleagues and school leaders plus panel discussions in between sessions to reflect on what has been heard and experienced. 

Who is this event for? 

Headteachers, senior and middle leaders, classroom practitioners, SENCOs, Pupil Premium leads, staff with responsibility for looked after children and safeguarding, trustees and governors, from Early Years to secondary, mainstream and special.

Our conference will be online from 09:00 – 16:00 and costs £149 (excl VAT) for the first delegate per school (with subsequent delegates from the same school charged at £49 (excl VAT)).

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