15th June 2018
Friends House
173 Euston Rd, London NW1 2BJ
Oustanding Heads
Limited Space


2018 will be 6th year we host this sell out conference we’re going to share with you the dates and details as we have them right here.

And in case you were unable to join us M2O 2017 was rated at 9.3/10 with 100% recommendation – so make sure you can come along to M2O 2018.

The aim of the event is to bring together senior leaders from primary schools across the UK to learn and gain practical tips from head teachers who have moved to “Outstanding” under exceptionally difficult circumstances in a short space of time.

Why is this event extremely successful and why does it sell out every year?

Sonia and the team spend months putting the agenda together and recruiting exceptional speakers, all of whom have inspiring stories to tell.  Check out our showreel from the 2017 event:




This event is perfect for:

  • Headteachers
  • Deputy Headteachers
  • Assistant Headteachers
  • Senior Leaders
  • Middle Leaders


Meet our 2018 speakers:

Jonathan Clucas, Headteacher, Layton Primary School, Blackpool

Learn the rules then break them.

Jonathan achieved outstanding October 2017. He has been a headteacher for twelve years in two schools serving areas with high levels of deprivation

Layton Primary School, Blackpool, is a large school with over 600 pupils on roll serving a one of the most deprived areas in the country. Blackpool has one of the lowest life expectancies, lowest average wage, one of the highest child poverty rates and the highest number of adults in receipt of unemployment benefits in the UK. The school has 35% free school meals and for Jonathan that makes it the ‘poshest school I’ve worked in’.

Jonathan has worked at many schools in challenging circumstances and has succeeded in moving them to being in at least the top 10% of schools for attainment and achievement in each consecutive year. Achievement has been placed within the highest 100 schools Nationally.

Jonathan will be sharing how:
- To focus on firing bullets not cannon balls – making things work before rolling them out.
- How vision is about every conversation, not just September INSET.
- How to teach teachers to become exceptional. - The need for love and tough love.
- The meaning of head teacher as ‘lead learner’.
- Relentless implementation for what you know works both in terms of the curriculum and pedagogy.
- Working on those things that makes the biggest difference.

Azra Butt, Headteacher, Eldon Primary School, Lancashire

Keeping it real: A crazy and fun curriculum that gets results (attainment, progress and so much more).

Eldon Primary School, Lancashire, has a diverse pupil mix, a higher than average number of pupils with special needs, disability and eligibility for free school meals. Yet in 5 years Azra and her team have taken Eldon Primary School from satisfactory to outstanding. Inevitably, to make that difference,

Azra has developed many areas of the schools, but one that sits at the core is their curriculum which is irresistible to their children.

By teaching to topic and not to test, children have a range of exciting, real learning experiences, which means that whilst they do well in their SATs they get a very wholistic education.

Azra will be sharing:
- Innovative ways they have developed their curriculum.
- Ideas they have implemented.
- How they have used this to engage parents and their community.

Binks Neate-Evans, Headteacher, West Earlham Infant and Nursery School, Norwich

Vulnerable families and challenging parents - A Balancing Act: Leading and succeeding in areas of high deprivation

West Earlham Infant and Nursery School, Norwich, is an infant and nursery school set in an area of high deprivation; they have typically 50-60% pupil premium, high SEN and on entering nursery 87% of children have significant language delay.

Within this highly dynamic community there is very high levels of social care involvement. The postcode is one of the highest nationally for prevalence of domestic and substance abuse as well as mental health issues, known as the ‘toxic trio’.

Getting parents to support and recognise the impact of some of the circumstantial challenges they face has required a strategic, kind and tenacious approach but one Binks and her team have succeeded in. As noted in their inspection report:

‘Parents describe the school as ‘brilliant’ and ‘really supportive’. One parent stated, ‘The school helps me to help my son with his behaviour and learning.’ Another commented: ‘I can’t fault the school, you can talk to anyone without them judging you. The teachers are very patient. I can see lots of positive changes in my children.’

This isn’t at the expense of the team, quite the opposite; in a recent county wide staff well-being survey West Earlham and Infant and Nursery was the highest scoring school.

It wasn’t always that way and Binks will be sharing how she and the West Earlham team created such a community.

Binks will be sharing:
- Ground zero: clarity around what she could and couldn’t do with parents and the community.
- How she extended the school’s culture into the community and vice versa.
- Establishing and managing expectations for parental conduct.
- Building psychological resilience in her team to manage the impact of the challenges.
- How they help children and families in crisis.

James Humphries, Headteacher, Kentish Town Church of England Primary School, Camden, London

Ensuring a fully inclusive school – from special needs to gifted, able and talented

Kentish Town is a one form entry primary serving a diverse community in the LB of Camden.

As well as the normal inner city mix of children, the school has hosted a resource base for 6 children with physical disabilities for over 20 years.

In 2011, the school opened its Autism Resource Base. This unique provision means that 15 children with autism are included in the mainstream.

There are currently 28 children with an EHCP in a school population of 236.

James has held many roles in the school – from Headteacher to EYFS lead and many more besides.

Working together as a strong team, the leadership of the school has been graded as Outstanding by Ofsted in 4 successive inspections over 11 years.

As well as a focus on SEND, Kentish Town CE offers an enriched and broad curriculum enabling all children to thrive.

The school has been outstanding for most of the last decade, impressive given the range of complexities in its diverse demographic including high pupil premium and high special needs. James has led the school from its strong Good with Outstanding features to Outstanding.

‘From the most able to those with multiple and complex needs, everyone thrives.’ Ofsted report December 2017.

James will be sharing how:
- nobody does an ‘ok’ job due to the high expectations they have created and delivered.
- they work effectively with a broad range of parents.
- they meet everyone’s needs and deliver a broad, quality curriculum for those with special educational needs, gifted, able and talented and everyone in-between.
- they make sure their pupil voice is heard.
- they get the right people on board.

Mark Unwin, Headteacher, Wilmslow Grange Community Primary and Nursery School, Cheshire

The ideas I took from good schools to make an outstanding school

Mark Unwin spent 10 years working in business and 10 years in education. In that time, he’s worked in five primary schools, all very different, none of them outstanding. Yet it was by taking principles, ideas and great practice from these schools that he was able to take Wilmslow Grange School to outstanding.

In creating the right ethos Mark and his team were able to deliver a high-quality provision, with strong progress and attainment (85% in 2017), and with high proportion of SEN and disabled pupils.

Mark will be sharing how he developed a strong whole school ethos which allowed his school to be one he would want to send his own children to by:
- Establishing and securing high expectations.
- A strong vision.
- A deep and meaningful curriculum.
- Distributed leadership.
- Consistency, without killing creativity and innovation.

Amrit Bal-Richards, Headteacher, Chater Infants School, Watford

Insights from the latest inspection iteration

Amrit Bal-Richards and the team at Chater Infant School are one of the first to experience the latest changes to school inspections.

Amrit will be sharing:
• The school’s journey from Outstanding to Good to Good improving towards being outstanding
• Managing the change with a previous ‘Outstanding’ judgement
• A different inspection experience.
• Insights from the inspection.
• Moving forward after ‘Good improving towards to outstanding’.
• Why we won’t be seeing any new outstanding schools in the immediate future.

Sonia Gill, Founder and Director, Heads Up Ltd, author of two #1 ranked books

Why you need to have successful difficult conversations in school

Sonia has trained hundreds of school leaders on how to have successful difficult conversations in school with great results. The skill core to effective leadership and creating higher performing teams.

Sonia will be sharing:
• Quick tips to improve your difficult conversations.
• Why difficult conversations are a hidden block to school improvement.
• The three benefits of successful difficult conversations.


Time                     Agenda item

9:30 – 10:00       Registration & coffee

10:00 – 10:15     Welcome – Sonia Gill, Founder & Director of Heads Up

10:15 – 11:25     Workshop 1 choices:

Jonathan Clucas: Learn the rules then break them.


Mark Unwin: The ideas I took from good schools to make an outstanding school.

11:25 – 11:35     Break

11:35 – 12:45     Workshop 2 choices:

Azra Butt: Keeping it real: A crazy and fun curriculum that gets results (attainment, progress and so much more).


Amrit Bal-Richards: Insights from the latest inspection iteration.

12:45 – 1:30      Lunch

1:30 – 2:30        Sonia Gill, Founder & Director, Heads Up Ltd: Why you need to have successful difficult conversations in school

2:30 – 2:40        Break

2:40 – 3:50        Workshop 3 choices:

Binks Neate-Evans: Vulnerable families and challenging parents Balancing Act: Leading and succeeding in areas of high deprivation.


James Humphries: Ensuring a fully inclusive school – from special needs to gifted, able and talented.

3:50 – 4:20      Close

Waiting list