Do you want a year's worth of good ideas in one day?

Get school improvement ideas from inspiring schools

Outstanding against the odds: Courageous heads, tough schools, holistic education

Thursday 21st November 2024

Incredible stories

Inspiring insights

Practical tips

Join our online conference to hear how headteachers beat the odds to deliver excellence for their children

Are you struggling to overcome your challenges right now? Things like recruitment, budget, attendance?

Would you love to visit amazing schools to get ideas, but you don't have the time?

OK - We'll bring them to you 🙂

Meet heads who are getting above average results, in below average circumstances

Be inspired by five headteachers, who have been carefully selected because their school became outstanding despite many challenges and are not ‘hero’ heads

Practical tips from great schools

We looked at over 100 schools, to bring you 5 that have achieved excellence in tough circumstances. We've met the heads, visited their schools and there is a lot to learn from them.

Learn with your SLT

Spend the day discussing great leadership ideas with your SLT so you’re all on the same page and buzzing with great ideas for your school.

Our annual conference is in it's 13th year.
Attendees consistently rate it a 9/10 event 🙂

Included in your ticket

Access for your entire SLT

The biggest, easiest impact comes when you learn as a team, so we’ve built reflection time for you into the agenda

Slides from each talk

Accessed through our online portal

Recordings of the talks

So you can use them in school with your wider team

You will be like a kid in a candy store, trying to choose between all the great ideas that you know will move your school forward!

1. Book onto ‘Outstanding against the odds: 5 heads, tough schools, holistic education'

2. Get inspiration and practical ideas

3. Take the best ideas back into your school

Meet some of our speakers from last year

Linda Hothersall and her team at Eastgate Academy serve a community with high deprivation. I’ve been to the school, I’ve seen their context.

For those children, they need the very best education. More than others might. They’ve been awarded ‘outstanding’ twice, most recently in 2023.

Paula Phillips and her team at East Wichel Primary & Nursery has led the first school to outstanding in Swindon, bucking a narrative about Swindon being one of the worst places to live in the country and an education cold spot. The school was rated outstanding in Dec 2022.

Paul Murphy and the Lancasterian team serve a tough demographic in Tottenham. Good isn’t good enough for them. The school has gone from the bottom of the borough to outstanding in four out of five areas, in June 2023.

This year’s speakers

We'll be finding and announcing speakers throughout the year... watch this space!

What your colleagues say about the conference:

All the speakers were inspirational and I took away so many ideas. I am glad I gave myself the gift of time to attend.

V Lord, Headteacher, Irk Valley Primary School, 2023 conference

 What did you enjoy the most?Having a range of outstanding Heads being very honest about what they have been doing. From a range of backgrounds, Heads have given us different stories. They were inspirational and I got some really good ideas. Thank you very, very much.

C Taylor,
Headteacher, New Mills Primary School, 2023 conference

It was a wonderful opportunity for all of SLT to hear the messages from each of the HTs. It generated important discussions, we will set some time aside to further explore and create plans of action. Thank you!

A Trott,
Headteacher, Raynham Primary School, 2023 conference

Conference Schedule

(Subject to change)
09:30 – 09:40Welcome
09:40 – 10:25Speaker 1
10:25 – 10:40Reflection & Break
10:40 – 11:25Speaker 2
11:25 – 11:40Reflection & Break
11:40 – 12:25Speaker 3
12:25 – 13:05Reflection & Lunch Break
13:05 – 13:45Speaker 4
13:45 – 14:00How Heads Up supports schools
14:00 – 14:15Reflection & Break
14:15 – 15:00Speaker 5
15:00 – 15:15Reflection & Break
15:15 – 16:00Speaker 6
16:00 – 16:15Reflection and Close


Yes, and you’ll be given access via our online portal.

Yes, they’ll be available for you in our online portal.

One ticket gives access to you and all of your SLT. 

I understand, a lot of online training sucks! But not ours. How do we know? We’re consistently rated 9/10 by headteachers and school leaders like you. We also ask what people prefer and th e majority opt for online, as this way you don’t have to pay for trains and you can attend with your SLT. You save time and money.

The conference will be take place online using zoom. We’ll email the joining instructions to you a couple of weeks before the event and send reminders.

If you have any questions please contact [email protected]

What’s my investment?


1 day of inspirational learning

Your entire SLT can attend

Early Bird registration is now closed

Registration opening soon

Still not sure about coming?

Imagine getting 1, 2, 5, 10 really valuable ideas from them that solves a problem you have, or really moves our school forward, in just one day.

Wouldn't that be worth a day of your precious time?

What if your leadership team got fired up with the ideas and ran with them, getting them to work in your school.

Would that improve your school?

But what if all you found out was that your school is as good as theirs, if not better - Would that give you greater confidence in what you're doing in your school?

Because I know you'll get so much from this one day and that you will love it, I'm prepared to guarantee it.

If you come to the conference and don't find it useful, you can have a full refund.