Following a new study which urges businesses to put ‘education at the heart’ of the Northern Powerhouse, Liverpool businesses have signed up to the Pupil Premium Conference 2016.
The conference hopes to foster links between education, business and careers and will discuss ways to close the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers.
Due to be held at Liverpool Hope University on 8 July, the event has been organised by School Improvement Liverpool Ltd (SIL), which delivers training and consultancy to schools and academies across the UK. It will focus on providing a holistic, whole family approach to the use of Pupil Premium funding and how this can be used to narrow the attainment gap.
Liverpool-based FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), the UK’s leading media arts centre, will exhibit on the day, alongside MerseySTEM, which works across Merseyside, Cheshire and Warrington to bring science, technology, engineering and mathematics projects to life.
Michelle Dow, managing director at MerseySTEM, says: “We at MerseySTEM do amazing things to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths in schools, business, the community and beyond! We are looking forward to meeting with teachers to share what we do, how we can enrich their school’s STEM provision and help further connect them with industry partners.
“We believe that these partnerships not only widen the horizon for individual pupils as they continue to learn and consider their future, but that the benefits to the region’s prosperity are huge. Today’s students and their skills are the future of the Northern Powerhouse, we need to work together to inspire our future workforce.”
A new report, ‘Northern Schools: Putting education at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse’ has highlighted how pupils from low-income backgrounds in the North are falling behind their peers in other parts of the country.
The study by the Institute for Public Policy Research and funded by education charity Teach First found that eligible pupils for free school meals at northern schools do worse at GCSE than their counterparts in London.
The day will equip delegates with examples of using Pupil Premium to raise attendance and inclusion; maximising impact through rigorous self-evaluation and how creative activities and enriched experiences can make a real difference.
Other exhibitors confirmed for the event include Reading Wise, Beanstalk and Sapere: Philosophy for Children. The conference will also include talks from keynote speakers; Sarah Hackman, Peter Henderson and Dr Ian Belger and workshops from local primary and secondary schools.
Councillor Nick Small, Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for education and skills, says: “Raising standards is an absolute priority for the city council and I welcome this conference, which is just one of a host of things that we are doing to make sure pupils leave school fully equipped with the skills needed for life and the world of work.”
Sue Shinkfield, chief executive at School Improvement Liverpool Ltd, says: “Tackling the attainment gap between disadvantaged young people and their peers is a top priority for school leaders and the government and it is something we are very passionate about at School Improvement Liverpool. This conference hopes to share some of the best practices found in northern schools and highlight how an effective Pupil Premium strategy can help close the gap.
“Unlocking the potential and ambition of our young people, who are so vital for our future economy, is of utmost importance. We’re looking forward to welcoming local businesses and schools, keynote speakers and school leaders from across the country to this one day event at Liverpool Hope University.”