After identifying through Ofsted reports that a significant number of the 61 primary schools in the trust needed to improve provision for their More Able Pupils, REAch2 reached out to Potential Plus UK for guidance and support. As an independent educational charity Potential Plus UK has valuable experience of working with schools and parents to help them understand and meet the learning and wellbeing needs of more able pupils. (More able pupil is the preferred term for the REAch2 Trust).

The project to upskill schools across the REAch2 Trust kicked off with a one day conference at Woburn House Conference Centre in Bloomsbury, London, at the start of February. Nominated champions for driving forward improvement for More Able Pupils in their own schools attended the conference, which was opened with an impassioned speech by Trust DCEO, Cathie Paine.

As well as an introduction to the topic, the day covered inclusive identification of More Able Pupils, strategies for supporting parents of these pupils and how to spot more able disadvantaged students. Potential Plus UK’s Chief Executive, Julie Taplin, and Senior Education Consultant, Rebecca Howell, were joined by Joy Morgan, Assistant Headteacher of award-winning Parliament Hill School in Camden, to deliver a series of keynotes and interactive workshops to engage the ‘champions’ and enable them to apply the ideas to their own schools.

The conference will be followed by two series of one-day training events in the four regions covered by the Trust, namely South Central, North Central, The Midlands and East Anglia. These are again being provided for the champions in each school who will then lead change in their own settings. The days will promote best practice provision for More Able Pupils and leadership of this area across a school.

The professional development provided by Potential Plus UK for the REAch2 Trust is based on the criteria set out in its High Learning Potential Best Practice Award, which is designed to enable schools to demonstrate that they are meeting the needs of their high potential learners.