Are you heading to the Education Show 2013?


The Education Show takes place in Birmingham next month offering a range CPD seminars hosted by education experts and policy specialists. We preview this year’s event.

Birmingham’s NEC will once again host the Education Show, which this year takes place from March 14 to 16.

At a time of unprecedented change in the education system, the event hosts a series of specialist conferences and seminars bringing together practitioners, experts and policy specialists to debate key issues, share best practice and demonstrate the latest resources.

The Education Show this year offers its largest ever showcase of free, accredited CPD with more than 70 hours of practitioner-led seminars and CPD workshops. Delivered by practitioners, these are designed to showcase best practice methods, offering practical insights and ideas for teachers.

Specialist conferences

The Education Show 2013 will host two new specialist conferences – the Academies Forum and the School Leaders Summit, both running on the Thursday and Friday of the event. Both events are being supported by the National Association of School Business Managers.

School Leaders Summit

The School Leaders Summit will see leaders from outstanding schools across the UK sharing case studies and practical classroom examples to inform and inspire.

The free two-day conference brings leading experts together in high-impact 20-minute sessions to explore and debate issues, including funding reforms, effective use of the Pupil Premium, the new Ofsted inspection framework, boosting exam success, and the impact of changing government policy. Confirmed sessions at the School Leaders Summit include:

  • Glenys Stacey, chief regulator of the exams watchdog Ofqual, who will be discussing the many changes that are coming up in the English exams system. Ms Stacey will lead the keynote session Weighing Up Preparation for Assessment Against Preparation for the Future at 9:40am on Thursday, March 14.

  • Dr Peter Kent, head of Lawrence Sheriff School, Rugby. Lawrence Sheriff became a Teaching School last April and Dr Kent is an expert on using data and reducing variation. He will lead the session Best Methods for Assessment: Checking progress quickly and effectively at 10:20am on Thursday, March 14.

  • Peter Lauener, chief executive of the Education Funding Agency, which is responsible for distributing funding for three to 19 education and training, including for individual academies, free schools and post-16 providers. Mr Lauener will lead the session Funding Reform: How it will affect your school at 12pm on Thursday, March 14.

  • Mark Ducker, executive principal, The STEP Academy Trust, Croydon. A National Leader of Education, Mr Ducker will lead the session A Conversion Case Study: Why my school converted and what happened next at 4:10pm on Thursday, March 14.

The Academies Forum 

The Academies Forum will provide a platform for education professionals to discuss and debate the pros and cons of the move to academy status. Panels of speakers will explore key issues during the conference, including the future of academy finance and the changing role of the headteacher and staff. Confirmed sessions include:

  • Philomena Marshall, executive principal at Excelsior Academy in Newcastle, who will join the panel for the session The Place of the Academy: What are we trying to achieve as academies? At 9:40am on Thursday, March 14.

  • Jack Pendlebury, principal of Enterprise South Liverpool Academy, will be on the panel for the session Academisation as an Impetus for Improvement at 11:30am on Thursday, March 14.

  • John Cawdell, director of business and resources at Trent Valley Academy in Lincolnshire will be on the panel for the session The Pros and Cons of Academies Buying Services from the Local Authority at 3:40pm on Friday, March 15.

Free CPD

The Learn Live programme of free workshops, seminars and training sessions is a main attraction for many visitors. For 2013, the Learn Live Secondary Theatre will host a series of specialist sessions, based on best practice and tried and tested ideas and approaches.

All sessions are CPD-accredited, with topics to include core curriculum subjects, the value of assessment, outstanding lessons and the role of the classroom environment and technology in learning. The main show Information Point, hosted by the British Educational Suppliers Association, is a useful place to discuss what seminars are most appropriate for you.

Elsewhere, the SEN Zone Information Point can help SEN professionals pinpoint the training, debates and exhibitors that are most relevant to their needs. The SEN point is hosted by special needs association nasen, which is also supporting the show’s SEN seminar theatre – Learn Live SEN. Here follows some examples of the CPD seminars on offer this year.

Seminar: Whole-school literacy

With the recognition of the promotion of cross-curricular skills, Caroline Lane, senior leader for teaching and learning at Bishop Rawstorne CE Academy in Lancashire, will lead the session When Maths and English Collide. 

Caroline will present ways that teachers can promote literacy across the curriculum by showing how it can be incorporated into maths lessons in an interactive, collaborative session. There will be a focus on peer-to-peer support to enable students to develop literacy skills while also strengthening their numeracy confidence. Attendees will be able to take away concepts with an emphasis on personal learning and thinking skills that can be easily applied in their classrooms. 

When Maths and English Collide is at 3pm on Thursday, March 14, in the Learn Live Secondary Theatre.

Seminar: Effective tablets

For schools looking to explore the use of handheld tablet technology, Ed Walsh, science advisor at Cornwall Learning, is running Tablets for the Science Teacher. 

This session will discuss the effective use of tablets to enhance teaching and learning in secondary science lessons. Based on observation and discussion, Ed will share a set of cutting-edge applications that have been identified that can be widely used, and are effective at engaging students and making learning active. Using contexts taken from current secondary science courses, the session looks to offer affordable and engaging ideas. Tablets for the Science Teacher is on at 12pm on Thursday, March 14, in the Learn Live Secondary Theatre.

Seminar: Difficult moments

The assumptions and themes that can emerge in schools around religion and belief identity can be sensitive enough to stop even the most experienced teachers and educators in their tracks. 

In her session When it all Kicks Off, Debbie Danon, education and training manager at Three Faiths Forum, will use real-life examples and teachers’ own experiences to explore proven methodologies that help educators use difficult moments as opportunities for deeper learning. Attendees will look at building their confidence when dealing with controversial topics, how to create a safe space and maintain boundaries, encourage critical thinking, and challenging assumptions and entrenched views. When it all Kicks Off runs at 12pm on Friday, March 15 in the Learn Live Secondary Theatre.

Seminar: Outstanding teaching

Good and outstanding teaching happens in different forms in all subjects. Tara Hartley from Smestow School in Wolverhampton will host the session Different Forms of Outstanding Teaching Outside Core Subjects. 

She will looks at different techniques that can be used in the classroom ranging from role plays, to the innovative use of technology, to “Pose, Pause and Pounce” questioning techniques. Attendees will have the opportunity to share their ideas and knowledge with other teachers and educators. 

Different Forms of Outstanding Teaching Outside Core Subjects takes place at 1pm on Friday, March 15, in the Learn Live Secondary Theatre.

Leadership collaboration

Alongside the organised CPD sessions, the Leadership Lounge at the Education Show is designed to enable headteachers, deputy heads and other senior leaders to network with peers, discuss current education policies, and to share solutions and ideas. Visitors can also get refreshments and space away from the busy show floor. 

Engaging parents

School leaders and bursars recognise only too well the valuable contribution of PTA funds. This year, the Education Show will host the first PTA-UK National Conference, on Saturday, March 17, offering guidance and support to PTAs across the UK in changing times. Topics to be discussed include:

  • How to run your PTA.

  • Practical guidance on applying for grants

  • Advice on how to use social media to effectively to reach supporters and local communities.

Delegates will have the opportunity to meet, ask questions and garner advice from fundraising experts and a range of suppliers.


As ever, a main part of the Education Show will be the exhibition. As in previous years, the event brings together the leading education suppliers, along with innovative and passionate smaller companies, to showcase the latest teaching tools and most cost-effective procurement schemes. From whole-school solutions to best-value classroom resources, the show enables educators to try and test a range products and services, all under one roof.

Ms Pal added: “We work with schools across the country to ensure that content addresses the areas close to teachers’ hearts, and that our exhibitors are aware of the most pressing needs in education resources currently.”

Visit SecEd!

As ever SecEd and our sister magazine Headteacher Update will be at the Education Show speaking to teachers and school leaders about their latest best practice or in-school initiatives. We will also be giving away copies of our latest editions and delegates can sign up to receive our latest bulletins and updates free of charge. Do come and say hello to us on stand J50.


The Education Show 2013 takes place from Thursday March 14 to Saturday March 16 at the NEC in Birmingham and is free to attend. For the full show programme and to register for free fast-track entry, visit and enter the registration code EPR16.


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