The Education Show 2014


The Education Show returns to Birmingham later this month when teachers can access a range of free CPD, keynote speakers and more than 350 educational suppliers. We take a look at what’s on for 2014.

There is little doubt that 2014 will continue to be a year of change for the education sector.

However, while teachers may be facing the challenges provided by a new curriculum, refreshed examinations process or amended Ofsted frameworks, they will also be invigorated by the chance to look at teaching and learning with fresh eyes; to engage students through new technology, inspire through new teaching material, and learn from the innovative work of peers.

The Education Show has evolved for 2014 in line with these needs to provide a space to learn, get advice and guidance, and network with colleagues from across the UK. It provides a wide programme of free CPD from sector-leading experts, and the chance to get up close with the latest innovations from more than 350 leading suppliers. Here are some of the highlights on the agenda at this year’s event.

School Leaders Summit

School leaders up and down the country continue to face the challenges that come with change. The two-day School Leaders Summit returns as part of the Education Show for 2014, aiming to help headteachers, senior leadership teams and school business managers prepare for, face and solve these challenges.

Taking place on the Thursday and Friday, March 20 and 21, the programme has been put together based on research involving more than 100 people in these key leadership roles, and as such promises to get to the heart of the key issues being reported on the ground through discussion, debate and valuable networking opportunities.

Over a series of best practice, case study and panel sessions, topics up for debate include using technology to enhance learning, innovating teaching and learning, designing a fair and successful teacher appraisal policy, and achieving effective communication with staff, pupils and parents. 

A full programme for the School Leaders Summit can be found on the Education Show website. Here is a taste of some of the sessions lined up for the two-day conference.

  • Assessment Changes: Getting you ready for the GCSE reform (Glenys Stacey, chief regulator and chair, Ofqual, Thursday, March 20, 9:30am) In this session, Ms Stacey will explain the intended outcomes of the changes to GCSE assessment and grading. Attendees will learn how the overhaul will affect students and what teachers should be preparing for.

  • Ofsted’s Guide to the Inspection Process: How to be outstanding (Lorna Fitzjohn, regional director West Midlands, Ofsted, Thursday, March 20, 12:15pm) Ms Fitzjohn will use this session to inform attendees about how Ofsted is inspecting under its new framework, its expectations, and what is viewed as good practice. 

  • Academy Conversion: Exploiting the freedom of the academy system to build a model for improved learning (Frank Green, schools commissioner, Department for Education (Thursday, March 20, 2:10pm) For schools considering academy conversion, this session will cover the realities of converting and what to expect along the way. Common challenges that will be addressed include the changing role of senior management, procurement rules and what to spend your budget on.

  • Power Half Hour: Innovating teaching and learning (Friday, March 21, 12:25pm). In this session, three school leaders will each get seven minutes to present interesting examples of what they are doing in their schools to raise standards and student achievement, using only pictures. The speakers will be Claire Spence, headteacher, Beacon Academy; Neil Dixon, headteacher, St Mary and St Paul’s CE Primary and Teaching School; and Dan Roberts, deputy headteacher, Devonport High School for Boys.

  • Panel Discussion: Making the most of the Pupil Premium to bridge the achievement gap (Friday, March 21, 11:40am) This panel of school leaders will discuss how they use the Pupil Premium and the positive effects their interventions have had on their students. Discussions will touch upon how to allocate funds and different methods to measure and present the effectiveness of the interventions. Speakers will include Simon Birch, deputy headteacher, Longford Park School, Caroline Reed, principal, Frederick Nattrass Primary Academy, Cathy Taylor, principal, Sirius Academy, and Sean Bullen, headteacher, Millfield Science and Performing Arts College.

National PTA-UK Conference

After its first year at the Education Show 2013, the National PTA-UK Conference will return to the heart of the show floor with a comprehensive one-day programme on Saturday, March 22. As active fundraisers, PTA-UK members raise more than £100 million a year, making a huge difference to schools. 

At the show, more than 120 PTA members representing the whole of the UK will network, pose questions to and get guidance from experts, stakeholders and suppliers on a variety of key topics.

Topics that will be covered in the fully booked conference include maximising fundraising, promoting a PTA using social media, and how to encourage people to get involved. 

Free CPD

Alongside its valuable conferences, the Education Show is renowned for offering leading CPD opportunities – all at no cost.

More than 120 free-to-attend, CPD-accredited workshops, seminars, training sessions and discussion events will be led by practitioners, peers and industry experts. The programme aims to address the professional development needs of all education practitioners in four new purpose-built theatres on the show floor:

  • National Curriculum Theatre.

  • How Do I... Theatre.

  • Technology in Education Theatre.

  • Early Years and SEN Theatre.

A full list of seminars is available online and here are three highlights from the programme.

  • How do I Bring the World into My Classroom? (Vicky Gough, advisor at the British Council, How Do I... Theatre, Saturday, March 22, 2:15pm). This session will give teachers practical ideas and links to resources to enable them to partner with schools overseas, enrich the curriculum through adding a global dimension, support language teaching, developing international opportunities for professional development, and develop pupils’ skills as global citizens.

  • How to Effectively Teach Pupils Who Have Suffered an Acquired Brain Injury (Kevin Garner, teacher, St Andrew’s Healthcare, Early Years and SEN Theatre, Friday, March 21, 10am). The impact of a brain injury on a pupil’s emotional and cognitive abilities is often misunderstood. In the classroom, these pupils can be perceived as disengaged, disruptive and lazy. This workshop will look at barriers to learning and share strategies developed at the National Centre for Brain Injury to successfully educate and engage young people who have an acquired brain injury.

  • Teaching Children to Listen (Liz Spooner and Jacqui Woodcock, speech and language therapists, Worcestershire NHS Trust, How Do I... Theatre, Thursday, March 20, 9:30am). Increasing numbers of students are finding it hard to listen and their poor listening and short attention spans affect the behaviour and learning of the whole class. This workshop will share a practical, evidence-based approach to teaching students what good listening is and to motivate them to do it. 

Keynote speakers

One of Britain’s best-known scientists, Professor Brian Cox, has also been confirmed as a keynote speaker on Thursday, March 20. Prof Cox, particle physicist and popular television presenter, will address visitors on the subject of stimulating 21st century learning. 

Elsewhere, on Friday, March 21, stand-up comedian, television presenter and STEM advocate, Dara Ó Briain, will share his passion for mathematics.

Inspiring Technology in Education

Alongside the CPD offering, Technology in Education – new for 2014 – will house a seminar theatre and “demonstration island” to allow visitors from all key stages to meet technology exhibitors one-to-one and get hands-on training with the latest technology for education. Educators can have their questions answered by the experts, and attend key sessions on technology.

Accompanied by Technology in Education seminars, this new feature aims to immerse educators into the rapidly developing world of “edtech”, helping to harness its valuable potential and offering visitors the opportunity to learn core skills to improve learning outcomes. 

Innovative suppliers

Investing in the right resources and making the most of budgets continue to be crucial factors for schools to consider. The Education Show provides an opportunity to evaluate a wide range of potential solutions and speak face-to-face with suppliers, as well as to ask questions and get free guidance.

To help exhibitors plan their route around the show, the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) will be on hand at the Show Information Point (Stand F5/E6) and for specialist advice on meeting the needs of all learners, the SEN Information Point, hosted by nasen, can be found on Stand M11/L10. Here is a taste of the variety of exhibitors at the show this year:

  • Me and My Pupil Insight Software: This software gives secondary schools a series of online survey tools and reporting mechanisms to help them develop concise self-evaluation. Stand A47.

  • Vocab Express: The online foreign language vocabulary learning application has teamed up with dictionary publisher Oxford University Press to provide a free online platform to learn, revise and test progress in a range of languages using the 1,000 Words Challenge. The challenge will present 1,000 of the most common vocabulary items suitable for secondary school students. Stand E86.

  • Dorset Adventure: For schools looking to provide students with a sense of adventure, Dorset Adventure will launch its Wild Camping Experience, tailored specifically for secondary schools. The trip is designed to promote young people’s leadership and communication skills on a remote camp overlooking the sea on the Jurassic Coast. Stand K65.

  • CES Solutions: CES will showcase its Indirect Dyslexia Learning software, providing dyslexia and literacy intervention for secondary schools. It is designed for use in school and at home, and has more than 900 specially graded lessons, providing structured, sequential and cumulative learning through a multi-sensory approach. Stand K47. 

  • Show My Homework: This web-based calendar helps ensure that homework is set effectively across the school, with statistics available by year, class, teacher and subject. It gives students a clear picture of what has been set while parents can take a more proactive role in homework prioritisation. Stand A78.

  • Fresh-Air Fitness: This company will be showcasing solutions for secondary school playgrounds and fields. Suitable both for general outdoor activities and as part of a structured PE lesson, all items are compliant with the new European Outdoor Exercise Equipment requirement, DIN 79000. Stand H63.

  • Thames and Kosmos Science Kits: With the Thames and Kosmos Power House Kit, students can learn about alternative energy and sustainable living by conducting 100 experiments and building energy related models. Stand D82.

  • WJEC: The awarding body will demonstrate its new Online Exam Review which allows teachers to analyse item level data, critically assess sample question papers, and receive examiner feedback. This free resource is designed to improve critical thinking skills, assist teachers in preparing students for examinations and stimulate classroom discussion. Stand D54

  • SecEd and Headteacher Update: Last but not least don’t forget to come and say hello to SecEd and our sister magazine for primary school leaders, Headteacher Update. Our editorial team will be at the show, not trying to sell you anything, but simply to chat to our readers about what you want to see in our pages in the coming months – and to give away copies of the magazines. Do come and say hello! Stand L39 

Further information

The Education Show 2014 is free to attend and takes place on March 20, 21 and 22 at the NEC, Birmingham. Visit


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