Wellbeing and Achievement

Getting the mix right

The Tomlinson Centre, Queensbridge Road, E8 3ND
19 November 2014 9am – 4.00pm

Why this conference?

Children with higher levels of emotional, behavioural, social and school wellbeing have higher levels of academic achievement and are more engaged in school. These are the findings of a report on the impact of pupil behaviour, issued by the Department for Education in November 2012, and of many other studies on the impact of pupil behaviour and wellbeing on educational outcomes.

Over the years Hackney Learning Trust has found that improving the all-round wellbeing of pupils and staff has been crucial in lifting the performance and attainment levels. At local level it has been a key factor in transforming the educational performance of a borough which has seen some of the most improved and sustained academic achievements in the country.

This conference was led by internationally renowned experts who explored the definition of wellbeing in schools, the enrichment of the education environment to support learning, the link between health, wellbeing and achievement, and how you can implement strategies to ensure every child receives educational support to maximise life chances.

Objectives and Opportunities

  • Explore the definition of wellbeing in schools.
  • Learn effective strategies on how to improve the wellbeing of students in order to support achievement.
  • Hear practical ideas about how to build confidence and resilience in the classroom for both teachers and pupils.
  • Discover ways to strengthen the ethos of wellbeing across the school community.
  • Find out ways to improve the wellbeing of your staff.
  • Question our expert speakers on their experience and the issues your school is currently facing.
  • Benefit from networking with colleagues by discussing ideas and sharing best practice.

Who attended?

The conference was for those involved in school leadership and associated educational decision making processes, including:

  • Headteachers
  • Deputy and Assistant Headteachers
  • Local Authority Education Leaders
  • School Governors


Sir Michael Marmot – Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London

Keynote talk – Fair Society, Healthy Lives

Evidence shows that disadvantage starts in childhood and accumulates throughout life. The early years are vitally important for future life chances and health. Much can be done to improve equity from the start of life if a coherent policy approach is followed that takes into account the social determinants. This momentum of progress in the early years must be maintained throughout later childhood and adolescence.

The school community has a powerful role to play in the context of the social determinants of health.

Biography – Sir Michael Marmot has led research on health inequalities for over 35 years. He was Chair of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health set up by the World Health Organization, producing the 2008 report Closing the Gap in a Generation. At the request of the UK Government, he conducted a Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England post 2010, which published its report Fair Society, Healthy Lives. This was followed by the European Review of Social Determinants of Health and the Health Divide.

He has served as President of the British Medical Association, chaired the Breast Screening Review for the NHS Cancer Trust and was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. In 2008, he was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen, for services to epidemiology and the understanding of health inequalities.

He is currently President of the British Lung Foundation, Principal Investigator of the Whitehall II studies of British Civil Servants, leads the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing and is a Foreign Associate Member of the Institute of Medicine. He is also engaged in international research efforts on the social detriments of health.

He is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and Honorary Fellow at both the British Academy and Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians. In 2004 he won the Balzan Prize for Epidemiology, gave the Harveian Oration in 2006, won the William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research in 2008 and has been awarded a Harvard Lowns Professorship for 2014-2017.

Stephen Scott – Professor of Child Health and Behaviour at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, and Director of the National Academy for Parenting Research

Keynote talk – Interventions for Hackney Children at Risk of Social Exclusion

Evidence has shown that parenting interventions can improve the behaviour and raise the reading ability of primary children at risk of social exclusion. The role of parents and use of classroom based behaviour programmes are fundamental in ensuring we lift the life chances of children and young people.

Biography – Stephen Scott CBE is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the Maudsley Hospital, where he works in a multidisciplinary team in the National Conduct Problems Clinic.

He has been involved in trials for the prevention and treatment of antisocial behaviour across the age range, from screening populations and offering parenting skills to five and six year olds to independent trials testing the effectiveness of Functional Family Therapy and Multisystemic Therapy.

One of these trials took place in Hackney and showed positive results, not only on child social adjustment, but also their ability to read.

He is Chair of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence’s Guideline Development Group for conduct disorders and antisocial behaviour in children and young people and was made Commander of the British Empire by the Queen in the 2014 New Year’s honours list.

Angela Scattergood – Head of Early Years and Play, Hackney Learning Trust

Keynote talk – Character and Resilience

There is a growing body of evidence linking “character and resilience” to educational achievement, employability and social mobility. Traits such as empathy, self-control, delayed gratification, mental toughness and the ability to make and maintain relationships impact upon our capacity to persevere and overcome setbacks. What does this mean for our children and young people and for us as educators?

Biography – Joining Hackney Learning Trust as Head of Early Years and Play in 2010, Angela brought to the role 30 years of early years teaching, leadership and management experience in primary and nursery schools in richly diverse communities.

As Headteacher she led Comet maintained nursery school, on its improvement journey from ‘satisfactory’ to ‘outstanding’ and its expansion and development into a highly successful and thriving children’s centre.

She leads Hackney’s early years strategy, which in recent years has secured rapid improvement in quality of provision and outcomes for young children.

Angela leads on a number of Hackney’s 0-19 partnership strategies where early identification and early help are key to narrowing achievement and wellbeing gaps.

Workshop 1 – How emotional intelligence supports good or better teaching

Rachel Thompson and Claire Tregear

How is good or better teaching underpinned by Daniel Goleman’s five domains of emotional intelligence? How can teaching and learning be improved by supporting teachers to identify and implement the five domains within their teaching? This workshop aimed to explore how the Securing Good or Better professional development programme can improve quality first teaching through effective implementation of these five domains of SEAL.

Workshop 2 – Pupil wellbeing and attainment

Nadia Sica

How do multiple dimensions of wellbeing simultaneously predict later changes in educational outcomes for children and young people? This workshop examined how various dimensions of children’s wellbeing are associated with their educational outcomes and explores ways school leaders can support pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development to raise overall levels of attainment. It focused particularly on curriculum delivery and the role of PSHCE.

Workshop 3 – Stoke Newington School, a case study in Year 6/7 transition

Gillian Carr, Niall Doherty and Mary Straw

An ongoing journey towards excellence. This workshop focused on creative approaches to summer school, inclusion and academic transition. Attendees explored what methods and projects have been set up to ensure the wellbeing of children has been considered before taking those next important steps to secondary education.

Workshop 4 – Progress for whole-school wellbeing

James Parker

The Progress Process uses an online diagnostic to monitor the quality of relationships between and among staff and students, then uses the resulting data to involve the whole school community in shaping strategies that will enhance wellbeing and make learning great for everyone. Developed with 90 schools in England, Progress is currently being trialled in Finland.

The aims of the workshop were to:

  • Explore and discuss the importance of great relationships to great learning.
  • Discover how involving staff and students in data-informed conversations can lead to cost-effective ways of enhancing relationships for learning.
  • Gain insight into how you can use ongoing feedback and reflection processes to make your school a self-improving system.

Workshop 5 – How to make a difference with the Pupil Premium Grant

Michelle Thomas

As Pupil Premium funding reaches its highest level, the challenge for school leaders is how to show that their intervention spending decisions have supported the achievement of this group and had impact at all levels.

This workshop supported attendees in running their own Pupil Premium Review. It looked at successful strategies for the use of Pupil Premium funding to ensure the greatest impact in terms of achievement and wellbeing is delivered.

Workshop 6 – How can maths enhance pupils wellbeing

Sian Davies

Through the development of the Primary Advantage maths programme, the team discovered that learning mathematics extends beyond learning concepts, procedures and their applications. The teaching approaches that form part of the programme include developing a disposition towards mathematics and seeing mathematics as a powerful way of looking at situations.

The workshop aimed to share some of these ideas in a practical way, focusing on:

  • Collaborative learning, harnessing the power of dialogue to support and enrich the learning experience.
  • The learning dispositions of self-confidence, curiosity, collaboration, resilience, tolerance, flexibility and respect.
  • Embracing concrete learning opportunities which cement children’s understanding.


Here’s what our attendees thought about the conference:

“Gone back with much useful advice and thoughts to share with headteachers.”

“Superb – thank you.”

“I found the workshop on how to make a difference with the PPG extremely helpful – thank you.”

“Thank you – thought it was a super day. Looking forward to next year.”