This conference aims to update Sixth Form Leaders on the very latest updates and challenges facing Sixth Forms as they move into the 2021 – 2022 Academic year. It will provide practical effective solutions to these challenges from school leaders as well as delivering an up to date Academic overview of current Sixth Form Learning.


  • Gain insights into the challenges faced by sixth forms in the current landscape.
  • Hear from leading experts and best practice case studies who are innovatively driving improvements in students outcomes across their sixth forms.
  • Get an overview of the latest educational research from the Education Policy Institute.
  • Gain strategies on ways to develop sixth form curriculum leadership expertise.
  • Find out more about how to maximise the potential of strong learning experiences for your staff to increase learning depth, detail, understanding and outcomes for students.


Bill Watkin, Chief Executive, Sixth Form Colleges Association

Peter Kennedy, Principal & CEO, Franklin Sixth Form College

David Robinson, Director Education Policy Institute, Post 16 and Skills

Paula Blakemore, Vice Principal, Birkenhead Sixth Form College

Dr Paul Johnson, HMI

Tony Davis, Director, Centre for Creative Quality Improvement

John Tait, Multi-Academy Trust Deputy CEO, Arete Learning Trust

Nathalie Richards, CEO and Co-founder, EduKit

Colin Peaks, Principal, Wilberforce Sixth Form College

Gary Thomas,Assistant Principal, Teaching and Learning, Franklin Sixth Form College

Laura Horton, Head of Science & Engineering, Franklin Sixth Form College

Chair: Christopher Terry, Academic Director, Keynote Educational

DATE Online | Friday 25 June 2021
  • Heads of MATs and Trust Alliances
  • Headteachers, Vice Principals, Deputy Principals
  • Deputy and Assistant Headteachers
  • Sixth Form Leaders
  • Heads of Sixth Form
  • Teachers responsible for Teaching and Learning in Sixth Form Colleges
  • Leaders of Further Education
  • Leaders of Higher Education
  • Secondary School Leaders
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance
  • Guaranteed high quality venues.


9.50 – 10.00am: Introduction & Welcome

Christopher Terry, Academic Director, Keynote Educational

10.00 – 10.45am: The Latest on the Challenges Facing Sixth Forms

Bill Watkin, Chief Executive – Sixth Form Colleges Association


10.55 – 11.35am: Leading on High Expectations – a culture of quality Improvement

  • Setting, monitoring and meeting performance targets can form a virtuous cycle of improvement.
  • The session will consider strategies for improving performance, incorporating lessons learned from lockdown to draw on an integrated processes of appraisal, self-assessment and quality improvement planning.

Peter Kennedy, Principal & CEO, Franklin Sixth Form College

11.35 – 12.15pm: Measuring the Disadvantage Gap in 16 – 19 Education

What can be learned and what action can be taken to address the clear disadvantage gap in 16-19 education?

  • Information, advice and guidance targeted at high-attaining disadvantaged students.
  • There is a gap equivalent to almost three A-level grades between the best three qualifications of disadvantaged students and their peers – explaining the gap.
  • The lower prior attainment of disadvantaged students is the main factor. behind the disadvantage attainment gap – how to address this gap which will be heightened by the Covid disruptions and lost learning.

David Robinson, Director, Post 16 and Skills, Education Policy Institute 

12.15pm – 1.05pm: BREAKOUT SESSIONS  1

1A: Assessing with Confidence on Full Linear Qualifications: finding the gaps
  • Are we assessing enough or too much?
  • What works well – how do you effectively use a mix of formal and informal assessments?
  • Multi Educational Institution Collaboration – using technology to work together to improve the validity and efficacy of assessment while easing teacher workloads.

Laura Horton, Head of Science & Engineering, Franklin Sixth Form College

1B:  Developing high-performing independent 6th Form students who achieve excellent results
  • Accurately identifying best practice and areas for improvement to sustain high-quality provision for all.
  • Eradicating areas of under-performance swiftly.
  • Using interventions in a blended learning environment.
  • Well-planned staff development.
  • Leveraging the best of remote learning – collaboration across institutions to support students and staff.

Gary Thomas, Assistant Principal, Teaching and Learning, Franklin Sixth Form College

1C: Student mental health: what are the biggest challenge facing safeguarding in sixth form colleges?
  • How to build resilience and help students stop medicalising normal emotions.
  • The role of the Fitness for Study process verses the Disciplinary process.
  • The effects of Covid-19 on student mental health.

Paula Blakemore, Vice Principal, Birkenhead Sixth Form College

1.05 – 2.00pm LUNCH

2.00 – 2.50pm: BREAKOUT SESSIONS  2

2A: Ofsted Sixth Form Update
  • Ofsted Key Priorities for Sixth Form Schools
  • Covid-adjusted inspections – what will you be assessed on?
  • Data investigations in the light of Covid.

Dr Paul Johnson, HMI

2B: Leadership – how to create high performing SLT teams
  • Building effective professional relationships.
  • Managing difficult conversations.
  • Leading school improvement from the front.

John Tait, Multi-Academy Trust Deputy CEO, Arete Learning Trust.

Author of Senior Leadership

2C: How Social Emotional Learning impacts on results
  • Empowering students to improve their own emotional progress and create good student habits.
  • Monitoring, measuring and evaluating progress.
  • Embedding best practise for wellbeing and mental health for staff and students.

Nathalie Richards, CEO and Co-founder, EduKit


3.00 – 3.50pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS 3

3A: Learning outcomes for independent learning
  • Why learning-outcome writing will be at the heart of the next education revolution.
  • Why learning-outcomes writing is so often poor, and what to do about it.
  • Learning outcomes to develop learners’ independence of us.

Tony Davis, Director, Centre for Creative Quality Improvement

3B: T Levels – the new vocational BTEC changes from QCF to RQF and links to careers
  • How we have successfully promoted industry placements within vocational curriculum areas.
  • Strategies to support the vocational curriculum areas with the smooth transition from QCF to RQF.
  • How the Careers Department supports the work of Pastoral and Curriculum areas.

Kam Rogerson, Vice Principal of Curriculum, Huddersfield New College

3C:  Leading in challenging times
  • Stepping into leadership.
  • Creating high performing teams.
  • Motivating your staff.
  • Reacting to change and challenge.

Colin Peaks, Principal, Wilberforce Sixth Form College