Improving Outcomes for Disadvantaged Learners :

Addressing the Language Gap

with Marc Rowland

9.30am – 11.30am, Friday 20th April 2018

Venue: Tankersley Manor, Barnsley, S75 3DQ

Leadership Development CPD Opportunity for School Leaders

Following the invaluable Pupil Premium seminar and the subsequent work undertaken with a number of local schools in 2017, Learners First is delighted to welcome back Marc Rowland for a second leadership seminar focussed on supporting improved outcomes for disadvantaged learners. As highlighted in the Hart/Risley study and as Marc details in his Pupil Premium work, ‘the language gap is one of the biggest causes of underachievement in later life, especially for disadvantaged learners’. Limited vocabulary and weak oracy skills are key contributors to this and can lead to low self confidence, be a barrier to engagement and inhibit success in wider life.

During this practical leadership seminar, Marc will draw upon his wealth of experience in this field and his work with schools and leaders at a national level to explore this challenge in more detail. He will consider some of the strategies and approaches that can help support language development and the impact success in this area can have, with a particular focus on disadvantaged learners. There will also be an opportunity for delegates to hear about some of the work being undertaken as part of the Learners First SSIF project focussed on spoken language development drawing on the oracy curriculum and framework developed by School 21.

Cost: Fully funded for delegates from schools/academies subscribing to Learners First.
(£80 per person for delegates from non-subscribing schools and academies).

To Book: Please email your name, school and contact details to to reserve a place


In 2017 the Department for Education (DfE) convened an expert group of system leaders to reform the existing NPQ leadership qualifications and oversee the development of a new ‘executive leadership’ level within the suite of qualifications.

Learners First is delighted to have been successfully accredited as a DFE provider of the reformed National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) at all four levels. Therefore, as well as the National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML), the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL), and the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH), Learners First now offers the new National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL).


This is an exciting addition to the Learners First Leadership Curriculum and will further support leadership development and progression into new and emerging leadership roles.

How to Apply

The application windows for the NPQML, NPQSL, NPQH and NPQEL programmes commencing in the autumn 2018 will be opening after easter.

To register your interest in any of these programmes please email

You will then be notified of the application dates and respective deadline of the programme you are interested in, as soon as they become available.

If you would like to discuss in more detail and/or require further information about any of the NPQs please do not hesitate to contact the Learners First team.


Learners First – an inclusive teaching school partnership

Learners First is an inclusive teaching school partnership of over 200 schools from all phases. Established in August 2012 Learners First is a not-for profit company whose main focus is to build excellence and address underperformance in equal measure through system-led school improvement and leadership development. The principle objective is to better deliver the mission in a greater number of schools and settings. Learners First aims to achieve this through investment in three core interdependent areas of work:

  • Leadership development and transformation
  • System-led school to school support
  • Governance and governor development

The education landscape is changing significantly with schools and school leaders at the heart of these changes. Whilst recent reforms present many fantastic opportunities for collaboration, innovation and school-led improvement, it can also be quite a daunting prospect for schools and their leaders, particularly at a time of austerity and with fewer resources at their disposal. However, Learners First is well placed to support and make a significant contribution to the maturity and effectiveness of a school-led system. Far from creating a dependency culture, Learners First is able to support schools, academies and MATs to lead their own improvement by providing and brokering additional capacity and school expertise.

To discuss your requirements please contact us:-

Tel. 01709-731272

Interested in a Career in Teaching?

Teaching is a hugely fulfilling career and Learners First Schools Partnership has an amazing track record of recruiting, developing and employing high quality trainee teachers across South Yorkshire.  As a trainee you could be eligible for a bursary of up to £30,000 and there may be opportunities for you to earn while you train through the salaried routes.

Learners First is an accredited provider of the School Direct teacher training programme and offers high quality school-based training in early years, primary and secondary schools. Our training programmes give you the opportunity to ‘learn on the job’ alongside outstanding school leaders as well as achieving a PGCE qualification and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Trainees are supported every step of the way and through the professional networks and the wider Leadership Curriculum, employment, career progression and professional development opportunities are plentiful with Learners First.

You could be on your way to an exciting career in teaching sooner than you think with fantastic training and enhanced employment opportunities with Learners First Schools Partnership. We are currently recruiting the future generation of outstanding trainee teachers to our early years, primary and secondary programmes and would welcome a conversation if you would like to find out more or how to apply.

Please contact or visit the School Direct pages.

If you have the drive, passion and commitment, we have the professionals and programme to support you on your journey to becoming an outstanding teacher!

The Governance Handbook

Governing boards are the strategic decision makers and vision setters in every school and academy. They play a vital role in ensuring the best possible education for every child by creating robust accountability for school leaders.

Lord Nash

The Department of Education (DfE) released an updated version of the Governance Handbook in January 2017 together with and the new Competency Framework for Governors.

The ‘Competency framework for governance’ sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours that school and academy governing boards need to be effective.

The ‘Competency framework for clerking sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to provide professional clerking to school and academy governing boards.

The following link will take you to the relevant DfE website page should you wish to view or download these documents:


Governor Development Programme


Effective governance has always been crucial to the success of schools and academies but never more so than now when governance features so decisively in the current Ofsted Framework. Our Governor Development continues to be a core area of work for Learners First.

School-to-School Support


Learners First’s approach to school-to-school support is dynamic and innovative. Any support that is provided, brokered or commissioned by Learners First is designed to be bespoke and tailored to meet the needs of the identified school(s) to maximise its impact.

For details of our programmes and events please follow the link below.

Support Staff Development Programme


This programme aims to support colleagues currently employed in Support Staff roles in school to make the transition into teaching. The programme has been designed and will be delivered by a range of Specialist Leaders of Education and serving school leaders from a variety of schools, contexts and phases.

For further details follow the link below.



Schools and Academies

have accessed Learners First programmes


specialist leaders of education (sle)

have been designated and are available for deployment through Learners First


middle and senior leaders and aspirant headteachers

have accessed the nationally accredited, licensed leadership programmes through Learners First since 2012


serving school leaders

contributed to the design and delivery of leadership programmes

See what our course delegates say

Thank you to Learners First, NPQH was a superb programme and I really enjoyed every minute of it. Huge praise to all leaders involved in delivery of the programme.

Mark Allen, Vice Principal, The Dearne ALC, Barnsley

Heatherwood’s Primary Phase Leader has just completed the NPQSL qualification with yourselves and the impact has been fantastic; with regards to both her personal growth and professional development.

Kind regards
Lisa Suter

Heatherwood School, Doncaster

Thank you for the invitation this morning.  I thought the quality of the seminar was excellent.

Dave Vernon
Vice Principal/AST
Tuxford Academy, Newark

Ofsted seminar – 21st Sept

I am just writing to thank you and all the people who delivered/facilitated the NPQH course through Learners First. I am pleased to say that I received confirmation of my successful completion of the qualification over the summer. I have gained lots from the course and feel that without the excellent face to face days, visits to schools and the support that you have offered it would not have been as enjoyable and beneficial to my career as it has been. Can you please pass on my thanks to all concerned and I hope that Learners First continue to provide these outstanding leadership opportunities for years to come.

Karl O’Reilly, St Luke’s School, Scunthorpe

“I like the Learners First approach. It is engaging, stimulating and down to earth with excellent use of relevant expertise.” “Poses lots of questions and gives time and a professional ‘community’ to reflect with and bounce ideas off.”


“An excellent course which has allowed me to develop as a Senior Leader. Often courses are “busy” but you get nothing out of them for you personally, but this is quite the opposite. Also, feedback has felt valued.”