Dr Kathryn Weston

Researcher and motivational speaker
Speaking at

Graham Cunningham

Headteacher, Longdean School


Engaging parents to boost pupil attainment in Secondary School – The Learning Boost Project

This session will be delivered jointly by parental engagement researcher, and author Dr Kathy Weston, and Headteacher, Graham Cunningham of Longdean School in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. Dr Weston will begin the session sharing the wider benefits of parental engagement and the perceived obstacles. Mr Cunningham will then share the details of a small-scale project that took place over 2017-2018, that aimed to engage the parents of some low-performing students in preparation for their GCSE year. Did the implementation of some small interventions around support for parents, revision advice delivered through video resources and tailored mentoring and support in school impact on these pupils’ GCSE grades? Come along to learn more about parental engagement, and to get inspiration for some cost-effective, easy to implement methods of building capacity among your school’s parents, so that pupils are better able to thrive.


Dr Kathryn Weston is an education researcher with an interest in parental engagement in children’s lives and learning. She delivers motivational talks in schools to parenting communities, on all aspects of family life, parenting and education. She runs an educational consultancy advising schools and school leaders on all aspects of working with parents effectively: www.drkathyweston.com She is the author of “Engaging Parents” (for Bloomsbury) which will be published November 2018 as part of the 100 Ideas Series. She is a regular blogger on the Huffington Post/BBC radio and co-produces her own radio show called ‘The Parents’ Show’ on Radio Verulam 92.6FM.

Graham Cunningham has been the Headteacher of Longdean School in Hemel Hempstead for six years – a secondary school and sixth form with academy status, located in the southeast of Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. He has always worked in challenging schools in areas of economic deprivation and low aspiration. I firmly believe that schoosl should place students first as they only get one shot at their education. It is the job of schools to develop academic and social skills in young people so they leave with control and choice over their future.