Potential Conferences

A Potential Conference is a working retreat which gives a group of up to about 20 people the time and space to discuss issues about which they are passionate, and which relate to children and young people and their learning potential. Any aspect relating to maximising potential is considered, whether that is in formal education, in family life or beyond.

We do have specific areas of interest each year but we are also interested in exploring new and emerging issues and providing a forum for putting people together to discuss cutting edge ideas which resonate with the aims of the Trust.

Why do we run Potential Conferences?

Feedback from delegates attending traditional conferences over the years led us to believe that the best parts of such events are the bits between the sessions where people have the chance to find out what colleagues are doing, discuss new ideas and develop new partnerships.

A Potential Conference therefore is in essence ‘a 24-hour coffee break with dinner thrown in’ that offers participants time to exchange ideas, share current concerns and interesting developments, explore effective ways forward, make new contacts and renew existing ones.  And, last but not least, it is an opportunity to recharge their batteries so that – whatever it is they do that is of benefit to children and young people with High Learning Potential and Dual and Multiple Exceptionalities – together we can do ‘more of it, better and quicker”


At present, we run events during the week in Hawkwood College in Stroud, Gloucestershire, and at the weekend in the Littlebury Hotel in Bicester, Oxfordshire.

We are looking for similar venues in the north.

What these venues have in common are their relaxed environments, friendly atmospheres and the space to share ideas and talk to others.

Past Potential Conferences

  • Collaborating in the UK to support children with High Learning Potential
  • Personalised learning
  • Bullying of children with HLP and what to do about it
  • What an assessment service for HLP children would look like
  • What should government and/or school policy on HLP look like
  • Provision by hands-on science centres for children with HLP
  • What an on-line arts backpack for children should look
  • The role of occupational therapy in helping HLP children
  • SEND in the early years
  • Training volunteer parents and carers to support children with HLP and their families
  • How to achieve equity in education for DME children
  • How European organisations supporting HLP children and their families can share experiences and work together

Our strategic priorities for Potential Conferences 2024-2027

Potential Conferences are cutting-edge events based on early or emerging themes of interest in the HLP/DME world. They are designed to

  • add something different/unique to the current debate in this area;
  • give individuals the opportunity to discuss and develop ideas relating to High Learning Potential (including DME);
  • bring the topic of HLP and DME to new stakeholder groups including those who can change policy, practice and pedagogy in their own organisations and communities;
  • lead to changes in policy, practice and pedagogy related to or impacting upon HLP/DME in the UK and beyond.

Our areas of interest


  • Campaigning for the rights of the HLP child
  • Blended learning and the HLP child in schools
  • An inclusive exam framework for every child in England


  • The language and labels of HLP, DME and SEND
  • Building a bridge between physical schools, home education and alternative provision
  • Removing Barriers to Wasted Potential


  • Maximising human potential – holistic models of education
  • High Learning Potential in the criminal justice system

We have left space in our conference programme for organisations with new ideas or emerging thoughts relating to one or more aspects of High Learning Potential and Dual and Multiple Exceptionality. If you would like us to run a topic on your area of passion or interest in this field, please contact us directly to discuss this, using the options below.

Becoming a Potential Conference Partner

Potential Conferences often run in collaboration with another organisation with aims similar to or overlapping with those of the Trust. Each event has a specific theme or question to be addressed, but there is no pre-determined programme limiting discussions. Whatever agenda emerges is based on the needs of participants and their current preoccupations in the field of education.

Partners provide the topic they would like the Potential Conference to cover and provide a participant list and contact details (which we will add to from our extensive network). We will do the rest, including funding the venue, organising the event and issuing invitations.

I would like to attend a Potential Conference

I would like to organise a Potential Conference