The Education Britain Summit was hosted by The Education Foundation on Wednesday 6th July 2016 and was supported by Sir John Cass’s Foundation. Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education gave the keynote address and spoke on a number of topics but a large amount of focus was put on building character education leading to soft skill development. £6m of funding has been pledged by the government for schools and organisations that offer activities promoting character in pupils with the aim of putting character education on par with academic learning. Funding also includes significant investment into mental health provision. Another theme of the minster’s address was careers and enterprise and Nicky Morgan introduced Christine Hodgson, Chair of Careers & Enterprise Company a government funded careers organisation. Leadership was another key theme as was promoting more women in education and the minster spoke of the Women in Education network. The minister concluded that she had been dismayed by the rise in anti-social behaviour following Brexit and stated that intolerance would not be allowed and the government’s ongoing pledge around social cohesion.
The conference followed a number of key themes:
- Social Mobility
- Digital Technology in education and digital skill development
- Education to Employment
- Growth of Trusts in particular MATs
- Need for better CPD
- Cross country examples of best practice
- Celebrating success stories in education
The event concluded with Ty Goddard and Ian Fordham from The Education Foundation summarising the day’s proceedings and the need for an outward looking curriculum that linked skill development and jobs with academic learning. Both mentioned the jobs of tomorrow are not even created. The importance of networks with head teachers working together. National versus regional – one size fits all does not always work and what education can do for those who may never work.
John Hall, the acting Chairman of the Grants Committee participated in the future of the school system panel discussion.
The panel discussion was chaired by Ty Goddard, Co-founder of The Education Foundation and focused on the future of the school system. The discussion included contributions from: Martyn Oliver, CEO Outwood Grange Academies Trust, Lesley Powell, Principal, Shotton Hall Academy, John Hall, Deputy Chair of Grants, Sir John Cass’s Foundation & Andrew Morrish, CEO, Victoria Park Academies Trust.
The Foundation attended the summit as it supports different types of schools, for example the first parent promoted school in the country, and is the sole trustee of two voluntary aided schools in London, the Sir John Cass’s Foundation Primary School and the Sir John Cass’s Foundation and Red Coat Secondary School. The Foundation supported 34 schools in London to become specialist schools and supported three academies.