Westminster Education Forum

Raising educational attainment in the North of England - school improvement, opportunity areas and social mobility

Morning, Monday, 26th June 2017

Central Manchester


This timely seminar will consider the next steps for raising educational attainment in the North of England. It comes as the Children’s Commissioner conducts a report into improving children’s life chances in the North and follows the Government’s announcement of funding to use education to improve social mobility in eight opportunity areas in the region.

Delegates will look at the implementation of Government plans to raise standards in schools in the North, in light of Sir Nick Weller’s report in November 2016, including funding for a range of approaches to attract and retain high-quality teachers, and investment in the expansion of Northern multi-academy trusts.

Further sessions will examine local approaches to improving social mobility, in the context of the election of metro mayors. The agenda will also bring out thinking on how local authorities can work more effectively with education providers, businesses and charities to develop tailored measures for improving pathways to the labour market and higher education.

Guest of Honour

Damon Boxer

Head of Delivery for the Oldham and Bradford Opportunity Areas, Department for Education

Guest of Honour

Damon Boxer

Head of Delivery for the Oldham and Bradford Opportunity Areas, Department for Education


Lord O’Neill of Gatley

former Commercial Secretary to the Treasury and Board Member, Northern Powerhouse Partnership


Martin Lennon

Policy Analyst, Children’s Commissioner’s Office

Karen Redhead

Principal and Chief Executive, Derwentside College, County Durham

Karleen Dowden

Regional & Education Policy Lead, The Careers & Enterprise Company

Garath Jackson

Director of Training and Regional Lead, Achievement for All

Les Walton

Chair, Northern Education Trust

Colin Ferguson

Director, North West, Teach First

Anna Round

Senior Research Fellow, North East, IPPR North

Raksha Pattni

Regional Director for School Partnerships, North, Ambition School Leadership

Nicola McLeod

Head of 14-19 Participation, New Economy Manchester

Professor Ruth Lupton

Professor of Education and Head of Inclusive Growth Analysis Unit, University of Manchester