Westminster Education Forum

Key issues for independent schools: the future shape of the sector, curriculum design and student recruitment

Morning, Tuesday, 7th November 2017

Central London


Following the recent establishment by the Government of a new System Partnership Unit which aims to help independent schools broker and further develop relationships with state schools, delegates at this conference will discuss the future shape of the independent school sector in England including the future of independent schools’ charitable status and the wider relationship with the state sector. The seminar also follows publication of a Department for Education evaluation on the impact and lessons learnt from independent state school partnerships.

Further discussion will identify how independent schools can continue to innovate within and outside of their existing curricula and maintain the high levels of soft skills and mental toughness amongst their pupils as suggested by research published earlier this year.

Sessions will also discuss the likely impact of Brexit on the sector - considering how British independent schools can remain attractive to prospective European students and what can be done to mitigate the impact of a reduction in international pupil numbers.

Guest of Honour

Barnaby Lenon

Chairman, Independent Schools Council

Guest of Honour

Barnaby Lenon

Chairman, Independent Schools Council

Keynote Speakers

Senior speaker confirmed from the Department for Education (subject to Departmental business)

Kate Richards

Chief Inspector, Independent Schools Inspectorate

Philippa Darley HMI

Specialist Advisor, Independent and Unregistered Schools, Ofsted


Lord Lexden

Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall


Steve Oakes

Director for Education, AQR International

Keith Budge

Headmaster, Bedales Schools

Robin Fletcher

Chief Executive, The Boarding Schools’ Association

Oliver Phillips

Senior Relationship Manager, Services for International Education Marketing, British Council

Matthew Burgess

Partner, Veale Wasbrough Vizards and former General Secretary, Independent Schools Council

Angela Drew

Headmistress, Bromley High School, Kent

Ian Davenport

Chief Executive, The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation

Alex Gear

Headmaster, Oakhyrst Grange School, Surrey and Vice Chairman, Independent Schools Association

Mark Taylor

Executive Director, The Taylor Partnership

Tim Wilbur

Director of Schools Consultancy, Gabbitas Education