Westminster Education Forum

We are continuing to organise full-scale virtual conferences which retain all the features of physical seminars, including full programmes, presentations with slides, panel discussions and live delegate questions and comments sessions, person-to-person and group networking, and a permanent record provided to all delegates afterwards. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are.
For booking-related queries or information on speaking please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk, or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.

If you’re already booked on, joining instructions can be accessed from five working days before your conference via the booking dashboard. Need help? Contact us at delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

Next steps for early years education and the EYFS

Morning, Wednesday, 13th October 2021

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference focuses on priorities for early years education following the publication of the updated EYFS Framework, which is due to be made statutory this September, and what is needed for transitioning to a wider roll-out of the new framework.

It will be an opportunity to consider case studies and best practice in raising standards in the sector following the COVID-19 pandemic, and managing the return to in-person inspections of early years settings, as well as wider priorities for early years staff, looking in particular at training, recruitment, retention, and workload.

We are pleased to be able to include a keynote address from Susie Owen, Director, Early Years and Schools Group, Department for Education; as well as from Michael Freeston, Director of Quality Services, Early Years Alliance.

The agenda will bring out latest thinking on:

  • next steps for early learning in England in the wake of the pandemic
  • the reformed EYFS framework - transitioning to wider roll-out, the impact on literacy and numeracy reception readiness, best practice in implementation, and managing workload and assessments
  • case studies in raising standards in the early years sector post-pandemic:
    • supporting early learning and mental health recovery amongst vulnerable children
    • using local partnerships to level up early years provision
    • facilitating seamless transition into primary learning
  • inspecting early years settings - and supporting providers to get back up to speed and to raise standards
  • priorities for early years staff - training and professional development, improving recruitment and retention, and ways to ease workload


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from the Department for Education. Also due to attend are representatives from Cambridge Assessment; Leicestershire County Council; Lincolnshire County Council; London Borough of Merton; Royal Borough of Greenwich; Sheffield City Council; Wandsworth Borough Council; and Woodlands Primary School, Salisbury.

Overall, we expect further speakers and other delegates to be an informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials from the DfE and Ofsted, together with children’s centres, nursery staff, local authorities, schools, teachers, education suppliers, edtech companies, language and literacy associations, nutrition specialists, nurses and general health practitioners, mental health practitioners, parent groups, charities, CCGs, NHS Trusts, education publishers, education businesses, academics with an interest in this field, together with representatives from national and trade press.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speakers

Susie Owen

Director, Early Years and Schools Group, Department for Education

Michael Freeston

Director of Quality Improvement, Early Years Alliance


Jack Dromey MP

Secretary, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Nursery Schools, Nursery and Reception Classes

James Daly MP

Officer, APPG on Childcare and Early Education


Stella Ziolkowski

Director of Quality and Workforce Development, National Day Nurseries Association

Dr Sally Pearse

Strategic Lead for Early Years, Sheffield Hallam University

Professor Christine Pascal

Director, Centre for Research in Early Childhood

Helen Pinnington

Early Years Leader, St Thomas More’s Primary and Nursery, Bedhampton

Janet King

Sector Manager for Education and Childcare, CACHE

Liz Bayram

Chief Executive, PACEY

Sian Campbell

EYFS Leader, Grove Street Primary School, Wirral

Dr Julian Grenier

Headteacher, Sheringham Nursery School and Children’s Centre Co-lead, East London Research School

Dr Louise Tracey

Senior Research Fellow, Department of Education, University of York