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 call +44 (0)1344 864796.

If you’re already booked on, joining instructions can be accessed from five working days before your conference via the booking dashboard. Need help? You can contact our Delegate Relations team at delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk or by calling the above number.

Reforming post-16 technical and academic qualifications at level 3

Morning, Thursday, 11th November 2021

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

This conference will examine the outlook for level 3 qualifications following the publication of the Government’s plans for reforms to the system, which aim to clarify qualification and training routes and streamline the qualifications system by providing three main paths for people who have completed GCSEs: A Levels, T Levels, and apprenticeships.

Taking place following the roll-out of the second wave of T Levels, which began in September, the discussion will also consider wider issues around reform, such as priorities for improving awareness of the T Level qualification - with some in the sector concerned that the number of T Level industry placements cannot be scaled up within the timescale provided to meet the demands of the reformed landscape.

In addition, discussion is expected on the impact reform will have on the parity of esteem between vocational and academic qualifications.

Alongside the Government’s proposals, delegates will consider the impact of the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill and assess the outlook for improved training and upskilling opportunities in light of its measures.

We are pleased to be able to include keynote contributions on:

  • Post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below following the review - from:

    • Lucy Andrew, Deputy Director, Technical Education & Qualifications Reform Division, Department for Education
    • Angela Fairchild, Deputy Director, Technical Education & Qualifications Reform Division, Department for Education
  • Assessing the impact of reform on the qualification market and learner accessibility - from Bethany Hughes, Senior Manager - VTQ Strategic Relationships, Ofqual
  • The future for Applied General Qualifications - from Jill Duffy, Chief Executive, OCR
  • The outlook for the qualification system going forward - from Rob Nitsch, Chief Operating Officer, Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons Library and officials from the Department for Education; the Department for International Trade; the Department for the Economy, NI; the Department of Education, NI; the DWP; the Government Legal Department; the Intellectual Property Office; the Valuation Office Agency; the Welsh European Funding Office; and the Welsh Government. Also due to attend are representatives from Absolute Return for Kids; Education & Skills Funding Agency; Gatsby Charitable Foundation; Hodder Education; Kantar; Kirklees College, Huddersfield; Leyton Sixth Form College, London; Lifetime Training; Long Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge; National Theatre; NCG; NFER; North Kent College; North Tyneside Council; OCR; Ofqual; Portsmouth City Council; Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons; Sheffield Hallam University; Skills and Education Group Awards; Staffordshire University; The Council for Licensed Conveyancers; Twyford C of E High School; University of the West of England; Weston College, Somerset; and Wiltshire College & University Centre.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as from schools and teaching professionals, education consultancies, university academics, alternative teaching providers, subject associations, exam boards, assessment providers, representatives of trade unions and local government, edtech providers, groups representing parents and students, specialist academics and charities, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

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 are 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 Speaker

Rob Nitsch

Chief Operating Officer, Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education

Keynote Speakers

Rob Nitsch

Chief Operating Officer, Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education

Jill Duffy

Chief Executive, OCR

Lucy Andrew

Deputy Director, Technical Education & Qualifications Reform Division, Department for Education

Angela Fairchild

Deputy Director, Technical Education & Qualifications Reform Division, Department for Education

Bethany Hughes

Senior Manager - VTQ Strategic Relationships, Ofqual


Lord Johnson

former Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation

Lord Watson

Shadow Education Minister, House of Lords


Catherine Sezen

Senior Policy Manager - FE, Association of Colleges

Bill Watkin

Chief Executive, Sixth Form Colleges Association

Julie Hyde

Director of External and Regulatory Affairs, NCFE

Alex Stoddart

Assistant Director, Catch22 Colleges

Chris Stoker-Jones

Director of Apprenticeships, Catch22

Deidre Williams

Head of Product BTEC Applied, Pearson

Ben Blackledge

Deputy CEO, WorldSkills UK

Ben Jordan

Senior Policy Unit Manager, UCAS

Janet Gardner

Principal and CEO, Waltham Forest College, Walthamstow

Gerry McDonald

Group Principal and CEO, New City College