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

The future of the FE sector and priorities for the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill

Morning, Tuesday, 21st September 2021

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

This conference will be an opportunity to discuss the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, which will legislate for policies announced in the Skills for Jobs white paper on priorities for the FE sector, and its role in the national economic recovery.

It coincides with a range of further developments, such as the recent publication of the Workplace Training and Development Commission Report, commissioned by the British Chambers of Commerce, which calls for the national skills system to be overhauled, as well as the ongoing government review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below in England.

The agenda will bring out latest thinking on:

  • developing the FE sector, and its role in post-pandemic recovery
  • improving governance and standards
  • the future for funding
  • supporting flexibility - looking at modular provision, online learning, widening access, and supporting upskilling and retraining
  • priorities for the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill


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 Cabinet Office; the College of Agriculture, Food & Rural Enterprise; the Department for Education; the Department for the Economy, NI; Department for International Trade; the Department of Work and Pensions; the Ministry of Justice; Ofsted; the Valuation Office Agency; and the Welsh Government. Also due to attend are representatives from the AAT; Ascentis; Brighter Futures for Children; Copyright Licensing Agency; Institution of Mechanical Engineers; Leeds Beckett University; National Education Union; Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust; OCR; Plymouth College of Art; RSM; School of Education University of Bristol; SENse Learning; Shaping Futures; Sheffield Hallam University; The Hammersmith Society and UNISON.

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, colleges, multi-academy trusts, businesses, careers advisors, universities, academics, industry bodies and business groups, Local Enterprise Partnerships, local authorities, think tanks, recruitment firms, qualification and training providers, sector skills councils, education suppliers, awarding bodies, exam boards, pupil referral units, learned societies, law firms, education consultancies, publishers, charities, teaching unions, parents groups, SEND groups, 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, 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

Senior speaker confirmed from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education

Sally Dicketts

President, Association of Colleges


Peter Aldous MP

Chair of APPG for Further Education and Lifelong Learning, and former Vice Chair of APPG for Sixth Form Education


Professor Kevin Orr

Professor of Work and Learning, and Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning, University of Huddersfield

Robin Ghurbhurun

Managing Director, Further Education and Skills, Jisc

Tom Bewick

CEO, Federation of Awarding Bodies

Paul Warner

Director of Research and Development, Association of Employment and Learning Providers

Rebecca Garrod-Waters

Chief Executive, Ufi VocTech Trust

David Russell

Chief Executive Officer, The Education and Training Foundation

Professor Helen Higson

Professor of Higher Education, Learning and Management, Aston Business School

Michael Lemin

Head of Policy, NCFE

Graham Guest

Principal and CEO, Telford College

Alun Francis

Principal and Chief Executive, Oldham College

Dr Sue Pember

Policy Director, HOLEX