Westminster Education Forum

For booking-related queries or information on speaking please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk, or contact us: +44 (0)1344 864796.

The future of assessment in England’s schools

Morning, Wednesday, 6th December 2023

This conference looks at the future of assessment in England’s schools. It follows the return to pre-pandemic assessment arrangements.

Key stakeholders and policymakers will consider what has been learned from the 2023 exam season, exploring pandemic recovery strategies and the impact on student outcomes of grade protection removal.

Further sessions look at the role of digital assessment moving forward, with the rising prominence of AI and increased interest in onscreen assessment options.

The conference will also be an opportunity to discuss key issues raised in the House of Lords Education for 11-16 Year Olds Committee call for evidence, assessing how well the secondary education system in England is equipping young people with the skills needed for the job opportunities available in a digital and green economy.

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: Lord Knight of Weymouth, Member, Education for 11-16 Year Olds Committee, House of Lords; Mary Curnock Cook, Chair, Dyson Institute and Pearson Education; and Jill Duffy, Chief Executive, OCR.

Further sessions assess the efficacy of GCSEs and the future of high-stakes, formative and summative assessment across the education sector.

Delegates will also examine the future role of AI and digital assessment in England’s assessment system, alongside its use and misuse by students, evaluating the risks and benefits of remote invigilation, the use of adaptive testing, and identifying potential bias in written tests, as well as latest thinking on opportunities for easing teacher workload.

The agenda also looks at latest developments in assistive technology and the potential of artificial intelligence in improving student outcomes, including support for vulnerable and disadvantaged students.

Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • return to pre-pandemic arrangements: taking forward what has been learned so far for exams and assessment - identifying weak spots and improving system agility - grade protection
  • the future of assessment: formative and summative approaches - teacher autonomy and responsibility in high-stake assessments - supporting student progression and development
  • accessibility: improving inclusivity in existing assessment forms - strategies for future reform to promote equitable approaches within the assessment system
  • GCSEs: exploring their effectiveness in assessing student achievement - alternative assessment options at 16, either alongside or in place of GCSEs
  • use of technology in assessment: assistive technologies and improving inclusivity - issues and opportunities for remote and digital assessment and invigilation
  • the role of AI: implications of developments and use of artificial intelligence - opportunities for adaptive assessment - protecting the integrity of exams and preventing malpractice 
  • policy: the future for long-term qualifications policy, regulation and strategy

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who are due to attend from DBT; DESNZ; DfE; GLD; Ofqual; and the UKSA - as well as with parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Lords.

Keynote Speakers

Lord Knight of Weymouth

Member, Education for 11-16 Year Olds Committee, House of Lords

Jill Duffy

Chief Executive, OCR

Keynote Speakers

Lord Knight of Weymouth

Member, Education for 11-16 Year Olds Committee, House of Lords

Mary Curnock Cook

Chair, Dyson Institute and Pearson Education

Jill Duffy

Chief Executive, OCR


Baroness Garden of Frognal

Member, Education for 11-16 Year Olds Committee

Baroness Blower

former General Secretary, National Union of Teachers (2008-2016)


Clare Jarmy

Assistant Head, Learning & Development, Bedales School, Hampshire

Tom Thacker

Chief Education Officer, Century Tech

Dennis Sherwood

Author, Missing the Mark: Why So Many School Exam Grades are Wrong - and How to Get Results We Can Trust

Professor Rose Luckin

Professor of Learner Centred Design, UCL Knowledge Lab; and Founder, Educate Ventures Research

Emily Verow

Chief Executive Officer, Three Spires Trust, Staffordshire

Dr Louise Karwowski

Director of Education, CognAssist

Tom Dower

Principal, UTC South Durham

Senior speaker confirmed from Pearson

Speaker confirmed from Youth Employment UK