Westminster Education Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you 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)7951044809 / +044 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.

The future for EdTech

Morning, Tuesday, 30th June 2020

Online Conference

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

This conference will examine the future for education technology in England and the next steps in the implementation of the Government’s EdTech strategy.

Areas for discussion include:

  • The experience of home learning during the COVID-19 crisis and what it might mean for the future use of EdTech in schools - including in:
    • pedagogical practice, managing teacher workload, and pupil assessment, and
    • supporting children in learning from home - particularly disadvantaged and vulnerable children.
  • The EdTech Strategy’s 10 challenges - and how EdTech providers are responding;
  • Developing the school ecosystem envisaged in the Strategy, including:
    • testbed schools piloting and evaluating new technologies, and
    • demonstrator schools designed to share best practice in using EdTech.
  • Supporting teachers to utilise EdTech most effectively - including:
    • the role the Chartered College of Teaching can play,
    • support offered by EdTech providers themselves, and
    • what is needed from school leadership.

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:

  • Increasing numbers of pupils currently learning from home, and government support for vulnerable and disadvantaged children to access to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as technical support for schools from an education partnership with Google and Microsoft;
  • Recent establishment of the Government backed Oak National Academy which aims to provide a broad range of lessons for those studying at home across all year groups;
  • The joint DfE and Nesta EdTech Innovation Fund project to support EdTech providers in developing new technology to aid school processes and organisation; and
  • DfE’s recently announced list of successful applicants for the EdTech Demonstrator Schools and Colleges programme, in which schools and colleges in each area of the country that are using technology effectively are able to share their experiences with other schools and colleges.

The discussion in detail:

The COVID-19 pandemic and the role of EdTech:

  • With increasing numbers of children currently learning from home, delegates will discuss what is being learned about:
    • ensuring that technology can support pupils and parents during this period,
    • how parents and children are being encouraged to embrace it, and
    • what can be taken from the experience for the future - both for use of technology in schools and in home settings.
  • Assessing the access of vulnerable and disadvantaged children to remote education during the pandemic, and what can be learned about tackling digital inequalities for pupils going forward.

The Government’s EdTech strategy, examining:

  • Implementation so far, impact on schools, how providers are responding, and progress that has been made in meeting the Strategy’s 10 challenges - which include using technology to:
    • reduce teacher workload;
    • make training opportunities more accessible to teachers; and
    • meet individual needs and support children with SEND.
  • The school ecosystem envisaged in the Strategy - assessing its development, including establishment of testbed schools and colleges to:
    • support the development, piloting and evaluation of technology,
    • improve the evidence base, and
    • evaluate products that aim to increase the range of digital tools available to support schools with assessment, essay marking, parental engagement, and timetabling.
  • What has been learned from the first round of the DfE’s Demonstrator School programme on sharing experience of using technology effectively between schools and colleges.

Supporting teachers to use EdTech effectively:

  • How the sector can improve support for teachers in the roll-out of EdTech within schools, including:
    • building on software trials, the use of online portals and demonstrations for teachers, as well as
    • using flexible methods of training to support teachers’ learning and development.
  • Further steps the Chartered College of Teaching can take to build an evidence base to further support teachers and leaders, alongside the role of EdTech providers.

The agenda:

  • The EdTech Strategy’s 10 challenges and how EdTech providers are responding;
  • Which EdTech works best and how - building the evidence base;
  • Developing the school ecosystem envisaged in the Strategy - testbed schools piloting and evaluating new technologies and demonstrator schools designed to share best practice in using EdTech;
  • Supporting teachers to utilise EdTech most effectively; and
  • How the COVID-19 crisis might inform the future use of EdTech.

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

This one seems no different. Places have been reserved by officials from the Department for Education and the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation.

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

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording 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 Speaker

Caroline Wright

Director General, British Educational Suppliers Association and Member, Department for Education EdTech Leadership Group

Keynote Speakers

Caroline Wright

Director General, British Educational Suppliers Association and Member, Department for Education EdTech Leadership Group

Helen Foulkes

Head of Education, BBC

Ian Bauckham

Chair, Oak National Academy


Rt Hon The Lord Willetts


Professor Cathy Lewin

Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University and Co-Author, Using Digital Technology to Improve Learning: Evidence Review

Dan Sandhu

Chief Executive, Sparx and Member, EdTech Evidence Group

Mihaela Tabacaru

Project Manager, Research-based Innovation, Oslo EdTech Cluster, Oslo, Norway

Emma Darcy

Director of Technology for Learning, Denbigh High School

Toby Baker

Programme Manager, Education, NESTA

Tony Cann

Founder, Learning by Questions

Superintendent Greg Green

Superintendent, Clintondale School Community, Michigan, USA

James Leonard

Head of Education, Google Education UK

Professor Rose Luckin

Professor of Learner Centred Design, UCL Knowledge Lab and Director, EDUCATE

Simon Nelson

CEO, FutureLearn

Sarah Morgan

Headteacher, Danesfield School