Westminster Education Forum

Conferences that are scheduled to take place before September will be conducted online.
The format will mirror physical conferences organised by the Forum with speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish.
The conferences will be chaired and there will be opportunities for delegate questions and comments.
We will be contacting all participants in advance of each conference with full information and guidance on how to take part.
There will be some exceptions where conferences will be postponed, for instance those that would largely involve key stakeholders in the NHS or emergency services.
All participants affected by this will be informed as soon as possible.
If you’d like to speak to us over the phone about any booking-related queries, please call one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7538736244

Next steps for improving England’s school system - the new inspection framework, best practice, and the role of MATs and free schools

Morning, Tuesday, 2nd June 2020


***Taking Place Online***

This conference will examine the next steps for improving England’s school system - with a focus on the new inspection framework, best practice and the role of multi academy trusts (MATs) and free schools.

Key areas for discussion:

  • Impact so far of Ofsted’s new education inspection framework on improving provision within schools - particularly the four new judgements, including ‘quality of education’;
  • Next steps for the free schools programme - with the Government aiming to the see next wave of free schools implemented in deprived communities;
  • The role of multi-academy trusts in supporting school improvement - including collaborative models and options for incentivising successful trusts to take on schools in need of improvement;
  • Future of Teaching School Hubs set up aiming to help improve teacher recruitment retention and development, and school to school support with reports of the programme being cut back.

The agenda:

  • Improving schools under the new Education Inspection Framework - key priorities for Ofsted;
  • Case studies in school improvement;
    • Developing an academically rigorous approach;
    • The impact of a broad and balanced curriculum on improvement in educational standards;
    • Identifying and securing the support needed for ‘stuck schools’; and
    • The journey from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘outstanding’.
  • Developing a collaborative approach to school improvement - encouraging trusts to work together, inter-trust support and the next steps for the Teaching School Hubs;
  • Expansion of the free schools programme, the place of free schools in the education system and their impact on school improvement; and
  • Policy priorities for supporting improvements in England’s exam system.

Why this is relevant: the context:

It takes place with:

  • Ofsted’s recent Fight or flight? How 'stuck' schools are overcoming isolation report - on why some schools haven’t been able to improve, and why others have made progress,
  • Ofsted seeking DfE funding to trial longer and deeper inspections to help a school identify its strengths and weaknesses, and improve - but with some in the sector questioning the scope of involvement that the regulator should have in school improvement, and
  • the Government’s The Trust Capacity Fund 2020-21, with £17m in funding to support trusts to:
    • take on underachieving schools and grow in areas of need,
    • accelerate the growth of mid-sized trusts, and
    • create new strong trusts by encouraging single school trusts to join.

Policy officials attending

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stake holders. Places at this one have been reserved by officials from the Department for EducationNational Audit Office and Ofsted

This conference will be online***

  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish
  • opportunities for delegate questions and comments
  • a permanent record of the proceedings will be made available to all delegates afterwards, including a recording of the addresses, all slides that have been made available, and further materials

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

Keynote Speakers

Professor Daniel Muijs

Deputy Director, Research and Evaluation, Ofsted

Dominic Herrington

National Schools Commissioner, Department for Education

Sophie Harrison-Byrne

Director of Programmes, New Schools Network


Andrew Lewer MP

Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Independent Education


Carolyn Laws

Headteacher, St James’ Catholic High School

Mary Davies

Chief Executive Officer, Maiden Erlegh Trust