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 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
For delegates already booked on, we will send you the online joining instructions (including links, event numbers and passwords) five working days before your conference. If you cannot find these in your inbox please email delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

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


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

This conference examines the next steps for improving England’s school system.

Stakeholders and policymakers will discuss:

  • the new inspection framework,
  • best practice, and
  • the role of multi academy trusts (MATs) and free schools.

With the conference following the expected re-opening of primary schools on June 1st, a key focus for discussion on the day will be the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the school system and its operation, and on all those involved.

We expect the agenda to bring out latest thinking on what the coronavirus crisis means for the future of the school system, including:

  • lessons for best practice, innovation and collaboration that can be taken forward from the way that schools have adapted to the unprecedented challenges that have been faced,
  • the extra support that may be required going forward for schools and their staff, and for pupils and their families, as systems, practices and structures respond to new priorities.

Areas for discussion:

  • Assessing the effect 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; and
  • 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.

Relevant developments:

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,
  • 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.
  • Government’s announcement of the first six Teaching School Hubs that will each contain 200-300 schools across five areas of the country - with hubs having been tested from February.

The agenda:

  • 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
    • Improving without breaking - rapid turnaround for RI schools.
  • The role of school partnerships in school improvement;
  • 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; and
  • The place of free schools in the education system and their impact on school improvement.

Policy officials attending:

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

It’s certainly the case with this one. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Lords, and officials from the Department for Education; Ofsted and the National Audit Office.

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

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Westminster Education Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates