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

Child development in the first years of life - parental support and engagement, coordinating health and education provision, and priorities for policy


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

Stakeholders and policymakers at this conference will discuss priorities and next steps for supporting child development in the first years of life - including health and wellbeing, early communication skills, and parental engagement - and will bring out case studies in innovative practice.

Areas for discussion include:

  • how the commissioning and coordination of health services for children in the early stages of life can be improved;
  • the impact of government measures to support children from disadvantaged families in the early years; and
  • priorities and approaches to the development of early child literacy and communication skills.

We also expect discussion on the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on child development and the services that support it - and with a focus on the effect on families and child development in the home setting.

Key areas for discussion:

  • How the commissioning and coordination of health services for children in the early stages of life can be improved;
  • Assessing the impact of government measures to support children from disadvantaged families in the early years;
  • Tackling key issues identified in the Select Committee’s First 1000 days of life report, including:
  • improving information sharing with parents by authorities in local areas and examples of best practice,
  • funding and investment by local authorities in early years provision,
  • developing a more joined-up approach by health and education services to provision, and
  • increasing engagement with health visits.
  • Addressing issues with the supply of free services, information about them for families, and access;
  • Strategies for increasing parental engagement to support healthy home environments, and nutrition and mental wellbeing, in the early years - as well as the significance of parental health
  • Progress of the DfE’s Hungry Little Minds campaign, which offers tools and advice to support parental engagement in infant learning and encourages interactive approaches to learning;
  • Improving  co-ordination to ensure early education goals continue to be met in light of the closure of nurseries and the rise of home-schooling; and
  • How the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education sector and children’s social care system may point towards improvements in the quality of protection for vulnerable children as well as during a time when they are less visible.

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:

It takes place with:

The agenda:

  • The recently published NAO report examining access to and awareness of free early education and childcare entitlements;
  • The DfE’s Hungry Little Minds campaign, which aims to boost early literacy and communication;
  • The Health and Social Care Committee’s First 1000 days of life inquiry in the last Parliament and the government response;
  • The Education Committee’s Tackling disadvantage in the early years inquiry, which raised concerns surrounding the impact of the free childcare entitlement; and
  • The Education Committee’s inquiry into the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s social care system and the education sector.

Policy officials attending

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stake holders.  Places have been reserved officials from the DHSC; the Government Legal Department and the Ofsted.

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
  • 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