6:30 PM18:30

Grammar Schools: schools that work for everyone?

Speaker(s): Dr Mary Bousted, Peter Hitchens, Melissa Benn, Mark Morrin, Harriet Sergeant
Chair: Ed Dorrell

In response to the Government's May 2017 Schools White Paper, the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) and Times Educational Supplement (TES) host ""The Big General Election Grammar Schools Debate"" on whether there is a place for grammar schools in the UK education system. Will they work for everyone, not just the privileged few? 

After an introduction from Professor Sandra McNally, Director of the Education and Skills Programme at CEP, the high profile panel will argue whether or not there is a way back for grammar schools in the UK, debating the motion 'This house believes that a new government should open more grammar schools.' 


Melissa Benn (@Melissa_Benn) is a writer, journalist and campaigner. She was educated at Holland Park comprehensive and the London School of Economics where she graduated with a First in history. 

Mary Bousted (@MaryBoustedATL) is general secretary of ATL (Association of Teachers and Lecturers). 

Peter Hitchens (@ClarkeMicah) is a journalist, author and broadcaster. Hitchens writes for The Mail on Sunday and is a former foreign correspondent in Moscow and Washington. He works as a foreign reporter and in 2010 was awarded the Orwell Prize for journalism. 

Lewis Iwu (@lewisiwu) read politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford University, where he was elected President of the students’ union. Lewis is an active debating coach, having coached the national teams of Hong Kong in 2006, the United Arab Emirates in 2010 and 2011, and the ESU England schools debating team in 2012. 

Mark Morrin is ResPublica's Localism Lead. He is focusing on their new projects and workstreams, working in partnership with city-regions, to radicalise the localism agenda and realise a new vision for local economic growth and public sector reform.

Harriet Sergeant (@HarrietSergeant) is a journalist, author and Research Fellow of the Centre For Policy Studies. She is the author of books: Between the Lines: Conversations in South Africa, Shanghai: Collision Point of Cultures 1918-1939, Japan, and Among the Hoods: My Years with a Teenage Gang.

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6:30 PM18:30

Closing the Attainment Gap in Maths - Report Launch


Rachel Hopcroft CBE, Head of Corporate Affairs, KPMG UK

Dr Catherine Knowles, CEO Researcher and Report Author, Achievement for All


Panel Chair:

Sir Richard Lambert, Chair, Fair Education Alliance



Melanie Richards, Vice-Chair, KPMG UK

Mike Ellicock, Chief Executive, National Numeracy

Professor Sonia Blandford, Founder and CEO, Achievement for All


Bruno Reddy, Mr Reddy Maths


Event Summary:

Rachel Hopcroft CBE opened proceedings and welcomed guests to KPMG. Rachel provided an overview of KPMG’s commitment to helping improve numeracy levels as a key enabler of social mobility, highlighting statistics included in the Government’s Industrial Strategy showing the marked difference in maths attainment levels between the least and most disadvantaged students.

Rachel emphasised the increasing importance of basic skills development in a post-Brexit UK, and commended the report for its positive contribution to sharing best practice in educational settings successfully closing the maths gap.

Catherine Knowles introduced the report, emphasising the importance of children, teachers, practitioners, parents and carers developing a ‘can do’ attitude to maths. Catherine outlined the key recommendations put forward:

·         A national maths professional development programme (subject knowledge and pedagogy) for early years settings


·         Data recording - changes to the current Ofsted inspection framework to look for greater evidence of how well settings are supporting children’s early maths development.


·         Parental engagement - all early years settings and primary schools to develop a focused approaches to involving parents in their child’s maths learning.


·         Transition - a focus on continuity in approach and practice from early years to primary school and primary to secondary school and beyond


·         Action research/individual research projects - focused teacher/practitioner CPD building teacher and practitioner skills and confidence in teaching maths.


Sir Richard Lambert commended the report and expressed the hope that the case studies would inspire other primary teachers and early years practitioners to develop a whole approach to maths to help close the maths gap. The panel introduced themselves, their interest in numeracy and responded to audience questions centred around the question: "Will England ever have world-class maths education that works for the most disadvantaged?” Key discussion points were as follows:

·         Norm referencing - the current assessment method used for GCSEs where the comparison is against the performance of others – was discussed as a barrier to building a numerate workforce

·         The UK is performing at a reasonable level at higher-level maths, but extremely poorly at basic numeracy for all

·         The panel were in support of any move to ensure that all students should be required to continue some form of maths study until 18

·         The bundling together of literacy and numeracy was noted as potentially problematic given the differences between the two basic skills in terms of immediacy, abstraction, learning requirements etc.


The report and launch event received a high level of engagement on social media. On Twitter, the hashtag #mathsgap was used nearly 300 times and garnered almost 700,000 impressions. A selection of tweets about the report can be found below:

-          New @_TheFEA report on closing the #mathsgap. Great to see a focus on CPD, action research and, most importantly, keeping maths fun! - @_dolezalova

-          We're at the launch of the @_TheFEA #mathsgap report. Great to hear about importance of growth mindset and importance of holistic approach. - @ReachOutUK

-          Numeracy report from @_TheFEA showcases best practice in closing the #mathsgap in early years and primary settings  - @MathsAPPG

-          Love the pre teaching concept highlighted in this report's case studies. And positive attitudes can change lives! - @misshustwick

-          Bit of bedtime reading...Great launch @kpmguk this evening for the research by @_TheFEA and @AfA_Education #mathsgap - @JadeFahie



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7:30 PM19:30

FEA and Teach First Drinks Reception at Conservative Party Conference

“Education as the Social Mobility Engine: Improving Young People’s Progression from School”


Keynote Speech:

 Neil Carmichael MP

Chair of the Education Select Committee


The Fair Education Alliance and Teach First would like to invite you to a joint drinks reception at the 2016 Conservative Party Conference with the theme "Education as the Social Mobility Engine: Improving Young People's Progression from School."

Please note that this event will be taking place within the secure zone. This means you will need a Conference Pass to attend – you can buy your pass here.

Earlier this year, we released our second state of the nation Report Card which examined national progress in closing the social mobility gap at all stages of a child's education. In September, Teach First will be publishing their Progression Report highlighting what needs to be done to ensure more young people from low income backgrounds successfully progress to positive destinations when they leave school – be that employment, an apprenticeship or university. 

There will be brief remarks from a number of individuals and a keynote speech from Neil Carmichael MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee. This will also be a useful opportunity to network with organisations from the education sector.

Drinks and refreshments will be provided.

Due to limited capacity it is essential that you RSVP for this event here.

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to Jul 26

Teach First Impact Conference

The Fair Education Alliance is hosting two panel discussions at Teach First’s Impact Conference 2016, which is being held at the First Direct Arena Leeds and Leeds Samuel Beckett University on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 July 2016. This two day event will welcome over 3,500 delegates, and will see the breadth of the education community attend, including: trainee teachers new to the classroom, Newly Qualified Teachers, Teach First Alumni/Ambassadors who have been teaching in schools for over 2 years or are now pursuing a leadership career, as well as a host of aligned organisations.

This year’s event will inspire and develop delegate’s knowledge, skills and mindsets in order to accelerate progress towards the Fair Education Impact Goals.


Session 1: What counts in closing the numeracy gap: Developing the right maths culture

Monday 25th July 2016 11.45 - 13:00

The achievement gap in maths opens in the earliest years of education. For some it never closes. It does not have to be like this. A strong maths culture across an Early Years setting or primary school raises children’s achievement and enjoyment of maths.  Attitudes matter, as reflected by leaders of maths across the setting or school. Strong maths leaders are teachers and practitioners with positive attitudes to maths, and the skills and confidence to support children’s development of maths understanding, enjoyment, motivation and independence, as well as a thought-through curriculum with good maths pedagogy. This is a reality for some Early Years settings and primary schools where raised maths standards have closed the gap for some of the most disadvantaged children in the country. The panel will explore some of the issues and challenges around maths culture in light of a new report to be published later in the year.

Chair: Eleanor Busby, Times Educational Supplement (TES)

Colin Hegarty, Hegarty Maths

-       Colin is a Global Teacher Prize 2016 finalist. He was the first person in his family to attend university, going to Oxford University and obtaining a First Class degree in Mathematics. For six years after university, he worked in finance in the City but always felt the urge to fulfil a radically different ambition so left his job in finance and began training to become a maths teacher. Colin used a flipped classroom approach to teach mathematics to London students aged 11-18. Since setting up a series of online teaching aids to help a student who was forced to move abroad to care for his father, Colin has created 1,500 online videos which have been viewed almost 5 million times. The free resources on Colin’s website have been used in at least 65 UK schools and have had a great impact on the grades of his students and the understanding of those across the world. He writes about educational issues online and was ranked among the top 50 most influential UK bloggers. Colin received the 2015 National Teacher of the Year award from the UK Prime Minister.


Wendy Jones, Trustee National Numeracy

-       Wendy Jones is a freelance writer, a former BBC education correspondent and Today programme reporter. She has also had roles as the BBC’s deputy secretary and as head of policy and public affairs for BBC Learning. In 2012 she helped to start a new education charity, National Numeracy, which aims to promote the importance of everyday maths skills. As a founding trustee, she ran the successful media launch and has since led communications to support the charity’s rising public profile. She writes and blogs – mainly on education – for various publications and websites.



Catherine Knowles, CEO Researcher Achievement for All

-       Catherine is a researcher at Achievement for All, a leading charity delivering the Achievement for All programme across schools in England; she is also a visiting fellow at the University of Warwick. Prior to this she worked as a researcher at the University of Greenwich and Canterbury Christ Church University and as a lecturer on the BA and PGCE primary education programmes at the latter university. Her research areas include evaluation, inclusive education, SEN, values education, teacher professional development and early years. She has published a number of articles and books, most recently publishing with Bloomsbury and Routledge.



Session 2: Why has the social mobility engine stalled and what can we do to restart it: Lessons from the FEA

Tuesday 26th July 2016 11.30-12.45

The Fair Education Alliance (FEA) recently published its second annual State of the Nation Report Card which found that educational inequality has remained deeply entrenched in the UK and outlines a number of policy recommendations for closing the gap between the poorest and more affluent students. The hard hitting recommendations include an overhaul of careers guidance, a mortgage deposit scheme for teachers and a greater effort by schools to promote the wellbeing and mental health of students. The panel will draw on the report to discuss why the social mobility engine in the UK has stalled and suggest ways in which it can be restarted. 

The FEA is a coalition for change in education comprising of over 60 of the UK’s leading organisations. Its mission is to use its collective voice and influence to create change by helping a wide range of stakeholders to close the gap between the most disadvantaged children and their wealthier peers.

Chair: Sir Richard Lambert, Fair Education Alliance Chair

-       Sir Richard Lambert is Chairman of the British Museum and Chancellor of Warwick University. He was editor of the Financial Times from 1991 to 2001; a member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee from 2003 to 2006, and Director General of the CBI from 2006 to 2011.



Catherine Knowles, CEO Researcher Achievement for All

-       Catherine is a researcher at Achievement for All, a leading charity delivering the Achievement for All programme across schools in England; she is also a visiting fellow at the University of Warwick. Prior to this she worked as a researcher at the University of Greenwich and Canterbury Christ Church University and as a lecturer on the BA and PGCE primary education programmes at the latter university. Her research areas include evaluation, inclusive education, SEN, values education, teacher professional development and early years. She has published a number of articles and books, most recently publishing with Bloomsbury and Routledge.



Kayte Lawton, ‎Head of UK Policy Save the Children

-      Kayte is head of UK policy at Save the Children, where she focuses on early years research and policy. Before joining Save the Children in 2014, Kayte worked at the think tank IPPR on a range of social policy issues. 







Jennifer Shearman, Senior Lecturer Canterbury Christ Church University

-       Jennifer is a 2004 Teach First ambassador and has taught in schools in South London and Kent before working as a university tutor on the Teach First programme until 2014, first in London and then in the South East, where she was the programme lead.  Jennifer is currently the Partnership Development lead for the Medway region and co-leads the Fair Education Alliance Impact Goal 3 working group.  Jennifer is an Ed. D. student and her research interests include Lesson Study, teaching mathematics for growth mindset, and the role of the professional in ensuring children develop key strengths related to Character and Wellbeing.



Andrew Berwick (The Access Project)

- "My education took me from primary school in a deprived part of inner-city London to Cambridge University. I've felt the transformational impact of studying at a highly-selective university, and from my own experience as a teacher in a tough part of London I'm painfully aware that for young people in less affluent areas this remains only the remotest of possibilities.

I want to change this, which is why I joined The Access Project as Director of Tutoring in 2012. I became TAP's Director in September 2013: since then we've grown from a small local charity and are now working with hundreds of young people from less affluent backgrounds across schools in London and the West Midlands."


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10:30 AM10:30

The Fair Education Alliance presents: “Why has the social mobility engine in the UK stalled?”

The Telegraph Festival of Education is an annual education festival that offers attendees the chance to listen to speakers, take part in workshops and network with some of the senior figures in the education world. The festival is separated into zones such as: policy and inspiration, primary, secondary, governance, leadership, business admin and finance and a dedicated Student Zone.

The Fair Education Alliance's 2016 session was held on Friday 24th June at 1030. It took the form of a panel discussion on the question: “why has the social mobility engine in the UK stalled and how do we restart it?” A recent LSE study found that social mobility is actually declining in the UK and that this is in part due to the strong and increasing relationship between family income and educational attainment. Our panel attempted to unravel what has gone wrong and what can be done about it. 

Our panel consisted of: 

Sir Richard Lambert (Chair of the Fair Education Alliance)

  • Sir Richard joined the Financial Times after reading History at Balliol College, Oxford. He edited the Lex column and served as financial editor and New York bureau chief before being appointed deputy editor in 1983. He edited the paper between 1991 and 2001, and moved back to New York (1997-98) to launch the US edition.
  • After leaving the FT, Richard spent a semester at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard Business-University Collaboration. In 2003, he started a three-year term as an independent member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee. He was Director General of the CBI from 2006 to 2011. 
  • Richard was appointed Chancellor of the University of Warwick in 2008, and is an independent non-executive of EY and chair of Big Society Trust. In 2013 he as Chairman, was appointed the task of establishing an independent organisation, The Banking Standards Review Council, to raise standards of competence and behaviour in the Banking Industry. He was a Trustee of the British Museum from 2003 to 2011, and was appointed its Chairman in July 2014.
  • He was appointed the Chair of the Fair Education Alliance in September 2015.

Brett Wigdortz (Teach First)

  • Brett has led Teach First as its CEO since its launch in July 2002. He wrote the original business plan for the charity while working as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, then took what was originally planned as a six month leave of absence in February 2002 to develop and build support for the idea. Previously he worked as a consultant, a journalist or a researcher. He has a Masters degree in Economics from the University of Hawaii. 
  • As well as the advisory boards of the Educational Endowment Fund and STIR, Brett was a member of Teacher Standards Review Board. He was awarded an OBE in the 2013 Queen's New Year's Honours list for Services to Education.
  • His book, Success Against the Odds, a candid account of the first ten years of Teach First, was named WHSmith's Business Book of the Month. 

Joanna Page (Allen & Overy)

  • Joanna is a partner at Allen & Overy and acts in corporate and commercial disputes, both domestic and international. She is highly rated for her experience in international arbitration and also developed Allen & Overy's Contentious Insurance group, which is rated Tier 1 by both Chambers and Legal 500 for policyholder claims.
  • Joanna speaks regularly in the UK, in Europe and elsewhere on English law and particularly English insurance law. For ten years she taught Company Law at Cambridge University. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a CEDR Accredited Mediator. She has higher rights of audience (Civil)
  • She is appointed by the Law Society of England & Wales as their lead expert on an EU Expert Group examining whether differences in insurance law across the EU present obstacles to trade.
  • She is a trustee with the charity Governors for Schools, also known as SGOSS which seeks to identify potential school governors candidates and place them with schools. 
  • Joanna is married and has three young sons aged 12, 10 and 7.

Mary Curnock Cook (UCAS)

  • Mary joined UCAS as Chief Executive in January 2010. 
  • Prior to that Mary was Director of Qualifications and Skills at the Qualifications & Curriculum Development Agency where she led on qualifications policy and development for the 14-19 reform programme.
  • Mary has an MSc in general management from the London Business School. She was awarded an OBE in the Queen's birthday honours 2000 for services to training in hospitality and tourism. She is a governor at Swindon Academy - a 3-19 school. In addition, she is a trustee of the progress to selective higher education. She is also a trustee of the National Star Foundation which provides highly specialist care and learning support for young people with complex physical and learning difficulties. 
  • In 2015 she was awarded an honorary fellowship at Birkbeck College, University of London, and in October 2015, became an Academic Visitor at Hertford College, University of Oxford.

Rod Bristow (Pearson)

  • Rod Bristow is President, UK & Core Markets for Pearson. Core Markets include those 100+ countries with, in general, developed economies and education systems.

  • In 2010, Rod became President for Pearson UK and was appointed to lead all other Core Markets for Pearson in January 2014.

  • Rod has worked in education, publishing and assessment for thirty years in universities, schools, colleges, professional training and learning technologies in the UK and Internationally. He is a Trustee for the Education and Employers Taskforce, a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Governor for Sir Charles Kao University Technical College and past President of the Publishers Association.  He is also Chair of the judging panel for the National Teaching Awards
  • Rod is a graduate of University College London.


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6:00 PM18:00

Report Card 2015 Manchester Launch

The Fair Education Alliance published its second annual state of the nation report in April 2016 that explores fairness in the education system in England and whether the country is on track to achieve the Fair Education Impact Goals by 2022. The report can be read here.

On 14 June 2016, the Alliance launched the report in Manchester featuring a keynote speech from Lemn Sissay.

Lemn Sissay MBE is associate artist at Southbank Centre, patron of The Letterbox Club and The Reader Organisation, ambassador for The Children’s Reading Fund, trustee of Forward Arts Foundation and inaugural trustee of World Book Night and an honorary doctor of Letters. He has been a writer from birth and foremost he is a poet.

Lemn is author of a series of books of poetry alongside articles, records, broadcasts, public art, commissions and plays. Sissay was the first poet commissioned to write for London Olympics.  His Landmark Poems are installed throughout Manchester and London. They can be seen in The Royal Festival Hall and The Olympic Park. His Landmark Poem,Guilt of Cain, was unveiled by Bishop Desmond Tutu in Fen Court near Fenchurch St Station.

The event also featured a presentation of the Report Card by FEA Director Lewis Iwu, and a panel discussion of the Report.

The Manchester panel featured:

Nick Bent

Nick is the co-founder of the Tutor Trust and has been involved with a number of educational and youth work charities for twenty years. He is a Director of the academies charity Oasis Community Learning and was previously Chair of Governors at the Oasis Academy MediaCityUK in Salford.

An Associate of the think tank Demos, Nick spent seven years working in Westminster and Whitehall, including four years as a Special Adviser to Rt Hon Dame Tessa Jowell MP during the last Labour Government. He has also served as Director of the think tank Policy Network.

From September 1st 2014, Nick has been appointed to serve a second three-year term as a lay member of the General Assembly of the University of Manchester.

Nick is a graduate of the universities of Oxford (law) and Harvard (public policy).

Chloe Spencer

Chloe is the Manchester Director at ReachOut and has been passionately involved in the charity sector for many years, focusing on education, youth and inequality. Before joining ReachOut Chloe developed Chapter 1’s first learning hub for homeless vulnerable adults and young people in Manchester. She is a former teacher and strong advocate for young people.

Chloe is a graduate from the university of Brighton (business with marketing) and MMU (PGCE in Secondary Education).


Tarun Kapur CBE

Tarun is the Chief Executive & Academy Principal of The Dean Trust, Multi-Academy group of schools based in the North-West. As a National Leader of Education Tarun has worked closely with Government Policy Advisors consulting and providing expert knowledge and experience in all aspects of education, in particular, providing support to schools that are experiencing difficulties. Tarun is also a Director with the Manchester United Foundation whose aim is to provide opportunities for children to engage in sport from all backgrounds as well as Chairman of the FA and Premier League Facilities Panel, the UK’s largest sports’ charity.


Stephanie Lee

Stephanie is the Head of Widening Participation at the University of Manchester and has worked in the higher education sector, and in widening participation specifically, for over ten years. As Head of Widening Participation, Stephanie is responsible for overseeing the University’s strategy to increase participation from groups currently under-represented at the University and in higher education more generally. A key priority of this role is to oversee the University’s Access Agreement with the Office for Fair Access (OFFA), ensuring that the University delivers on its challenging targets to improve the access, success and progression of students from less advantaged backgrounds.

Prior to joining the University of Manchester Stephanie was a languages teacher in a Manchester secondary school. Stephanie is also a school governor at a special school in Manchester and is trustee for the charity North West Gifted and Talented (NWGT).

Kelsey Dumville

Kelsey is a full-time volunteer for City Year Greater Manchester and serves in Chorlton High School. Before joining City Year, Kelsey attended the Manchester College completing a course in Art and Design and another in Sign Language. She chose to join City Year UK because she felt it would give her hands-on experience in a school environment and would develop her abilities and confidence to achieve her career goals.  She is currently working with a range of students in school but has particularly enjoyed working with students with behavioural issues and special educational needs. Although very challenging, she has relished seeing the difference she can make to individuals. Kelsey feels that her 'service year' has been incredibly rewarding and has taught her many of the key transferable skills which she had hoped to develop. Following City Year, Kelsey hopes to pursue a career in special needs schools, working with deaf students.

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Report Card 2015 London Launch
6:30 PM18:30

Report Card 2015 London Launch

The Fair Education Alliance has now published its second annual state of the nation report which looks at where things currently stand across the five Fair Education Impact Goals: where we’ve made progress since the last report, where things have gone well, and where there needs to be improvement. The report also investigates where there are pockets of best practice that should be scaled up, and where there are policy changes that need to happen.

The launch event for the 2015 report featured a keynote speech from Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Ofsted. There was also a brief response from a panel including:

Sonia Blandford, CEO of Achievement for All

Professor Sonia Blandford is Founder and CEO of Achievement for All and one of the UK's leading practitioners of education. Sonia is passionate about raising the aspirations and improving the attainment of all children and young people regardless of their background or need. She was named this year in Debrett's list of the Top 500 Most Influential People in the UK.

Sonia is currently Professor of Education and Social Enterprise at the London Centre for Leadership in Learning at the Institute of Education, and Honorary Professor of Education, University of Warwick. She has published over 150 articles, columns and books on educational leadership, special educational needs, teaching and learning, professional development and music education. Sonia is an advisor to the UK government, European Commission and several international governments.

She has two Masters (music and education), and was among the first to complete the UK inaugural Doctor of Education (EdD) programme at the University of Bristol. She went on to become Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of Education at Canterbury Christchurch University.

Russell Hobby, NAHT General Secretary

Russell Hobby is general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers.  NAHT is the largest union for school leaders in the UK, representing over 28,500 members in every phase of education.  Before taking up this post in 2010, Russell worked as a management consultant and in the software industry.  Russell is also a trustee of the Brilliant Club, Teaching Leaders and the Teacher Development Trust.  He is a member of the advisory board of Future Leaders, the management board for NAHT Edge and the Independent State School Partnership forum.

Will Kennard of music duo Chase and Status and Fair Education Ambassador. 

Will is a co-Founder of ELAM and one half of successful music production duo Chase & Status whose album “No more idols” was the highest selling band album in the UK in 2011. Prior to his success in the industry, Will taught Music Technology at North Trafford College in Manchester for two years.

Ella Cox, Student and debater with Debate Mate

Ella is a Year 12 student currently studying at the Latymer School in Edmonton and previously attended Bridge Academy in Hackney.

Recently elected Member of Youth Parliament for Hackney and continues to be a Member of Hackney Youth Parliament. Ella was part of the Debate Mate Programme in year 7 and was a member of the team from Bridge Academy that won their nationwide competition in 2013.

Other debating achievements include winning UCL President's Cup - a competition for university students - in year 10, being a finalist at Cambridge Women's, SOAS, UCL and Imperial schools debate competitions and being shortlisted for the England Debate Team. She aspires to study English Literature and Philosophy at university

A final conclusion was given by Nick Wright, Managing Director, Global / EMEA Community Affairs, UBS

Nick joined UBS (then Swiss Bank Corporation, now incorporated into UBS) as a Fixed Income Derivatives Trader in 1989, having previously worked for Chemical Bank for three years joining them from University and graduating through their internal MBA programme.

In 1999, he assumed his role as regional Head of Community Affairs. UBS operates a vigorous and long-standing programme of Community Affairs focusing in particular on the areas of Education and Entrepreneurship. Nick has overseen the development of this multi-award winning programme both regionally and now globally. It is notable for sustainable, long-term partnerships with voluntary sector organisations and significant and sustained Employee Volunteering.

Nick has variously sat on UK Government bodies and taskforces; UBS’s Corporate Responsibility advisory committee; he has been Vice Chair of Governors at the UBS sponsored Bridge Academy, Hackney, a member of the Early Action Taskforce and continues to sit on a number of external bodies and boards.




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The Fair Education Alliance and Times Red Box pre-election debate
6:30 PM18:30

The Fair Education Alliance and Times Red Box pre-election debate

Closing the Divide: Can Education ever be fair for all? A pre-election debate on solving educational inequality between Nicky Morgan, Tristram Hunt and David Laws, hosted by The Times Red Box and The Fair Education Alliance and supported by The News Academy

The Fair Education Alliance and Times Red Box hosted a pre-election debate on thursday 16 April 2015 between the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour spokespeople for education, Nicky Morgan, David Laws, and Tristram Hunt, on the topic ‘Closing the divide: Can education ever be fair for all?’

The debate was supported by the News Academy, and held at News UK’s head office in London Bridge. It was chaired by Times columnist and interviewer Alice Thomson, and was attended by members of the education community and the Fair Education Alliance, along with aspiring young journalists from the News Academy.

The evening began with opening statements from all three spokespeople, followed by a lively and wide-ranging debate on the education landscape in the UK, with a particular focus on social mobility. Topics covered included Early Years education, class sizes and school place shortages, and the role of independent schools in the state sector. 

All three spokespeople were united in expressing support for the Fair Education Alliance and its goal of bridging the gap in educational attainments between children from poor backgrounds and their wealthier peers, but they each sketched out different visions for how their parties would achieve this. 

When asked why she supports the Fair Education Alliance, Nicky Morgan told us, “Because I think that it’s doing great work in pointing out the inequalities that we still see in our education system, but also setting out things like literacy and numeracy and other policies which will make a huge difference, and which the Conservative party absolutely subscribes to in terms of getting the basics right early on, so that all children achieve the most and make the most of their potential.”

David Laws said “(The Fair Education Alliance) is drawing attention to the biggest scar on the face on English education, which is the massive attainment gap between young people from advantaged and disadvantaged backgrounds. It’s completely unacceptable that we have almost two-thirds of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who don’t achieve the modest benchmark levels that we set, for example at the end of Key Stage 4 – we’ve got to ensure that those young people have a chance to do well in education, and well in life.”

 Tristram Hunt addresses the audience 

Tristram Hunt addresses the audience 

Tristram Hunt said, “I support the Fair Education Alliance because the purpose of education is to deliver social mobility and social justice, and in this country at the moment we’re seeing the attainment gap between children on Free School Meals and non-Free School Meals growing, and we have to deal with that at root, which means beginning with education.”

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