On Thursday 27th June, we held our annual Summit at Allen & Overy. The event saw 117 attendees from over 100 organisations come together to connect, share and collectively drive change.
The day kicked off with an overview from our CEO Sam Butters on the FEA’s journey so far (click here for slides) and the upcoming merger with the Teach First Innovation Unit, followed by an inspiring keynote from our new Chair Vanessa Ogden (click here for slides, and click here for the video).
This was followed by working sessions run by the Collective Action Projects in our three priority areas: teachers and leaders, rounded education and post-16 destinations (click here for the narrative and click here for slides). Everyone shared their ideas and worked together to collaboratively shape each priority area’s action plan and the changes the FEA network wants to see.
After networking over lunch, the afternoon focused on a deep dive into the FEA’s activities and the enhanced opportunities available to members (click here for slides), with a focus on how the FEA network can help members increase individual, organisational and collective impact towards building a fairer education system for all young people (click here for the template attendees filled out on the day).
Top 5 Takeaways
1. The network valued the chance to connect with fellow members
Like-minded individuals from across a wide range of different organisations, all united by their shared goal of ending educational inequality, greatly valued having the space to connect and meet new people.
100% of survey respondents strongly agreed/agreed that they built connections with other attendees at the event
2. Collective Action Project sessions enhanced collaboration
Attendees enjoyed taking an active part in each of the three Collective Action Project sessions. We voted on these priorities in Summer 2018 and these member-led sessions were felt to be interactive and engaging. Involvement in the sessions meant members were able to directly shape the projects’ work and make recommendations that will feed into the action we take as an Alliance on these areas.
3. There is greater understanding and excitement for the FEA’s strategy
Following the exploration into the FEA’s updated strategy, attendees have said they came away with clarity on the alliance’s goals, activities, and future plans, and most importantly how they as members can get involved. There was particular interest in the FEA’s new activities, especially the Intrapreneurship and Innovation Awards. In reply to what the top thing they learned on the day was, one out of six said that it was finding out about these two awards.
4. There was strong appetite to include young people and teacher voice
Recurring feedback was that attendees would have liked to have heard input from more teachers about school-based interventions that have worked, as well as their insights on how to scale them. Whilst the Summit was attended by two young people, one of whom co-designed and co-led the Post-16 destination working sessions, there was strong appetite to have a greater number of young people in the room.
5. Sharing is caring!
Over 100 tweets using the official event hashtag #faireducationsummit19 were posted, reaching close to 113k accounts. In keeping with the spirit of sharing, when asked what they would do as a result of what they learned at the Summit, the majority of attendees pledged to share key learnings from the event with their colleagues and partners to keep the momentum of the event and the spirit of collaboration going.