Morning, Monday, 11th October 2021
***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference will examine priorities following the recent report from the Expert Panel on Educational Underachievement, A Fair Start, which outlines a new action plan with 47 areas for improvement.
Delegates will also look at the impact of COVID-19 on the attainment gap and educational underachievement, and other relevant developments, such as the Summer Scheme 2021 and the Pathway Fund 2021-2023, as well as the links between socio-economic deprivation and educational underachievement.
The agenda will bring out latest thinking on:
- key findings from the Expert Panel - and priorities for addressing educational underachievement
- the role of early learning and development in laying the groundwork for later learning - developing a play-based curriculum for the Foundation Stage, improving early language skills and preparation for primary study, and investment in the sector
- improving the curriculum and assessment landscape - addressing inconsistency in curriculum implementation and developing a System Evaluation Framework, considering the interests of learners aged 14-19, and the role of assessments in bridging the educational achievement gap
socio-economic deprivation and educational achievement - improving co-operation between schools and communities, closing the gender-based achievement gap, and addressing the impact of mental health issues on educational attainment
Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from the Department for Education; and the Department for the Economy, NI. Also due to attend are representatives from the Action for Children NI; Lifestart Foundation; and National Foundation for Educational Research.
Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly, senior officials from NI Executive Departments and regulators involved in this area of policy, as well as from schools and colleges; local authorities; consultancies and charities; publishers, awarding bodies, Edtech providers and other suppliers; law firms; research institutes and think-tanks as well as academics, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.
This is a full-scale conference taking place online***
- full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript 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