Event Focus: Skills & Education Group's Celebrating Success in a Changing Landscape

In our first Event Focus blog, Ellie Hanson, Digital Communications Officer at the Skills and Education Group, writes about this year’s Skills and Education Group conference – ‘Celebrating Success in a Changing Landscape’. The conference will bring together practitioners, managers, senior leaders, governors and stakeholders from across the sector to explore topics such as adult education and social mobility.


Skills & Education Group conferenceWe have chosen the theme of ‘Celebrating Success in a Changing Landscape’ so that we can all celebrate the many successes of the Further Education (FE) and skills sector, and reflect on the hard work that we have all undertaken in recent years. It will provide a day for you to take time out and network with colleagues as we welcome 300 professionals from across the sector.

Delegates attending the conference will also have the opportunity to hear contributions from sector leaders, learners, and inspirational speakers such as Jaz Ampaw-Farr, a former contestant on the BBC’s hit show The Apprentice.

Jaz’s story is one of growing up in the midst of the most appalling abuse, poverty and hardship during which she encountered five adults (including, importantly, one pimp) whose belief in her literally saved her life. She will share her fantastic journey of how saying “yes” first allowed her to progress from a council estate and foster care to, currently, advising international governments on education policy.

Our latest addition to the line-up is Channel 4’s Gogglebox star Baasit Siddiqui, Managing Director of Siddiqui Education Ltd. Siddiqui Education aim to support schools, alternative education providers and community outreach programmes, by advising and motivating children of all ages with their personal aspirations, career choices and future goals. He will be joining our (the Skill and Education Group’s) Chief Executive, Paul Eeles, on the social mobility panel exploring the impact of social mobility within the further education and skills sector. Baasit will also be delivering a workshop called “Inspiring Disadvantaged Learners to Succeed”.

The Skills and Education Group has a long history of securing project funding and grants to support its members and the wider FE sector. Supporting social mobility is a key focus for the Skills and Education Group and the way in which it supports the wider sector. It is for this reason that, alongside Jaz and Baasit, we have invited lifelong learner Steve Whitmore. Steve found himself homeless after leaving the British Army in 1989. The Central YMCA enabled him to get off the streets and back into employment, where he has since volunteered over 5,000 hours on various community projects at YMCA to say thank you.

Following a morning of key speeches, delegates can enjoy lunch and refreshments whilst taking the opportunity to network with peers and exhibitors before an afternoon of workshops.

Over the last year, we have carried out research into what our audience would find most beneficial at future workshops. Tapping into the knowledge of our new Head of Professional Development and Networks Manager, Karen Plowman, and using our regular CPD and Network event feedback, we have identified a number of themes informing this year’s workshop topics. Delegates will be able to attend workshops on: leadership and governance; mental health and well-being; Office 365 for delivery and assessment; the new Education Inspection Framework; and Inspiring Disadvantaged Learners to Succeed.

The conference promises to provide a platform to learn from, network and collaborate with politicians, senior civil servants from government departments and sector representatives through seminars and interactive workshops.

It provides an excellent opportunity for those attending the conference to connect with other like-minded individuals from across the further education and skills sector. To find out more about the conference visit the Skills & Education Group’s website, or get in touch with our team via media@skillsedugroup.co.uk or call 0115 854 1631.

Skills & Education Group’s Celebrating Success in a Changing Landscape conference will be held on 16 May 2019 at the Jurys Inn Hinckley Island, Leicestershire.


Every month in the ETF course e-newsletter an upcoming FE sector event or conference will be highlighted in on our Blog by the event organisers under the title ‘Event Focus’. If you would like one an upcoming event of yours to be highlighted on our Blog, in our monthly courses newsletter, and in our event calendar, please contact Ed Smith. To sign-up to the courses newsletter and other ETF newsletters go to our newsletter page of the ETF website.

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