Education Reform Summit 2014

The Education Reform Summit 2014 was jointly hosted by the Department for Education and independent think tank The Education Foundation. The two-day summit was the first of its kind in this country. It was a response to the demand from reformers to celebrate England’s success in leading the world in education reform.

Education Secretary Michael Gove welcomed ministers from other nations and other reformers to London on 9 – 10 July. Teachers, school leaders, politicians and educationalists will come together to share ambitions and ideas for the future and draw inspiration from schools already transforming children’s lives.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Our education reforms have one over-riding goal – to give every child a world-class education. A key part of our long-term economic plan is giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to succeed and get good jobs. This summit allowed heads, teachers and reformers from England and around the world a brilliant opportunity to share ideas, learn from each other and build a brighter future for all.”

Evidence shows that across the country, schools and teachers are already making great strides to improve education for all: raising standards, giving all children a better start in life and closing the attainment gap. But there is still more to do. The summit reflected this restless ambition for England’s schools and demonstrates a commitment to continual improvement by learning from some of the world’s highest-performing education systems.

The summit provided an opportunity to hear from education and political leaders who are helping transform education systems globally, including:
·         Sander Dekker, Minister for Education, the Netherlands
·         Lucia Figar, Regional Minister for Education, Spain
·         Nuno Crato, Minister for Education and Science, Portugal
·         Shangchang Tang, Founder, Shanghai High School
·         Doug Lemov, Managing Director, Uncommon Schools
·         Steven Hodas, Executive Director, Office of Innovation, New York City Department of Education

UPDATE: A storify summary of the discussions, tweets and images from the summit is available HERE

It was an opportunity to hear first-hand from reformers sharing ideas and experience about what works in schools and classrooms. Under the themes of celebration, ambition and inspiration, delegates examined the major issues our education system continues to grapple with, including what defines world-class teaching and how to meet the nationwide need for higher skills.

International studies have shown that high-performing and fast-improving education jurisdictions share a set of common characteristics: autonomy, accountability, an emphasis on teacher quality, an academic core curriculum and focus on narrowing the attainment gap. Studies also show that nations which have undergone sustained periods of major reform – such as Germany and Poland – have significantly improved their performance and therefore opportunities for their pupils. The summit consider how to take these principles forward.

Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove said:

“I am delighted to be hosting this country’s first education reform summit. We’re bringing together teachers, school leaders and education reformers from England and across the globe to discuss how to help children enjoy the best possible start in life.

“This summit will be an excellent opportunity to celebrate what we have already done to raise standards in our schools and to discuss what more needs to be done to improve education for all children. Raising attainment in all our schools and closing the gap between rich and poor is the driving moral purpose of our school reforms.”

Schools Minister David Laws said:

“The Education Reform Summit will be an exciting opportunity to share brilliant ideas from those transforming schools around the world.
We must continue to be ambitious in our programme of reform to close the attainment gap that holds disadvantaged children back once and for all. All of those involved in the future education of our children must work together if we are to create a system in which every child can succeed.”

Shadow Secretary of State of Education Tristram Hunt said:

“The Education Reform Summit will be at the cutting edge of innovation and reform. If we are to succeed in the global economy, our education system must keep pace with the technological developments of our age. The Education Foundation will also bring renewed and relentless energy to this quest, combining the central importance of teacher quality with technological advances, and pioneering the next phase of education reform.”

The Education Foundation co-founders Ian Fordham and Ty Goddard, said:

“The Education Foundation is delighted to be hosting the first Education Reform Summit in partnership with the Department for Education.
The education reform movement starts here. We need to learn from the best in the UK and overseas, applying ideas from other sectors and a focus on where the education system should go next. It is vital we celebrate what works and continue to be restless in all of our ambitions for young people.”