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School Conferences

Education on the Move

19th March 2022

On Saturday 19th March The King Alfred School Society and campaign group Rethinking Assessment hosted the ‘Education on the Move’ conference bringing together voices from across the UK to share ideas on how our education system needs to change.

Education on the Move Conference

Researcher and educator Professor Bill Lucas summed up the day saying, “A very broad group of thinkers, parents, employers, educators, students, researchers came together today, all convinced that in different ways we have something of a curriculum emergency and we need to radically rethink the way we evidence the full range of young people’s strengths.”


Guest Speakers

We heard from eight guest speakers, who shared their thoughts on educational reform from their perspective as students, parents, employers and educational leaders.

The first talk was from Aliyah York. She founded Pupil Power, a national youth-led movement challenging others to reimagine education in the 21st century. Her advocacy strives to centre youth voices while bridging the gap between young people and educational leaders and policymakers.

She spoke about why the education system needs to change from a student perspective.


Kerry Jane Packman

Kerry-Jane Packman is the Executive Director of Programmes, Membership & Charitable Services at Parentkind. She spoke about Parentkind’s research on what parents are looking for from the education system.


Rachel McFarlane

Rachel McFarlane is the Director of Education Services at Herts for Learning. She spoke about how our current education system is prejudiced against disadvantaged and vulnerable learners.


Olly Newton

Olly Newton is the Executive Director of The Edge Foundation, where he oversees a programme of primary research, is lead author on the charity’s policy reports and runs the Edge Future Learning delivery programme for schools and colleges.

He spoke about why our current education system costs our economy £6 billion every year and what we can do about it.



Mike Nicolson

Mike Nicolson Director of Recruitment, Admissions and Participation at the University of Cambridge. He heads the team responsible for supporting undergraduate and postgraduate student admissions, student recruitment and marketing (UK and international), scholarships and funding and widening access and participation.

Mike spoke about why it is important for universities to assess applicants as individuals and take their context and background into account, rather than only focusing on their grades.


Vanessa Dewhurst

Vanessa Dewhurst is the Partner and Chief People Officer at Mishcon de Reya. She is responsible for people strategy including the attraction, development and growth of over 1,000 individuals across Mishcon de Reya. She is co-chair of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee.

Vanessa spoke what she is looking for from the education system from her perspective as an employer: “I’m looking for a different approach to school assessment. One that will enable us to more easily identify those young people with the skills and attributes they are looking for, and to not miss out on those with the potential to succeed.”


Gwyn ap Harri

Gwyn ap Harri is CEO of the XP Trust and co-founder of the XP School. The XP Trust is made up of eight schools which all run an ‘expeditionary learning’ curriculum. He is also the CEO the EdTech company he founded, realsmart.

He urged any educators who were fed up with the current system to not wait for policy change, but to, “Just do something because what we’re doing to our kids right now is ridiculous.”


Peter Hyman

Peter Hyman is the Co-Director of Big Education. and Co-Founder of Rethinking Assessment. He is also the co-founder and was the first headteacher of School 21, a pioneering 4 to 18 years school which had developed sophisticated programs for real world learning and wellbeing.

He spoke about Rethinking Assessment’s Learner Profiles. While our current exams are good at assessing a student’s knowledge, Learner Profiles can give us a more holistic view of an individual including their academic abilities, personal development, creativity and problem solving.


What Did People Say?

We got some fantastic feedback from speakers and people who attended. Click through the slideshow of quotes below to see what some of our guests had to say about the conference.

Educational Conference Quotes
Educational Conference Quote graphic
Educational Conference Quote graphic

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