Panellists: Professor Jo-Anne Baird, Lord Kenneth Baker and Professor Gert Biesta
What are we educating for?
This seminar series, from the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster University, explored the urgent question of what are we educating for through the education life cycle. Although it has always been significant, it is now particularly important because of the growing consensus that the educational challenges faced by the country require long-term solutions, whilst political imperatives tend to be focused on short-term priorities. There are clear tensions between whether we are educating for employment, for credentials, for engagement in further studies, or for engagement with society more broadly.
This seminar series explored what we are educating for across the educational life cycle, examining the following questions:
- What are we educating for in the education system? How does this change at different stages and levels of education?
- Who should determine what we are educating for? What are the mechanisms through which this should be determined?
- What roles should policy makers, practitioners and researchers have in shaping what we are educating for?
- What are the current relationships between policy, practice and research in education and how might these be improved?
Summaries of the discussions at each seminar are available below. The first seminar focused on across all forms of education and was followed by five seminars considering these questions in relation to particular stages of education, with seminars examining what are we educating for in Higher, Secondary, Primary, Early Years and Further and Vocational, Education. Each seminar had three panellists, one educator, one academic researcher, and one policy maker, whether politicians, civil servants or regulators. The panels were chaired by Charles Clarke and Paul Ashwin.
Panellists - February 15th 2023
Professor Jo-Anne Baird
Jo-Anne is Director of the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment. She has been Head of the Department of Education at Oxford, Standing Adviser to the House of Commons Education Select Committee, a member of Ofqual’s Standing Advisory Group on Standards, Chair of the National Reference Test Expert Group, a member of the Welsh Government’s Curriculum and Assessment Group and the Scottish Government’s Independent Review Group. Jo-Anne held academic posts at the Institute of Education (London) and the University of Bristol. In 2019 she was awarded an Honorary Degree by the University of Bergen.
Lord Kenneth Baker
Kenneth Baker is Chairman of Baker Dearing Educational Trust, which supports University Technical Colleges in England. He was elected to Parliament in 1968 and was a Junior Minister in Edward Heath's government. He held a series of Ministerial positions between 1981 and 1992, including three years as Secretary of State for Education and Science (1986-9). He was Home Secretary from 1990 to 1992. In 1997, he became Lord Baker of Dorking and is an active member of the House of Lords.
Professor Gert Biesta
Gert Biesta is Professor of Educational Theory and Pedagogy (part-time) and Deputy Head of the Institute of Education, Teaching and Leadership at the Moray House School of Education and Sport, University of Edinburgh. He is also Professor of Public Education (part-time) at the Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy at Maynooth University, Ireland. His research focuses on the theory of education and the theory and philosophy of educational and social research, with a keen interest in national and global education policy, curriculum, teaching and teacher education, democracy and citizenship education, religious education and education and the arts. Gert has published widely on these topics in articles, chapters, and books. From 2015 - 2018 he was a member of the Educational Council of the Netherlands, the advisory body of the Dutch government and parliament; in 2023 he started a new four-year term. From 2020 until 2022 he was a member of the Scientific Curriculum Committee in the Netherlands, which is tasked with advising the Secretary of State for Education about the redevelopment of the curriculum for primary and secondary schools. Gert is co-editor of the British Educational Research Journal, co-editor of the Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, and associate editor of Educational Theory. His most recent monograph, World-Centred Education: A View for the Present, was published by Routledge in 2021.
Panellists - February 23rd 2023
Panellists accordion 23/2/23 Accordion
Baroness Tessa Blackstone
Tessa Blackstone studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and taught there for 10 years. She then became a member of the Central Review Staff in the Cabinet Office. She was Professor of Educational Administration at the Institute of Education, University of London after which she was Deputy Education Officer at the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA). For 10 years Tessa was Master of Birkbeck College, University of London. In 1997 she became a Minister of State at the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) and then at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). She then became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Greenwich for 7 years. Tessa has chaired a number of Boards including Great Ormond Street Hospital and the British Library. She is currently a Labour Peer.
Professor Nicola Dandridge
Nicola Dandridge is Professor of Practice in Higher Education Policy at the University of Bristol. She is former chief executive of the Office for Students (2017-2022) where she led the creation of the OfS as a new organisation; prior to this she was chief executive of Universities UK (2007-2017), the membership organisation for the UK's universities. She originally qualified as a lawyer in England and Scotland, specialising in employment and equality law.
Professor Peter Scott
Peter Scott is emeritus Professor of Higher Education Studies at University College London (IOE - Faculty of Education and Society). He was Scotland’s first Commissioner for Fair Access from 2016 to 2022. He was chair of the council of the University of Gloucestershire from 2011 to 2015. Previously he was Vice-Chancellor of Kingston University London (1998-2010). His most recent book is ‘Retreat or Resolution? Tackling the Crisis of Mass Higher Education’ (Policy Press / Bristol University Press 2021).
Panellists - March 29th 2023
- Sharon Gladstone
Sir Mike Tomlinson
Sir Mike Tomlinson was Chief Inspector and Head of Ofsted between 2000 and 2002. In 2002-2007, he was asked by the Secretary State for Education to take over responsibility of education in Hackney and stepped down once the quality of education judged to be good. He was Chair of the Working Group set up by government to propose reform of the curriculum for 14-19 year-olds. He acted as Chief Adviser for London Challenge from 2008 to 2010. In 2014, he was appointed Education Commissioner for Birmingham to oversee reform.
Professor Nicola Walshe
Nicola is Pro-Director for Education at UCL’s Institute of Education (IOE), and Executive Director of the UCL Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Education, within which she leads a research group with internationally significant and sustained expertise in climate change and sustainability education. She is co-convenor of the Environmental and Sustainability Education Research network of European Educational Research Association and a UCL Climate Hub Community Expert. Nicola was originally a geography teacher; her other academic roles have included leadership of the Geography PGCE at the University of Cambridge, Head of the School of Education and Social Care at ARU, and Head of the Department of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment at the IOE.
Panellists - April 13th 2023
Gorana Henry is currently leading the Primary PGCE Programme at UCL's Institue of Education. She is passionate about children's primary education, and outcomes for pupils from Global Majority backgrounds in particular.
Prior to becoming a teacher educator, Gorana was a successful primary school teacher, Lead Practitioner and Deputy Headteacher. She holds a National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership and MA in Education. Her research interests are grounded in the role that Communication plays in teaching, learning and educational leadership.
Dr Richard Kueh
Dr Richard Kueh is acting deputy director for research and evaluation at Ofsted. Richard is one of His Majesty’s Inspectors. He was formerly a specialist adviser and national lead for religious education (RE). Richard read Theology and Religious Studies at Cambridge before undertaking a Master’s and Doctorate in Philosophy and a PGCE. Before joining Ofsted, Richard taught in universities, independent schools and maintained schools, including as associate headteacher of a primary school, director of a regional primary school improvement partnership, deputy headteacher of a secondary school, and director of teacher training and development for a multi-academy trust.
Dr Marlon Moncrieffe
Dr Marlon Moncrieffe is a council member of the British Educational Research Association, and Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching. He is an award-winning international researcher and author, and teacher-educator at the School of Education, University of Brighton.
His book Decolonising the History Curriculum: Eurocentrism in Primary School Education is widely recognised in academia for its theoretical knowledge and evidenced-based research work in advancing teacher education.
Prior to working in Higher Education, Dr Moncrieffe taught as a primary school teacher (1999-2013) in London, Surrey, West Sussex and Berkshire. He was Head of Maths, Head of English, Head of Physical Education, and Assistant Headteacher.
Panellists - May 4th 2023
Naomi Eisenstadt is chair of the NHS Northamptonshire Integrated Care Board. After a long career in the NGO sector, in 1999 Naomi became Director of Sure Start. The Unit was responsible for delivering the Government’s commitment to free nursery education places, the national childcare strategy, and Sure Start, a programme aiming to reduce the gap in outcomes between children living in disadvantaged areas and the wider child population. Naomi then spent 3 years heading the Social Exclusion Task Force. Since leaving the Civil Service, Naomi chaired the Camden Equalities Commission, served as Adviser on poverty for the First Minister of Scotland, and published 2 books. She is a trustee of the Financial Fairness Trust and the Education Endowment Foundation. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Open University in 2002 and in 2005 became a Companion of the Bath.
Dame Margaret Hodge MP
Dame Margaret Hodge has been the MP for Barking and Dagenham since 1994. A member of the Labour Party, she previously served as Leader of Islington London Borough Council from 1982 to 1992. She served as the first female Chair of the Public Accounts Committee from 2010 to 2015 and held several government positions in the last Labour government, holding portfolios across education, work and pensions, business and culture. Margaret has been an active community campaigner for over two decades ensuring best health services, tackling rising crime, calling for an end to police cuts and promoting an online Harms Bill.
Professor Jo Warin
Jo is Professor of Gender and Social Relations in Education at Lancaster University. She has a longstanding research trajectory into gender in education especially in early childhood. She also researches the social and emotional lives of young people in school. Jo is Programme Director for the PhD in Education and Social Justice in the Department of Educational Research.
Panellists - May 18th 2023
Professor Ann-Marie Bathmaker
Ann-Marie Bathmaker is Professor Emerita of Vocational and Higher Education at the University of Birmingham and Extraordinary Professor at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. Her research focuses on questions of equity and inequalities in vocational, post-compulsory and higher education. She started her career working in provision of English for Speakers of Other Languages, and she then worked as a local authority advisor for equal opportunities as part of the Technical and Vocational Education Initiative, before moving into higher education. Her career in higher education has involved teacher education for the further education and lifelong learning sectors, teaching and managing professional doctorate programmes, and leading developments in teaching and learning. Ann-Marie has worked at the universities of Wolverhampton, Sheffield, UWE Bristol and the University of Birmingham. She is a member of the Editorial Management Committee of the Journal of Vocational Education and Training and was editor of the journal along with Leesa Wheelahan and Kevin Orr from 2017-2021. She is a trustee of the Edge Foundation, a UK based education charity whose mission is to promote a coherent, unified and holistic education system which can support social equity. She was the specialist advisor to the House of Lords Select Committee on Social Mobility School to Work (2015-2016).
Professor Martin Doel CBE FRSA FRAeS
Martin Doel was appointed as the first Professor of Leadership in Further Education and Skills at University College London (Institute of Education) in April 2016 after having previously been the Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges (AoC) from 2008. Prior to this Martin served for 28 years in the Royal Air Force, where his final appointment was as Director of Training and Education Policy. Martin has now reverted to Visiting Status at the Institute of Education but continues to hold a variety of advisory and non-executive roles relating to further education and skills, including with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education as well as other Government agencies both in the UK and overseas.
Fiona joined LSBU in September 2019 and leads on the Group’s compulsory and further education portfolio. Fiona is the Executive Principal for South Bank Colleges and CEO of the South Bank Academy Trust and leads the Institute for Professional Technology which is home to the LSBU Group apprenticeship offer.
South Bank Colleges includes Lambeth College at Clapham and Brixton and the new London South Bank Technical College which opened at Nine Elms in Spring 2023. The South Bank Academy Trust include South Bank University Academy in Walworth and the South Bank University Technical College at Brixton. The Institute for Professional and Technical Education is housed at the Passmore Centre in Southwark.
With a background in further education Fiona has extensive experience in leading A level provision, 14-19 year old offer and adult education in further education and through school and university partnerships. Fiona was drawn to the innovative group model established by LSBU because of the enhanced opportunities our family of education institutions can provide for students through partnership working. Fiona is proud of LSBUs unique group approach that meets the needs of those living and working in south London and provides a real opportunity to increase access to opportunity through the career pathways we have developed.
Fiona’s research interest lies in professional education and training and the vital role this plays in supporting students of all ages and educational experiences to access lifelong learning.
- Fellow of the RSA
- Member of the Charted College of Teaching
- Member of the Society for Education and Training
Fiona is Chair of Laser Awarding Body and a member of Get Further education board.
Fiona sits on a number of boards and committees linked to education and employment in south London including Lambeth Skills and Employment Board, Lambeth Made, Lambeth Children’s Partnership and Southwark Skills Partnership.
We gratefully acknowledge the funding from the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account, FASS Research Fund and Lancaster University for this seminar series. We also acknowledge the support of the British Educational Research Association and the hosting of the series by the Society for Research into Higher Education.