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ifl east 850pxThe festival has a central theme of ‘Future-proofing the Workforce’, which runs throughout the innovative event that includes a day full of inspiring speakers, lively debates, workshops, discussions, demonstrations and research based studies.

Children’s Minister Nadhim Zahawi and Ofsted Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman are the top names at the first International Festival of Learning, which has already attracted more than a thousand teachers and education professionals to West Suffolk College, Bury St Edmunds on Monday April 16.

Mr Zahawi, under-secretary of state for children and families will be a special guest at the event. Ms Spielman will be quizzed by Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, and answer questions from delegates.

The festival has a central theme of ‘Future-proofing the Workforce’, which runs throughout the innovative event that includes a day full of inspiring speakers, lively debates, workshops, discussions, demonstrations and research based studies.

The main sponsors are learning company Pearson, creating tools that provide opportunities for learners, and Raising the Bar, supporting the rise in educational attainment across Suffolk.

Among the other speakers are:

  • Former MP Neil Carmichael, recent chair of the Education Select Committee, is talking about the impact of Brexit on higher education.
  • Lord Jim Knight is the Chief Education Advisor at TES (Times Educational Supplement) and a previous Minister for Schools, he will be talking about recruitment and retention and “where have all the teachers gone?”
  • Science Broadcaster, writer and honorary STEM ambassador Dr Emily Grossman will be tackling how do we ensure our young people will have the skills in STEM to thrive and survive in a Post-Brexit world? And what skills are needed.
  • Sharon Hague, senior vice president at Pearson, responsible for the development and delivery of qualifications and assessments. She will be on a panel with top educationalists discussing The Future of Assessment.
  • David Whitebread founder of the PEDAL (Play in Education Development and Learning) research centre at the University of Cambridge will discuss The Importance of High Quality Early Childhood Education and How To Do It.
  • Consultant and international keynote speaker Karine George, co-author of Sustainable School Transformation: An Inside-Out School Led Approach. She will head a discussion of the trends that are influencing the future of jobs and how to develop skills needed in the future.
  • Dame Alison Peacock, CEO of the Chartered College of Teaching, will be talking about professional learning without limits.
  • Darren Henley, chief executive of the Arts Council, will be taking part in a panel debating and analysing what's happening with creativity - against a backdrop of academic focus and accountability.

The aim of the festival is to learn from best practice globally and inspire educators and other professionals to supercharge their passion for teaching and develop their careers as well as celebrate the importance of their profession. It will offer delegates the chance to meet and share with others who care about the power of education.

The college is one of the festival’s main partners alongside several others including TES, the British Council and the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL).

As one of the main partners, West Suffolk College Principal Dr Nikos Saavas said; “This is about how to build a world class system for our next generation. This is much more than a one day training event, this is a movement led by a growing collective of professionals, volunteers and organisations who are passionate about education.”

For further details of The International Festival of Learning and to purchase tickets go to www.ifleast.org