Education Survey & Research Service

25th Anniversary Conference    


The conference marked the 25th anniversary of the founding of a survey service at Keele. As the service was set up to support education initiatives (particularly in urban areas), the event focussed on issues relating to:

 "The impact of urban education initiatives on pupil learning"

Following a welcome address by Professor Trevor McMillan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Keele University, and a video presentation by Sir Tim Brighouse (click this link to watch the presentation shown at the conference, and this link for the full recording), the following speakers addressed issues relating to “the impact of urban education initiatives on pupil learning” both locally and nationally, and at primary and secondary school level:

Jon Coles  "Urban education, London and the Challenge of the cities"

Jon Coles is Group Chief Executive of United Learning and former Director General for Education Standards, Department for Education. Previously, as Director of 14-19 Reform, he led work to raise participation post-16 and attainment at 19 and reduce NEET numbers. As Director of London Challenge, Jon was responsible developing and implementing the strategy to improve secondary education in London, which also led to similar approaches in other parts of the country. In his career, Jon has been responsible for various Green and White Papers and for taking the 2002 Education Act through Parliament.

Tristram Hunt "Rolling out the London Challenge: Lessons for England's Regional Cities" Tristram Hunt is the former Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Labour Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent Central. Click here for text of the speech.

Professor Kathryn Riley  "‘If children don’t belong in school, they don’t belong anywhere’. How to make schools places that children and adults feel they belong: The challenges for urban schools and their leaders"

London Centre for Leadership in Learning, Institute of Education, University of London.

Professor Farzana Shain, Dr Ruth Dann, Dr Laura Watt and Professor Stephen Cropper

"What does it take to become an ‘Outstanding’ school? Preliminary findings from the Stoke-on-Trent ‘Strategies for raising attainment in Key Stage One project’"

Farzana Shain is Professor of Sociology of Education at Keele University. Steve Cropper is Professor of Management in the School of Public Policy and Professional Practice at Keele. Dr Ruth Dann is Senior Lecturer and PGCE Primary Course Director at Manchester Metropolitan University. Dr Laura Watt is Research Fellow in the Research Institute of Social Sciences at Keele. The project team will present a summary of the findings from the first phase of their 30 month project which has been commissioned by Stoke-on-Trent City Council to explore strategies for raising attainment at Key Stage 1. The first phase of the project has been focused on identifying the key factors that have enabled a sample of local schools to improve their educational outcomes and achieve ‘outstanding’ status ‘against the odds’.

Professor Mel West "Raising the bar and narrowing the gap: increasing life chances or political rhetoric?"

Mel West is a Professor of Education at Manchester University, where he was Head of the School of Education for some ten years. His research interests focus on the progress of children in schools serving areas of high social and economic disadvantage, and he co-authored BERA's recent evaluation of the impact of government strategies on the relationships between poverty, social disadvantage and educational attainment. He also has strong interests in schooling in China, where he has been involved in a number of educational initiatives over the years.