What's on

The SET Conference featured an exciting range of speakers, covering topics relevant to all practitioners. Our plenary sessions focused on current topics, while our four separate breakout streams allowed for more detailed sector information and discussion.

Breakout sessions 

Our breakout sessions included the following topics:

  • Wellbeing and Resilience.

  • SEND, Inclusion and Learning Support.

  • Technical and Vocational Education.

  • Digital Innovation and Pedagogy.

  • Maths and English. 

Find out more about who presented our breakout sessions

The Agenda

  • 9.15: Registration opens

  • 10.00: Conference welcome: Dan Williams, Chair of the SET Management Board

    Dan Williams is Programme Leader and Lecturer on PGCE Post 14 Education and Training at the University of Derby, working with practitioners from a range of providers to develop their teaching, learning and assessment practice.

    Dan is a Fellow and Chair of SET. He achieved QTLS status in 2012. He is passionate about professionalism, practitioner identity and giving practitioners a voice. His experience of supporting and working alongside practitioners in different sectors, alongside his large social network of practitioners allows him to maintain a strong understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced.

  • 10.10: A changing FE landscape and what this means for the practitioner: David Russell, CEO, Education and Training Foundation (ETF)

    David Russell was appointed as the first permanent CEO of the ETF in January 2014. He has a wide range of experience in education and skills in England, including on Academies Policy and Performance, the Adult Skills Strategy, Apprenticeships and on National Curriculum reform.

    David is a qualified teacher and an experienced school and college governor. Previous senior policy roles included leading the Open Academies programme, and managing the cross-government Skills Strategy. David was educated in Scotland at Crieff High School, St Andrews University and Moray House Institute of Education, Edinburgh. He is a member of the judging panel for the annual Tes FE awards, and an assessor for the Queen’s Anniversary Trust Awards in Higher and Further Education. He is also an experienced school and college governor.

  • 10.40: Panel discussion: What does excellence look like? 

    This panel aims to explore the concept of excellence from three points of view – that of the practitioner, the principal and the inspector. Covering sectors from colleges to adult and community learning, this session explores the very human idea of excellence in the classroom, and the challenges that journey must overcome. 

    Speakers include Harriet Harper, Nafisah Graham-Brown and Gerry McDonald 

    Harriet Harper has extensive experience of the FE sector, having worked as a teacher and senior manager, a teacher educator for FE and, for 10 years, one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors. She is an advisor for several of the ETF-funded projects on Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment (OTLA). Harriet has also worked in HE and is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Her research focuses on teaching excellence and her book, Outstanding Teaching in Lifelong Learning, is widely used in the FE sector to inform CPD. 

    Nafisah Graham-Brown is Head of Life Skills and Community at ELATT, a grade 1 education charity in London. She is also NATECLA National Co-chair and a doctoral student at UCL Institute of Education. Her doctoral research focuses on the role of English language learning in helping migrants integrate into UK society. She is particularly interested in the value of social interactions for ESOL students.

    Gerry became Principal of Tower Hamlets College in April 2013 following almost four years as the college’s Vice Principal – Curriculum and Standards. Following mergers with Hackney Community College, Redbridge College and Epping Forest College, he became Group Principal and CEO of the combined New City College in April 2017. New City College is the second largest college in London and the eighth in England with a total income of £65 million, more than 5,000 16-18 year olds and 9,000 adult learners.

  • 11.30: Breakout sessions

    Streams of practical workshops and presentations covering: Maths and English, Technical and Vocational Education, Digital Innovation & Pedagogy, Wellbeing and Resilience. 

  • 12.30:  Networking and exhibition lunch.

  • 13.30: Breakout sessions

    Streams of practical workshops and presentations covering: Maths and English, Technical and Vocational Education, Digital Innovation and Pedagogy, and SEND, Inclusion and Learning Support. Please note there is no duplication of content in the two breakout sessions.

  • 14.30: Panel discussion: Teaching - Art, Craft or Science? 

    Representing all three views, this panel explores the fundamentals of how students learn, and different methodologies practitioners can adopt. SET is exploring this debate over 12 months of content, showcasing examples and techniques so teachers and trainers can understand each viewpoint and interpret the session into their own environments.

    Speakers include Dr Margaret Gregson and John Johnston, moderated by Stephen Exley. 

    Dr Margaret Gregson is a Professor of Vocational Education and Director of the Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training (SUNCETT) at the University of Sunderland. She started her career in the Department for Education and Employment as a policy professional involved in the development, implementation and evaluation of Youth and Adult Training, before moving to higher education. She is a lead author of Reflective Teaching in Further Adult and Vocational Education (2015, Bloomsbury), a textbook and a companion book of readings designed for all of those working in the FAVE sector of education both in the UK and overseas.

    John Johnston is originally from Belfast in Northern Ireland. He has spent over 25 years working in both the formal and informal educational sectors in the UK and abroad. During this time, he has been the head of Art and Design in three schools in inner-city London, and after joining Goldsmiths University in 2008, he proceeded to lead the PGCE Art and Design Education and eventually became head of the MA Artist Teacher and Contemporary Practice and director of the Research Centre for Arts and Learning.  He left Goldsmiths in 2016 to establish a new Masters Artist Educator programme at ArtEZ University of the Arts in the Netherlands.

    Stephen Exley is Further Education (FE) Editor at Tes. He  joined Tes as a reporter in 2010. After six months as Acting Deputy News Editor, he was appointed FE Editor. He was previously education correspondent at the Cambridge News. Stephen has tasted success at the CIPR Education Journalism Awards, and has twice won the award for Outstanding National Education Journalism.

  • 15.30: How Further Education changes lives: Tom Bennett, Founder researchED 

    Taking lessons learned from working with the Department for Education (DfE), Tom Bennett discusses how creating an inclusive, supportive, safe environment for practitioners has an enormous impact on learners. Using case studies from across the sector, we will see how Further Education really changes lives.

  • 16.00: Closing address: Dan Williams, Chair of the SET Management Board

  • 16.15: Delegates depart

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