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Day Two Speakers & Panel

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Peter Lauener

Chief Executive, Skills Funding Agency & Education Funding Agency

Peter is the Chief Executive and Accounting Officer for the Education Funding Agency and the Skills Funding Agency.

The EFA is an executive agency of the Department for Education and is responsible for the majority of the DfE’s funding of the education system - £54bn in 2013-14. The EFA fund all state-provided education to 8 million children ages 3 to 16 and 1.6 million young people aged 16 to 19 providing additional support to those with high needs.

SFA is an executive agency, sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and is responsible for the funding of skills training for further education (FE) in England. SFA supports over 1,000 colleges, private training organisations, and employers with more than £4 billion of funding each year.

Peter was appointed Chief Executive and Accounting Officer when the Education Funding Agency (EFA) was formed in April 2012 and to the role of Chief Executive of the Skills Funding Agency in November 2014. Peter holds both roles concurrently and has separate accountability for each agency’s budget.

Starting his career as an economist in the Government Economic Service, Peter has also worked in organisations such as the Scottish Office (pre-devolution), the Manpower Services Commission, the Department for Education and Employment and the Government Office network. He was appointed Chief Executive of the Young People’s Learning Agency in September 2010.

Bob Harrison

Education Adviser, Toshiba

He has had extensive experience in schools and colleges as a teacher, lecturer senior manager, Principal and Governor. He has worked with Head teachers and senior leaders in developing leadership skills for the National College of Teaching and Leadership and advised DfES on the FE Principals Qualification and was the lead on Digital Futures for the Building Schools for the Future Leadership programme.

Bob is also Chair of Governors at Northern College and Vice Chair of Governors a Trafford school.
Bob was made an Honorary Life member of CGLI for services to Vocational Education following 12 years as Chief Examiner and is a Fellow of the RSA.
He has been Toshiba’s Education Adviser for 16 years and is a writer, presenter and researcher on mobile learning, digital technologies and next generation learning.

Bob was a member of the British Computer Society/Royal Academy of Engineering working group which redrafted the ICT National Curriculum to make it more “ambitious and challenging”. He also chaired the computing expert group established by the DfE to support teachers and teacher educators in the transition to the new computing curriculum, and is now a member of UK Force (UK Forum for Computing Education).

He was Chair of the Teaching Schools New Technology Advisory Board, a HE/Industry/Schools/DfE/NCTL group which aimed to ensure that the next generation of teachers have the necessary skills to prepare children for their lives as workers and digital citizens in the 3rd Millennium.

Bob was a leading member of the Further Education Learning Technology Action Group and is now a member of the Ministerial Educational Technology Action Group chaired by Professor Stephen Heppell.

Bob regularly visits the Palo Alto campus of Stanford University to research current developments and is a participant in the “education’s digital future” project and is a judge at the Stanford Graduate School of Education Learning Design with Technology Masters programme.. Bob is also a judge for the BIS/Innovate UK Learning Technology-Design for Impact fund, Bob represented the DfE at the INTEL STEM International conference in Jerusalem when he presented on the new national curriculum in computing.

He is a Board member of the UfI Trust, YMCA Training and Awards and is a Judge for the BETT Awards and TES FE Awards.

Bob has recently been invited to join the BIS FE and Skills Area based review advisory group trying to reshape the FE landscape towards a more digital future.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

www.setuk.co.uk twitter: @bobharrisonset

Paul Joyce HMI

Deputy Director for Further Education & Skills and Independent Schools, Ofsted

Paul Joyce is one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors and is the Deputy Director for Further Education & Skills. Paul joined Ofsted in 2005 as HMI having previously worked within the Further Education and Skills sector in both general and specialist further education colleges. Immediately prior to working for Ofsted Paul was a consultant for the former Department for Education and Skills and worked on national initiatives supporting improvements to teaching and learning and in leadership and management. Paul has significant inspection experience in both the schools and further education & skills remits and prior to being appointed Deputy Director was a Senior HMI with responsibility for the college inspection programme nationally.

Claudia Harris

Chief Executive Officer, The Careers & Enterprise Company

Claudia is the Chief Executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company, the government-backed organisation set up to help inspire and prepare young people for work. The company is chaired by Christine Hodgson, Chairman of Capgemini, and has a remit of 12-18 year olds in England.

Prior to this she was a partner in the London office of McKinsey & Company where she co-led their client work on talent and skills.

Her other experience includes a period working at the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit where she worked in healthcare and led the team responsible for turning around the performance of the MRSA target.

She is on the Steering Committee of the 30% Club.

She has a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School

Dr Sue Pember OBE

Director of Policy and External Relations, Holex

Sue Pember, a former senior government official, is the HOLEX Director of Policy and External Relations. Sue has extensive experience of teaching and leading adult education services and has worked in colleges, local education authorities and government. As the former lead Director for Adult and Further Education in the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) she gained extensive experience of working with ministers and departmental board members. She led and orchestrated several national policies that have widened participation in adult education, including being the architect and leader of the Skills for Life (English and maths) Strategy and chaired the government end to end review of apprenticeships which kick started Governments renewed interest in apprenticeships.

Dr Neil Bentley

Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK

Dr Neil Bentley is Chief Executive of WorldSkills UK, the organisation which runs national and international skills competitions and experiential careers events to help meet employer skills needs, increase young people’s employability and drive up standards in apprenticeships and technical careers.

Neil was previously Deputy Director-General and Chief Operating Officer of the Confederation of Business Industry (CBI), working at the highest level of the business, government and media interface nationally and internationally for 12 years. During that time Neil represented British business in Brussels on the board of BusinessEurope as well as on broader global economic relations, drove forward the development of the CBI membership proposition and led a range of successful public policy campaigns including on skills and employment, public service reform, construction and infrastructure and energy and climate change.

Prior to CBI, Neil worked at global IT services provider EDS (now part of HP) advising on the employee relations implications of outsourcing, trade union relations, training and diversity across EMEA.

Neil sits on the Council of Warwick University, is a member of the international advisory panel for the Carbon Trust, advises the Science Council on diversity and inclusion and was the former deputy chair of Stonewall, the LGBT equality charity. Neil’s PhD from Cardiff University focused on trade union attitudes to immigrant labour and racism in the workplace in Germany.

Caroline Murphy

Managing Director, DH Associates

Caroline Murphy has worked in the learning and development sector for 23 years, joining DH Associates in 2004. She led DH Associates in their most recent inspection under the new standards and in their first inspection in 2010, both inspections resulted in a grade of Outstanding in all areas. Caroline specialises in the delivery of learning to the Care Sector, assisting DH Associates to be shortlisted for the Skills for Care Accolade Best Provider of Learning & Development in 2007, 2014 and 2016. DH Associates went on the win the accolade in 2007 and 2016. Her prior roles were managing learning and development in a local authority. Her professional background is in social work.

Lesley Davies OBE

Senior Vice President, BTEC and Apprenticeships, Pearson UK

Lesley is Senior Vice President for BTECs and Apprenticeships, having worked in the education sector both in the UK and overseas for over 25 years.

Since joining Pearson in 2012 Lesley has held a range of posts. She is currently responsible for the development of all Pearson’s UK technical and vocational qualifications and apprenticeships, and for all qualifications delivered in Colleges and Work based Learning providers.

Lesley has previously held the role of Senior Responsible Officer for all qualifications awarded by Pearson in the UK (delivered in the UK and internationally). She was responsible for setting and maintaining standards for all qualifications developed in the UK ensuring that they were developed using our World Class Qualification principles and grounded in strong academic research.

She has also led Pearson Qualifications International, ensuring the quality of all Pearson’s UK qualifications delivered internationally and supporting the key relationships in the countries using these qualifications, from Ministries of Education to those teaching in schools and colleges.

Lesley joined Pearson from the Association of Colleges (AOC), where she was Deputy Chief Executive. Her background is in teaching, in inspection and in policy development. Prior to her role at AOC she was National Director for the Framework for Excellence and Quality at the Learning and Skills Council. In 2015 she was awarded an OBE for services to education.

Shakira Martin

Vice President (Further Education), National Union of Students

Shakira Martin is Vice President (Further Education) at the National Union of Students, and former President of Lewisham Southwark College Students’ Union. She has studied a number of courses including ILM Leadership and Management and most recently completed her Diploma in Education and Training (DET).

As a single mother, Shakira knows first-hand the power of education to transform lives. Further education has given her 10 years’ worth of chances to break the cycle of deprivation, be a role model to her children and develop the confidence to stand for a national role. Her passion for education has developed over the last 4 years through overcoming the adversity of her past experiences.

Shakira has particular interests in teaching and learning quality, learner voice, college governance, education and politics. She is aspiring to become a Further Education College Principal.

Shakira hopes to share her journey to inspire, empower and motivate others to reach their full potential.

Rhiannon Wilson

Social Media Apprentice, Youth Employment UK

Rhiannon Wilson is the Social Media Apprentice at Youth Employment UK. Her role includes supporting and being part of the wide Youth Ambassador network at YEUK.

Rhiannon has represented the Youth Members of YEUK at national conferences, in parliament and across the UK at various events and online.

Rhiannon found it hard to make her own transition from education into employment and speaks passionately and from experience on the range of barriers young people may face.

Ashley McCaul

Chief Executive, Skills for Growth

Ashley McCaul is currently Chief Executive of London work-based learning provider Skills for Growth. Ashley has over 15 years’ experience working within post-16 education in both the public and charitable parts of the sector.

During her ten years leading Skills for Growth, Ashley has guided the organisation through significant change. All of the change has sought to build on the charity’s existing strengths, establish a distinctive mission and ethos, whilst responding to the rapidly changing post-16 environment. Skills for Growth are a significant deliverer of Apprenticeships, Traineeships and Study Programmes in London.

Prior to the CEO role at Skills for Growth, Ashley held a range of posts within Training and Enterprise Councils, Learning & Skills Councils (LSC) and the Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA). Her various roles have contributed to the implementation of government policy and leading on quality improvement initiatives nationally. She designed and delivered a Quality Improvement Network for Work Based Learning Providers in 9 national regions during her time with LSDA and worked on Contract and Quality Management (including pre and post inspection support) in her role with the LSC.


Mark Dawe

Chief Executive, AELP

Mark Dawe was appointed Chief Executive of AELP in March 2016 following five years as CEO of the Exam Board, OCR. Previously was Principal and Chief Executive of Oaklands College in Hertfordshire when he had been a board member of AELP. He has a wealth of experience across a broad spectrum in the education field. Prior to his role at Oaklands College, Mark was Deputy Director, FE Strategy at the Department of Education and Skills having joined as Deputy Director, Adult Basic Skills Strategy Unit in 2003. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, Mark joined Canterbury College, becoming Head of Corporate Services in 1994. In 2000, he helped set up eGS, an e-procurement provider to the public sector. He is currently a governor of Sawston Village College and vice chair of Stapleford Community Primary School. He is also on the Board of the UfI trust. Previously he has been a corporation member of Lewisham College as well as being on a variety of National Boards. In his spare time he is a scout leader, cycles and supports Plymouth Argyle!

Sue Pittock

Chief Executive, Remit Limited

Sue joined Remit as Managing Director in 2013 and subsequently became CEO. Sue is professionally qualified with a post grad MBA. Sue has previously assumed leadership positions which have benefitted from her drive and passion by putting the learner at the heart of the business. Sue brings with her over 10 years’ experience of working in the education and training sector.