Skills and Education Group


16 May, 2018
9:00am - 6:00pm


East Midlands Conference Centre, Beeston Lane, Nottingham, NG7 2RJ


£75 for members
£75 for non-members



  • Martine Wright MBE 7/7 survivor, Paralympic Athlete and Inspirational Speaker
  • Jonathan Shaw Chief Executive of Policy Connect
  • Stephen Evans Chief Executive of Learning and Work Institute
  • Richard Atkins CBE Further Education Commissioner
  • Shakira Martin President of the National Union Students

Martine Wright MBE

7/7 survivor, Paralympic Athlete and Inspirational Speaker

Martine Wright has been on a remarkable journey. She was the most injured and last recovered survivor of the terrorist attacks in London on 7th July 2005. Martine lost both her legs the day after London was awarded the right to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. She courageously rebuilt her life and took up the sport of sitting volleyball, eventually earning a place in the Great Britain team and competing in front of a home crowd at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Martine is currently captain of Great Britain women's sitting volleyball team. Following the conclusion of the Paralympics, Martine was awarded the prestigious 2012 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity. In November 2013 she was appointed Team London Champion by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, where she campaigns to get more people involved in volunteering. Martine has spoken in front of 8000 youngsters in Wembley Arena ,13000 accountants at the 02 and to numerous clients from all sectors. She has also competed in a Strictly Come Dancing special and commentated on the Invictus Games in 2014 Martine also has a strong business background. She graduated from the University of East London in 1996 with a degree in Psychology and Communication Studies and worked as International Marketing Manager for CNET before the terrorist attacks. She was awarded two Honorary Degrees in recognition of her contribution to sport in the face of adversity, from York St John University and from the University of East London. Martine is the patron of six charities. She serves as a regular inspirational speaker at various high-profile events across the UK. In 2016 Martine was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services to Sport.

martinewright.co.uk @ martine_wright

Jonathan Shaw

Chief Executive of Policy Connect

Jonathan Shaw has been Chief Executive of Policy Connect since June 2016. Policy Connect is the collaborative think tank that leads a network of parliamentary groups, research commissions and forums. For over twenty years Policy Connect has brought together academics, business, charities and the public sector with parliamentarians and government to inform and improve UK public policy. Jonathan started his working life as fruit picker in his native Kent he then worked in social care as a care assistant before returning to education to train as a social worker where he specialised in child protection and look after children. Jonathan was a local authority councillor before being elected to Parliament for three terms between 1997-2010. During his time as an MP he served on the Education Select Committee, as a Government Whip, Environment Minister, Works and Pensions Minister and was also the Regional Minister for South East England. Before joining Policy Connect, Jonathan led a consultancy company that supported a range of organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors. Jonathan is Chair of the Blackthorn Trust, a mental health and rehabilitation charity based in Maidstone.

www.policyconnect.org.uk @Policy_Connect

Stephen Evans

Chief Executive of Learning and Work Institute

Stephen is Chief Executive of Learning and Work Institute. He joined NIACE (National Institute of Adult Continuing Education), which merged with Inclusion to become Learning & Work Institute, in September 2014, as Deputy Chief Executive, responsible for the Institute's research and development work. Stephen joined NIACE from Working Links, a leading provider of employment and skills services, where he was responsible for policy, strategy and business development. Prior to this, he worked for the London Development Agency as Director of Employment and Skills, commissioning programmes to support out-of-work Londoners back into jobs and training, and leading the work of the London Skills and Employment Board, chaired by the Mayor. Before this, Stephen was Chief Economist at the Social Market Foundation, publishing research on a range of public policy areas including health, skills, housing and employment. This followed six years as Senior Policy Advisor in HM Treasury, in a range of roles leading on policy to cut child poverty, increase employment and boost productivity.

www.learningandwork.org.uk @LearnWorkUK

Richard Atkins CBE

Further Education Commissioner

Richard Atkins was appointed Further Education Commissioner in October 2016, with responsibility for leading Area Reviews, interventions and quality improvements in the FE and Sixth Form Colleges Sector. This work now includes early interventions (Diagnostic Assessments), National Leaders of FE and the Strategic Colleges Improvement Fund. Previously Richard was a college Principal for 21 years, initially at Yeovil College and between 2002 and 2016 at Exeter College. During his tenure at Exeter the College was judged outstanding by Ofsted and won several national awards for excellence. Richard has held a number of national positions, including being AoC President and a Commissioner for adult and vocational learning. In total Richard has spent over 35 years working in colleges as a teacher and leader, having previously had a short career in business.

www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-education @educationgovuk

Shakira Martin

President of the National Union Students

Shakira Martin is the President of the National Union Students. After serving as Vice President (Further Education) for 2 years, Shakira was elected President in April 2017. She successfully completed a Diploma in Education and Training whilst sitting on the NUS Black Students’ Campaign Committee as the FE representative. Shakira is the second President in NUS history to not have gone to university before taking up the post.


Sponsors & Exhibitors


Randstad believes in the power of people and finds the best candidates to help you grow, perform and succeed.


Educations & Skills Consultancy

The Education & Skills Consultancy can assist you in finding long term funding partners who you can work with to develop existing funding streams and introduce new ones to meet your customers’ requirements. In addition to matching delivery and funding partners The Education & Skills Consultancy can work with you to develop tender responses for a wide variety of funders. Our network of associate bid writers have experience in writing tenders for; Skills Funding Agency, Education Funding Agency, Department for Work and Pensions, European Social Fund and Local Authorities.

www.education-and-skills.com 0845 257 9500


ForSkills is the UK’s leading e-learning provider for English, maths and ICT assessments and learning resources for post-16 education and e-portfolios.


Education & Training Foundation

The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) works with teachers, trainers, leaders and employers. We give you the professional development that helps you to deliver excellent further and vocational education and training. Our priorities include maths and English, apprenticeship delivery, leadership and the sector Professional Standards.

www.et-foundation.co.uk 020 3740 8280


bksb is the UK’s most popular Functional Skills and GCSE eLearning Solution and won ‘Company of the Year’ at the Bett Awards in 2016 and 2017. Last year, around 1.5 million learners used our online assessments and learning resources to improve their skills in English, maths and ICT. The bksb eLearning platform identifies skill gaps specific to each learner, then offers tailored, engaging learning content that can be accessed anywhere, at any time. It supports organisations with powerful reporting data in line with Ofsted and funding requirements. We support thousands of colleges, training and apprenticeship providers, and employers. Get in touch or visit our website for a free online trial, webinar or visit. www.bksb.co.uk

www.bksb.co.uk 01623 413 333

Travel & Accommodation

We have negotiated a discounted rate at the Orchard Hotel, which is where the conference is taking place. For further information on the negotiated rates please contact our team by calling 0115 854 1631.

General Information

We will send you an email confirmation and joining instructions, including a venue map approximately one week before the Conference.