University of Wales Trinity Saint David organises high-profile Education Conference


On Wednesday, June 15th, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David will be holding a high-profile Education Conference at Cardiff’s City Hall.  

The conference, entitled, Securing the Future: Building a Self-improving System will provide the education community in Wales with an opportunity to understand the priorities that will inform the work of the newly elected administration; to take stock of the progress the sector’s made in building a self-improving system; and to explore the challenges these priorities will set for leaders of education in the coming years.

The conference’s title comes from the Welsh Government’s Qualified for Life: An education improvement plan – a document that clearly affirms the importance and the impact of the education sector in Wales stating: ‘Education changes lives, it provides opportunity, it enables individuals to shape their futures, it builds stronger, more tolerant and cohesive societies, it is the foundation of a strong economy. In short, Education matters.’

One of the aspects the Government’s Qualified for Life policy document focuses on is ensuring that education leaders at every level work together in a self-improving system, providing mutual support and challenge to raise standards in all schools.  The event will therefore bring together individuals from a variety of education sectors in Wales to discuss this system, including headteachers and governors, Local Authority leaders, senior leaders from Regional Consortia, researchers and academics.

The four sessions of the conference will focus on the Welsh Government’s priorities for Education from 2016 to 2021 including system leadership and professional learning; building global leadership networks, and international testing and education policy – how PISA contributes to the development of education policy and strategy.

Speakers will include Professor David Woods CBE; Kate Farmer, Associate Director, Asia Society and Professor Louis Volante, Brock University & Maastricht Graduate School of Governance.

During the event, Steve Davies, Director of Education at the Welsh Government will give the key note speech outlining the Government’s priorities.  He will also launch the University’s Yr Athrofa: Institute of Education.

Yr Athrofa: Institute of Education is a coalition of international leaders of education working to transform education and transform lives in Wales and has three elements to its work.

The first is the establishment of an Education Commission for Wales.  Leading international education experts have pledged their support to the establishment of the Wales Education Commission to work alongside Yr Athrofa: Institute for Education

The Wales Education Commission brings together distinguished individuals who are considered leading thinkers with a record of outstanding success in their own fields of education. Drawn from across the globe, members of the Commission bring their individual thoughts, experience and challenges to bear on the work required to improve the quality of education in Wales.

The Wales Education Commission will meet three times a year to consider the pressing issues facing the education community in Wales.  They will be asked to comment on proposals for improving teaching and learning, the priorities for schools, colleges and Universities, and the work needed to make sure that children and young people from all backgrounds make the best possible progress to achieve their potential. 

The membership will certainly raise our game in Wales. The Welsh Government is focused on improving progress in Welsh schools and how well our pupils perform in comparison with other countries.

The Education Commission has been established to ensure that Yr Athrofa learns from the best education research, policy and practice internationally. The Education Commission contributes to the strategic direction of Yr Athrofa and challenges its practice and performance.

The members of the Education Commission include:

  • Professor Medwin Hughes DL, Vice Chancellor, University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Chair of the Commission
  • Carol Campbell, Associate Professor, Leadership and Educational Change, Ontario Institute for the Study of Education, University of Toronto
  • Paul Collard, Chief Executive, Creativity, Culture and Education
  • Keri Facer, Professor of Education and Social Futures, University of Bristol.
  • Trevor Gale, Head of School of Education, Glasgow University.
  • Laura Perille, President and CEO of Edvestors, Boston, USA.
  • James Ryan, Dean of the Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, USA.
  • Mick Waters, Professor of Education, Wolverhampton University
  • David Woods CBE, Professor of Education, London Leadership Centre
  • Philip Blaker, Chief Executive Qualifications Wales
  • Amy Sanders, Director of Dynamix
  • Professor Dylan E. Jones, Dean of the Faculty of Education and Communities, University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Secretary to the Commission
  • Peter Rabbett, Professor of Educational Leadership, University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Convener of the Commission

The Commission will draw on the testimony of expert witnesses in Wales and beyond and deliver a series of open reports to the Education Community.   Secretary to the Education Commission and Director of Yr Athrofa, Professor Dylan E. Jones echoed the belief in its impact.  “The opportunity to learn from such a talented and successful group of educationalists is invaluable. We look forward to challenging and thought-provoking debates that will have an impact on the delivery of education and opportunities for young people throughout Wales.”

At the core of Yr Athrofa is the Professional Learning Partnership – over 100 schools working with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David to develop and deliver a new form of teacher education. This partnership, launched on 16th May 2016, has started work on improving the way in which professional learning is planned, provided and evaluated. At the core of this work is the drive to embed research into education, to shape what we do and also to become part of the day to day work of teachers.

The University is also establishing Centres of Research Excellence to ensure that Yr Athrofa has the knowledge and understanding required to deliver its mission. Building on its current strengths in Early Years education, Equity, Welsh Language and Culture, Yr Athrofa is working with the University of Glasgow to create a research Centre for Educational Assessment; with colleagues in Scotland, Eire and in the regional consortia, to develop an Educational Leadership Centre; and with experts across Wales and beyond to develop excellence in mathematics education.

Yr Athrofa: the Institute of Education has an all-Wales reach.  It will ensure that the Professional Learning Partnership; the Centres of Research Excellence and the Wales Education Commission work to achieve its mission of “Transforming Education … Transforming Lives”.

To book your place at the Conference , please email

Note to Editor

  1. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David Conference “Securing the Future: Building a Self-Improving System” will take place at City Hall, Cardiff on Wednesday 15th June 2016 from 9am – 3pm. Representatives of the press and media are welcome.  

Further Information

  1. For further information please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Principal PR and Communications Officer, on 01267 676908 / / 07449 998476.