The 2014 Creative Education Conference

Thank you to all who attended the 2014 Creative Education Conference.

Conference report

Images from CEC 2014

Conference Video

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Video transcript

Social Media Highlights

Wednesday 12 February - Institute of Education, London

The conference brings together leaders from schools, colleges, universities and industry to:

  • inform the design of creative qualifications and how they are taught
  • discuss the latest views from leading thinkers from education and industry
  • share good practice and inspire innovation.

Keynote speakers

Tristram Hunt, MP, Shadow Secretary of State for EducationTristram Hunt, MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education


Tristram Hunt is Member of Parliament (Labour Party) for Stoke-on-Trent Central, and Senior Lecturer in Modern British History at Queen Mary, University of London.  He was a Member of the Select Committee on Political and Constitutional Reform, and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Energy Intensive Industries.  In April 2013, he was appointed a Shadow Education Minister, with responsibilities for young people, careers and junior apprenticeships. Most recently he has been appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Education in October 2013.

He took a First Class degree in history from the University of Cambridge (1995), before serving as an Exchange Fellow at the University of Chicago (1996), and returning to Cambridge to complete his doctoral thesis on Victorian civic pride (2000).  After working on the 1997 General Election campaign, he became a Special Adviser to Science Minister Lord Sainsbury (1997-2000), Associate Fellow at the Centre for History and Economics, King's College, Cambridge and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research.

Between 2001-2010, Tristram combined his post as lecturer in history at Queen Mary with work as a history broadcaster, presenting over fifteen radio and television programmes for the BBC and Channel 4.  In addition to making regular contributions to The Guardian and The Observer, he is also the author of The English Civil War: At First Hand (2002), Building Jerusalem: The Rise and Fall of the Victorian City (2004), and the award-winning biography, The Frock-coated Communist: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels (2009).  During this period, Tristram also served as a Trustee of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the Centre for Cities think-tank.

Since entering Parliament, Tristram has focused on the regeneration needs of Stoke-on-Trent; the ceramics industry and energy intensive sector; educational excellence; constitutional reform; and the Labour Party policy review.  He is a Trustee of the History of Parliament Trust and fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Jeremy Benson, Director of Policy, OfqualJeremy Benson, Director of Policy, Ofqual


Jeremy Benson is Ofqual's Director of Policy. He joined Ofqual in 2010, initially with responsibility for corporate services and he is now responsible for the organisation's policy work and relationships with policy departments. Before joining Ofqual, Jeremy had worked in the Department for Education and its predecessors for fifteen years. This included six years working on qualifications policy, three years in finance and a secondment to a university.

Ian Millner, Co-founder and CEO, Iris WorldwideIan Millner, Co-founder and CEO, Iris Worldwide


Ian Millner is the Chief Executive of iris Worldwide and a founding partner of the agency. Back in 1999, Ian, along with Stewart Shanley, set up iris with the idea becoming a real alternative to the large and traditional advertising-led global networks.  Fourteen years later, iris has started to emerge as the leading independent agency network with around 1,000 people all over the world in places such as: London, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Delhi, Shanghai, New York, Miami, Mexico City, Atlanta and Amsterdam.

Iris works with global clients such as Sony, Adidas, Shell, MINI, Unilever, Heineken, VW and Philips across an increasingly diverse range of disciplines such as: branding, CRM, PR, advertising, digital, retail, experiential, branded content, sponsorship, sales promotion, management consulting and research.

Before setting up iris, Ian held the role of New Business Director at IMP (now called Arc), one of the UK's leading below-the-line agencies. As New Business Director, Ian played a fundamental role in the agency's growth by securing several high profile new business wins, including Philips, Procter & Gamble, Fiat, Orange and Virgin Direct. Prior to this, Ian worked in account management, on accounts such as Umbro, Ericsson and Southern Comfort having joined the agency as a graduate in 1993.

Helen Thorne MBE, Director of Policy and Research, UCASHelen Thorne MBE, Director of Policy and Research, UCAS



Helen joined UCAS as the Director of Policy and Research in November 2010. Her remit includes responsibility for UCAS' analysis and research; engagement with the policy and funding community; press office; qualifications information and the UCAS Tariff.

With a degree in biology from the University of York, Helen began her career in pesticides regulation and managing food safety research for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

After joining the Natural Environment Research Council as Head of Evaluation in 1997, Helen developed extensive higher education policy experience working in a number of Research Council roles. She led the Research Council's UK team for five years from its inception and established and led the Research Council's UK office in the United States, strengthening collaboration between UK and US universities.

Helen joined UCAS from the Russell Group of Universities where she was previously the Head of Policy (Research), with responsibilities covering the student experience, postgraduate provision, and research funding. She was awarded an MBE in 2007 for services to the administration of science.

Laura Gander-Howe, Director of Learning and Skills Strategy, Arts Council EnglandLaura Gander-Howe, Director of Learning and Skills Strategy, Arts Council England


With a keen interest in staff development, and having introduced and developed mentoring and coaching models, Laura has recently qualified as an Executive Coach. As a senior executive within the public and education sector, she has established a range of successful strategic relationships with employers, providers, local authorities and government bodies such as The Inspectorate, QCA, DfES and the London Development Agency.

Laura's key achievements include leading the development of 14-19 partnerships across London East, developing and implementing a Quality Improvement Strategy, ensuring the strategic procurement of learning and skills programmes to satisfy demand for knowledge and skills in line with the economy of the London East region.

Conference tweets


AQA will be tweeting throughout the day. We encourage you to tweet from both your personal and organisation's accounts to talk about the Creative Education Conference. We will be tweeting from @AQA and would be grateful for retweets from your account(s). Please use the hashtag #AQACEC14 for all tweets related to the Creative Education Conference.

If you would like further information, please contact the Creative Education Conference team on 01483 556 482 or at