AQA leads education policy discussions at the party conferences

Published: Monday 14 Oct 2019

Education charity AQA attended the recent party conferences and led discussions on the future of education policy.

In Bournemouth, AQA sponsored a discussion organised by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) at the Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference and AQA’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Michael Turner, chaired the panel. Speakers included former education minister the Rt Hon David Laws, the National Education Union co-general secretary Dr Mary Bousted, TES deputy editor Ed Dorrell and Lib Dem education spokesperson Layla Moran MP. The topic was broad – ‘What next for Liberal Democrat education policy?’ – and the speakers’ contributions were accordingly wide-ranging.

In Brighton at the Labour Party Annual Conference, we hosted a roundtable dinner on ‘What Labour’s plans for social justice mean for social mobility’. We brought together the leaders of teacher associations and social mobility charities. Some were supportive of Labour’s plans, while others felt that social justice and social mobility don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

We also sponsored the EPI Education Reception, at which Michael Turner, EPI director Natalie Perera and shadow schools minister Mike Kane MP gave brief speeches – and we brought together Labour members and others from across the education sector to network.

Finally, in Manchester at the Conservative Party Conference, we hosted a roundtable dinner on a science and technology curriculum for tomorrow.  Held at the Manchester Science & Industry Museum, the dinner brought together AQA science colleagues, local government policymakers, industrialists, educators and employers. The main consensus seemed to be that our different sectors need to communicate better and that predicting technological advances can be very difficult.

Speaking about the conferences, Michael Turner said:

“Party conferences are an important opportunity to ensure politicians know about the great work AQA does in setting, delivering and marking around 11 million exam scripts per year, as well as providing evidence-led research to policymakers and bringing together people who are passionate about education from across the sector.”

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