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Videos of past events

Working with research and event partners and sponsors across Westminster and central London, CfEE stages a variety of events to engage the public in the policy debate and inform its research. Whilst many of these are held under the Chatham House Rule, each year we hold a number of public events. Recordings of these events can be viewed below.



Parents: The silent education stakeholder?

Tuesday 22nd May 2018



Panel 1: Is education done to you or with you? 

Chaired by Neil McIntosh, President, CfEE. 

Panelists: Mark Lehain, Director, Parents and Teachers for Excellence, Stephen Rollett, Inspections and accountability specialist, Association of School and College Leaders, Michelle Doyle Wildman, Acting CEO, Parentkind, Emma Knights OBE, Chief Executive, National Governance Association. 

Key Note: Parents and accountability 

Amy Finch, Head of strategic development, Ofsted.

Panel 2: Can parent engagement influence outcomes? 

Chaired by Karen Wespieser, Director, CfEE. 

Panellists: Tony McAleavy, Research and consultancy director, Education Development Trust,  Dr Kathy Weston, Parental Engagement Expert, Barnaby LenonChair of the Independent Schools Council, Norman LaRocque, Principal Education Specialist, Asian Development Bank.  

The school reforms of the last three decades aimed to activate parental choice by increasing access to information about school performance. As a result, parents now have more information about schools than ever before through more data in the league tables and qualitative information in Ofsted reports. There is a significant research literature around this aspect of parental engagement, but all too often, once children are on roll parental engagement – and the research literature investigating it – diminishes.

What evidence there is, points to a vital connection between parental participation and the teaching profession in educating the next generation. A recognition of joint responsibility is an essential precursor for defining the roles of teachers and parents. This cannot happen in a vacuum. A pro education culture – in society rather than confined to government – is an absolute essential foundation for high-quality education. This can only be delivered by representatives of the teachers and learners working together
Yet, in a time when school accountability is frequently in the headlines in England, the role of parents in holding schools to account is rarely discussed. Whilst Ofsted and high-stakes testing are often seen as the primary accountability measures in the English system, can accountability can be exercised more subtly and more effectively by a clearer view of parents as the key stakeholders of our system?
At this event speakers and attendees considered the parent perspective and sought economic understanding of the issues in international perspective.
Event sponsors
What relevance do international assessments have for understanding England's education system? 
Tuesday 8th May 2018

ChairCarole Willis, Chief Executive, NFER. PanellistsDr Dirk Hastedt, Executive Director, IEA; Juliet Sizmur, Research Manager, NFER; Dr Christian Bokhove, Associate Professor, University of Southampton, Cath Murray, Features Editor & Head of Digital for SchoolsWeek and FEWeek.

England has been participating in international large scale assessments for over 20 years. The best-known of these – PISA, PIRLS and TIMSS – focus on students’ achievement in reading, mathematics and science, but they are increasingly branching out into other outcome measures as well.

Run by the OECD and the IEA, but funded by national governments, these studies have had a significant influence over education policy in England and overseas. Each time new results are published there is much fanfare and interrogation of global league tables. There is also frequent commentary from detractors of the tests, academics or teachers who are concerned about the methodology or how the results are used.

However, amongst this maelstrom, there is rarely time to step back and consider what we can learn overall about the performance of England’s education system from across the studies. This panel discussion will feature some of the key players in the system including the IEA, academics and policy makers. Together, they will consider what the latest round of findings (from PISA 2015, TIMSS 2015 and PIRLS 2016) can tell us education in England when placed in an international context. 

Presentations:  Dr Dirk Hastedt | Juliet Sizmur | Cath Murray
Event sponsored by







CfEE Panel discussion: Skilling up for a future: prospective policy challenges 

Tuesday 7th November 2017


ChairJames Croft, Principal, Centre for Education Economics (CfEE);

Lead speakerProfessor Ewart Keep, Chair in Education, Training and Skills, Department of Education, University of Oxford

PanellistsMark Dawe, CEO, Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP); Tom Richmond, former senior adviser to the Skills Minister, vocational education and skills; and Gemma Gathercole, Head of Funding and Assessment, Lsect.

At a recent CfEE roundtable, a number of misgivings were expressed by participants about the design of the government’s vocational and technical education reforms. These included concerns about the schools accountability bias in favour of core academic subjects and lack of information and incentives to support post-16 take up of technical and vocational options; the approach taken to definition and regulation of the new apprenticeship and T-level standards; over-dependence on the contribution of large Levy-paying employers and lack of provision to support the needs of SMEs; and persistent mismatches between demand and the supply of skills. At this event, Ewart and panellists consider what policy revisions or further work may be required to move towards provision that can rise to the challenges of deteriorating skills, emerging skills gaps, the labour market implications of Brexit, and the ongoing need to improve productivity in relation to levels of public spending.

CfEE seminar: School funding and outcomes

Wednesday 11th October 2017

ChairCarole Willis, Chief Executive, National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER)

PanelistsBen Durbin, Head of International Education at the NFER; Sandra McNally, Professor in the School of Economics at the University of Surrey; Luke Sibieta, Programme Director, Education, Employment and Evaluation division, Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); and Mark Parrett, Audit Manager, Education value for money, National Audit Office.

Despite widespread concerns about the level of school funding, much of the academic literature has struggled to find a significant link between (moderate) changes in school expenditure and changes in pupil outcomes.  Moreover, schools (and education systems) with similar levels of funding can achieve very different levels of pupil attainment.  Evidence is lacking about the appropriate level of funding for schools, the scope for economies of scale (at a school or MAT level), how funding is best administered and where best to spend limited funds in order to have the greatest impact. At this seminar, a leading panel of scholars draw their conclusions as to where the balance of evidence lies on these important issues, with particular attention to the impact of changes to school funding and social mobility in England, including the likely effects of the new National Funding Formula.

CfEE Annual Research Digest 2016-17: 'Evidence on uses of technology in education'
Tuesday 4th July 2017
ChairTim Oates, CBE, Group Director of Assessment Research and Development, Cambridge Assessment
PanelistsGabriel Heller Sahlgren, Research Director, Centre for Education Economics; Nick Hassey, Associate Director of Research and Evaluation, Teach First; John David Blake, Head of Education and Social Reform, Policy Exchange; Martin Robinson, educationist, consultant and author
A substantial amount of money is spent on technology by schools, families and policymakers with the hope of improving educational outcomes. However, the results of these technology initiatives have been mixed. As often as not, the introduction of technology into classrooms has failed to achieve the grand expectations proponents anticipated. Indeed, stories and studies abound about how specific student populations were unable to benefit from particular innovations that feature the use of technology for teaching and learning.
In this, our second Annual Research Digest, leading researchers and thinkers consider important pieces of research they think should be acknowledged and discussed in education policy circles - this year with a special focus on the impacts of technology on educational outcomes.
Download a free .pdf copy of the Digest here.