Conference preview: Education Innovation


A new national education conference and exhibition takes place in Manchester next month with free entry for teachers. Janet Murray looks at the programme.

Education Innovation will bring together some of the UK’s leading education experts and practitioners to share expert advice, training and guidance in using technology to improve teaching and learning.

Free to attend, Education Innovation is hoping to offer teachers insight into the latest learning technologies and how they can be used to help your students achieve their potential.

Central debate hub

Sponsored by RM Education, the show will host a number of debates alongside keynote speeches from people including academic and broadcaster Dr Alice Roberts, shadow education minister Stephen Twigg, psychotherapist and broadcaster Dr Tanya Byron, and BBC Click’s Spencer Kelly.

The future of the ICT and computing curriculum, what’s next for academies and free schools, and encouraging young people to consider careers in STEM are just some of the topics up for debate.

Key speakers include Natalie Evans (New Schools Network), Brian Lightman (Association of School and College Leaders), Maggie Philbin (broadcaster and TeenTeach founder), Francis Gilbert (teacher and author), Yvonne Baker (National Science Learning Centre), Stuart Ball (Microsoft), and David Way (National Apprenticeship Service).


Around 70 exhibitors from both worldwide corporations and a number of smaller specialist companies will be on-hand to showcase and demonstrate new and ground-breaking technology and ideas.


Teachers and educators will have free access to a varied programme of CPD workshops. These hands-on, interactive sessions, delivered by educators and thought-leaders, are aimed at giving practical ideas and know-how for teachers to take back to the classroom. Highlights include:

  • Using ICT to Inspire: Raising levels of creativity in children of all ages and abilities.

  • Fashion, Fads and Real Learning: Five pieces of research all teachers should know.

  • Sprogs with Blogs: Improving children’s literacy through blogging.?

  • The Role of Peer-to-Peer Learning in Teaching Computer Programming.

  • Developing a Social Media Strategy for Your School (with Jennifer Begg, who has written for SecEd on this theme recently).

Leaders’ conference

There will also be tailored content for school leaders and business managers, with updates on the ICT curriculum from senior Ofsted and Department for Education (DfE) officials and seminars on academy conversion and teacher training. Elsewhere, there will be a session on managing the media, featuring SecEd’s editor Pete Henshaw.

Other speakers include school inspector and national advisor for ICT David Brown, Bob Harrison, chair of the Teaching Schools Technology Advisory Board,?David Weston, chief executive of the Teacher Development Trust, and Vanessa Pittard, head of the Technology Policy Unit at the DfE.

The leaders’ conference is the only paid-for section of the show. Tickets cost £60 for one day or £80 for two. SecEd readers can use discount code “SEC50” when registering to claim a 50 per cent discount. Early reservation is recommended (see later for details).

Other events

Education Innovation will also play host to a number of other events. Manchester Metropolitan University’s “iThink Therefore iPad” conference takes place on Friday, March 8, exploring the existing and potential applications of Apple’s iPad and iPod Touch within an educational context. “iThink” delegates will receive discounted entry to leaders’ conference sessions.

And, a year on from the launch of the Raspberry Pi computer (a credit-card sized computer developed to promote the teaching of computer science in schools), the Raspberry Jamboree will take place on Saturday, March 8.


Education Innovation is being held at Manchester Central on March 8 and 9 and 2,000 people are expected to come along. The show is free to attend but some of the CPD seminars may fill up quickly. As such early registration is advised.

You can register online at and follow the build-up to the event on Twitter @EICEmanchester.

  • Janet Murray is an education journalist.
Further information


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