Decorative Arrow Decorative Arrow


Meeting the challenge: Addressing schools’ needs after two years of disruption


Half-day conference in association with Cairneagle
24th November 2022
13:00-17:30 (plus networking reception 17.30-19.00)
Holiday Inn Bloomsbury, London

Delegate rates and registration
Subscribers: £225 + VAT Book
Non-subscribers: £295 + VAT Book

The pandemic has changed how schools, colleges and other education providers deliver learning, from digitally transforming how teachers deliver lessons, to introducing and embracing hybrid teaching models. Additionally, the last two years have forever changed how consumers think about consuming education. Above all, schools have emerged from the pandemic different to how they were before.

These shifts require a new perspective on technology and new ways of working, and are driving deeper investment by companies and investors in digital solutions and services. Recent investment activity is, in many cases, just the beginning of the transformation of the industry over the coming years.

Join this half-day conference to hear three panels of industry experts explore what these changes mean for the education industry in terms of engaging with schools, corporate strategy and innovation.

Sessions and speakers

Three panels of industry experts will speak and take questions on three areas:

SESSION 1: Engaging with schools … the new normal?

  • How has rising to the profound challenges posed by lockdowns changed schools’ and MATs’ operating model and how is the industry reacting to these changes?
  • What do schools now want (and not want) from their suppliers?
  • Now that parents have been brought into their children’s classrooms via online platforms, what does their new elevated role mean for schools and edtech?
  • How are rising costs impacting the spending plans of schools and MATs in the current academic year and beyond?
  • What are the likely implications of the DfE funded Oak National Academy on schools and the education industry.


  • Chair: Andrea Carr, Chair of Teacher Tapp and non-executive director of eEducation Albert.
  • Mark Woods, CEO, Meridian Trust.
  • Andrew Freeman, Vice President, Secondary Portfolio, Pearson plc.
  • Chris Rothwell, Strategy and Customer Director, RM plc.

SESSION 2: What do recent M&A transactions tell us about the UK school’s market?

  • What are the factors driving deal activity across the sector?
  • What are the growth opportunities arising from consolidation?
  • How important is technology in delivering the required outcomes when integrating acquisitions?
  • What are the benefits to schools / MATs from market consolidation?
  • Will the current level of enthusiasm among investors supporting asset prices persist?


  • Chair: Sam Lecacheur, Partner, Cairneagle.
  • Ian Koxvold, Head of Education, Strategy and Corporate Development, Supporting Education Group.
  • James Weatherill, CEO, The Key Group's MIS division.
  • Jon Romer-Lee, Director, Strategy and Corporate Development, Tes Global.

SESSION 3: Is EdTech investment aligned to schools' needs and how can its impact be maximised?

  • Are schools spending their technology budgets on the right edtech and how important to schools is proven edtech with clear benefits?
  • Post-pandemic, do schools and MATs have a clearer strategic vision for the use of technology inside and outside the classroom? And are budget constraints making it difficult for schools to realise their technology strategy?
  • What are the challenges of establishing a new way to address schools’ problems, and the journey from experimental innovation to accepted business as usual?
  • How can companies help support in-class technology training to enable teachers to make the most of edtech?
  • What are the challenges for schools and MATs in working with small or early stage EdTech businesses?


  • Chair: Nina Iles, recently Head of EdTech at BESA.
  • James Browning, Chief Operating Officer, Academies Enterprise Trust.
  • Steve Connolly, Senior Head of Edtech Strategy, AQA.
  • Dan Sandhu, Chief Executive Officer, Sparx Learning.

Networking reception

Networking reception (17.30 to 19.00).


13:00 – 13:45 Registration and refreshments
13:45 – 14:00 Chair’s introduction and welcome - Ed Tranham, Editor, The Assignment Report.
14:00 – 15:00 Panel session 1: Engaging with schools … the new normal?
15:00 – 16:00 Panel session 2: What do recent M&A transactions tell us about the UK school’s market?
16:00 – 16:30 Refreshments
16:30 – 17:30 Panel session 3: Is EdTech investment aligned to schools needs and how can its impact be maximised?
17:30 – 19:00  Reception

Substitutions, cancellations and refund policy 

Substitutions welcome at any time.

Written cancellations made four weeks before the seminar date will be subject to a full refund. Written cancellations made two weeks before the seminar date will be subject to a 50% + VAT refund per ticket. Cancellations made less than two weeks before the seminar data cannot be refunded. All cancellations must be made in writing.

We reserves the right to alter the programme without notice due to unforeseen circumstances. We also reserve the right in our absolute discretion and without further liability to cancel the programme in which case all monies will be refunded.

Meissa Limited (publishers of The Assignment Report) safeguard your data and we do not share your data with any third party. We will endeavour to keep you informed of our other events and products where appropriate.