SPEAKERS 2017-12-07T12:00:30+00:00

The Skills Conference 2018: Speakers

Dame Asha Khemka
Dame Asha KhemkaPrincipal and Chief Executive
Dame Asha has over 30 years’ experience in further education and skills and is possibly one of the most prominent figures working within the sector today. She is the Principal and Chief Executive of West Nottinghamshire College Group. A multi-million pound business in its own right, it makes a difference to 32,000 young people and adults, has a turnover approaching £65m and is the largest college provider of apprenticeships in the UK delivering over 14,000 in all trade occupations each year. The College is also the sponsor of Vision Studio School (Nottinghamshire’s first studio school). Dame Asha has personally driven a £50m investment transforming the College’s estate a project which recently concluded with the opening of Mansfield’s first University Centre. As the founding Chair of the former AoC India Dame Asha spearheaded education developments between the UK and India, overseeing numerous partnerships and establishing alliances with key Indian stakeholders. She has accompanied several Ministerial delegations to India joining the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Education Ministers in recent missions. She sits on many national boards and committees including the Cabinet Office’s Education Honours Committee. Her contribution to education has been recognised through many accolades. In 2009 she was awarded the OBE for services to education and in January 2014 became the first Indian born in living memory to be awarded the DBE. Also in 2014 Dame Asha was named inaugural recipient of the Dadabhai Naoroji Award and ‘Woman of the Year’ by the Prime Minister.arol has over 15 years’ experience in designing and delivering English, maths, ICT and employability programmes to adults and young people. A fully qualified teacher and literacy specialist, she first joined bksb Ltd in February 2012.
Matthew Burton
Matthew BurtonAssistant Head at Thornhill Academy
Matthew Burton, or Mr Burton, rose to fame in the Channel 4 documentary Educating Yorkshire. He is an English specialist, and is currently Assistant Head at Thornhill Academy. During Educating Yorkshire, Mr Burton inspired and engaged many of his students, but most notably provided exceptional support to Musharaf Asghar, one of his year 11 pupils who struggled with an acute stammer.
Paul Joyce
Paul Joyce Deputy Director for Further Education and Skills, Ofsted
Paul Joyce is one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors and is the Deputy Director for Further Education & Skills. Paul joined Ofsted in 2005 as HMI having previously worked within the Further Education and Skills sector in both general and specialist further education colleges. Immediately prior to working for Ofsted, Paul was a consultant for the former Department for Education and Skills and worked on national initiatives supporting improvements to teaching and learning and in leadership and management. Paul has significant inspection experience in both the schools and further education & skills remits and prior to being appointed Deputy Director was a Senior HMI with responsibility for the college inspection programme nationally.
Josh Dixon
Josh Dixon Senior consultant at award winning recruitment firm Corecom
Josh Dixon has worked professionally in business for just over 12 months since completing his L3 apprenticeship. Formally an underachieving school dropout, he is now the most senior consultant at award winning recruitment firm Corecom, leading a team of candidate consultants in Leeds and most recently has been recognised for the work he did in contributing to the IT industry at the UK Digital Recruitment Awards.

Before leaving school, Josh’s career adviser once told him that he wasn’t smart enough to go to university and that the most he could hope for out of his career would be to become a long haul driver. Since then, he has spoken at multiple educational conferences across the U.K. as well as being invited into schools and colleges to share his inspirational story to other students.

Sue Southwood
Sue Southwood Programme Manager for Professional Standards and Workforce Development
Sue has responsibility for the Foundation’s work to improve the teaching of maths and English, and for supporting learners with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND).

Before joining the Foundation in September 2014, Sue was Head of Basic Skills at NIACE where she worked for 9 years. Sue began her career as a Literacy and GCSE English teacher for Norfolk County Council. An experienced manager with over 25 years’ experience in the sector, Sue has led a variety of national programmes to develop and improve practice and has written several publications. Prior to joining NIACE, Sue held a number of posts including Curriculum Manager at City and Islington College, and also spent a year in Spain as an EFL Teacher. Sue also has experience of workplace learning, setting up and managing basic skills at work programmes for Northern Foods, Ford Motor Company and Transport for London.

Carolyn Lewis
Carolyn LewisManaging Director, Vocational Innovation Ltd
Carolyn Lewis is a work based learning consultant specialising in the application of information and learning technologies. Prior to starting her own companies, Vocational Innovation Ltd and the Elearning Marketplace Ltd, Carolyn spent over 20 years’ in the FE and Skills and Learning and Development sectors where she combined her experience of the management of government funded programmes, quality assurance as an external verifier and her IT experience in the private sector, with her passion for developing innovative approaches to delivering work based learning. Carolyn managed the JISC remit for supporting the work based learning sector in England and Wales and she was also Projector Director of the £2 million London Assessor project, which trained and qualified over 600 individuals to join the work based learning sector in London. In the past few years Carolyn has been leading a variety of projects and working with numerous training providers to enhance and bring efficiencies to their provision through the use of innovative solutions. Carolyn founded the online open marketplace for e-learning, www.elearningmarketplace.co.uk in 2013.
Annmarie Higgins
Annmarie HigginsExecutive Coach, Trainer and Consultant
A highly experienced consultant and professional development trainer and facilitator focused predominantly in the post 16 education sector. Over the past 17 years she has taught maths and numeracy in a range of post 16 settings with a particular skill in engaging 14-19 learners. In addition to teaching Annmarie has developed numeracy resources and written maths papers for awarding bodies. She is a Professional Development Lead for NCETM. In conjunction with her teaching career she has experience of a wealth of consultancy positions on numerous national development programmes targeted at quality improvement and professional development for teachers, assessors and managers. Annmarie is a writer and trainer for the Education and Training foundation; delivering nationally the Formative Assessment CPD, the Vocational Vitaliser CPD, the Level 5 GCSE Maths 5 day accredited programme etc.

She has a professional, dynamic and engaging style of tutoring, facilitation, and consultancy underpinned by extensive knowledge of the demands of the education sector with a passion for teaching and learning.

Annmarie holds a PGCE and is qualified to Master’s level in both Executive Coaching and Leadership and Management.

Esther Barrett
Esther BarrettSubject Specialist: Teaching, Learning and Assessment, JISC
Esther has been working in the education sector for nearly 20 years. From teaching Literacy and ESOL in the community she went on to design courses, train teachers and expand learning opportunities on a regional learning network project. As an eLearning advisor with Jisc Wales she supported the ACL and voluntary sectors. Now a Jisc Subject Specialist in Teaching, Learning & Assessment, Esther has been closely involved with the digital literacy movement and the development of a national digital strategy for the post 16 sectors in Wales. She offers consultancy and training in such areas as digital capability, blended learning and web conferencing. She was recently awarded a PhD in Education and online language.
Julia Smith
Julia SmithMaths Teacher Trainer and Author
Having worked for people such as BBC Bitesize, Cambridge University Press, AQA & Harper Collins, Julia has a wealth of experience as a specialist Maths trainer in a variety of schools and colleges. As a GCSE and Functional Maths specialist, together with being Chair of The Board at Writtle University College, Julia has a unique take on the success of both of these qualifications.
Kevin Piper
Kevin Piper Senior Consultant/Director of Education
Kevin Piper has taught for over 30 years in schools, university and FE and as been a Head Teacher as well as a school improvement leader in a range of diverse settings.

He has also led teams working on raising achievement in hundreds of British schools and colleges, with the EU on international projects, with national schools in settings as diverse Kuwait and Moscow, with the DfE and as part of the delivery partnership with The Education Training Foundation.

Kevin is a validated trainer for the British Council and for exam boards. He has worked as assessor with various awarding bodies ranging from exam boards to the Chartered Managers Institute and still runs revision workshops for students.

He speaks at conferences around the country and has run numerous courses both in Britain and internationally as well as producing DVDs on ‘Outstanding Lessons’.
As Director of Education, Kevin has a large portfolio of courses and has run bespoke training for well over 500 schools.

Beej Kaczmarczyk
Beej KaczmarczykSubject Specialist: Teaching, Learning and Assessment, JISC
Beej is well-known in the FE and Skills sector and has an excellent reputation for his skills as a consultant and trainer, and as an expert in education policy, management, planning, teaching and learning, funding and finance. An experienced consultant with over 20 years’ experience, he has worked across a wide range of educational institutions in the UK and abroad. Prior to this he was Deputy Head of a large comprehensive school and executive director at two FE colleges, and acting Principal at one.

More speakers:

Department for Education, Speaker TBC
Paul Clayton, Director, National Association for the Teaching of English
Claire Collins, Learning and Literacy Consultant
Jai Atwal, Sales Manager, bksb
Matthew Clark, Account Manager, bksb