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Policy Options & Consequences: Education System Design – perspectives from across the UK

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Drawing on and celebrating the launch of the recent publication Education System Design: Foundations, Policy Options and Consequences, this webinar introduces speakers from the four nations and authors from the book to debate the key challenges for education policy today. The book focuses mainly on England as, following an intense period of deregulation and marketisation of the school system and teacher education since 2010, practices in the education sector have become an international outlier. As the opening speaker, Sarah Younie will focus on policy development in England which is presented as a cautionary tale about how overzealous interventions by politicians has caused fragmentation and a loss of coherence in what was a successful system. She will outline a way forward for England to return to a coherent and stable education system with managed innovation, high quality CPD and teacher education, and a leading-edge curriculum preparing learners for the 21st century. The proposal is based on the setting up of a National Education Board called provisionally, “Education England”, with decisions arrived at through decision making through consensus between the major political parties, educational stakeholders and others. The contributions by Graham Donaldson from Scotland, Tom Crick from Wales and Paul McFlynn from Northern Ireland will draw on their experiences of recent national education policy development prior to opening up a wider discussion amongst the participants.

In particular we are looking to stimulate debate with participants through question-and-answer format with the panel of speakers. Questions can be sent in advance of the event in addition to those asked live on the day.

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Profile picture of Marilyn Leask
Marilyn Leask, Professor

Professor at De Montfort University

Professor Marilyn Leask is chair of the Education Futures Charity which has developed the MESH initiative – MESH= Mapping Educational Specialist knowhow ( The University of Winchester is a founder member of the charity and...

Profile picture of Brian Hudson
Brian Hudson, Professor Emeritus

Emeritus Professor of Education at University of Sussex

Brian Hudson is Emeritus Professor of Education and former Head of the School of Education and Social Work (2012-16) at the University of Sussex. He is Guest Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at Karlstad University in Sweden...

Deborah Outhwaite, Dr

Director at University of Liverpool

Deb Outhwaite has worked in education for 30 years. She has taught and examined at A-level, spent a decade teaching undergraduate and postgraduate education programmes. She is Director of Developing Teachers, Schools and Academies (DTSA), and is...


Profile picture of Paul McFlynn
Paul McFlynn, Dr

Lecturer in Education at Ulster University

Paul is a lecturer in Education at Ulster University. He is course director for the PGCE in Physical Education (PE). His research to date has concentrated on the role of critical reflection in initial teacher education and on the role of...

Profile picture of Graham Donaldson
Graham Donaldson, Professor

Honorary Professor at University of Glasgow

A former teacher, Graham Donaldson headed Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) from 2002-10. As chief professional advisor to successive Scottish Ministers on education, he took a leading role in Scotland’s major reform of its...

Profile picture of Tom Crick
Tom Crick, Professor

Professor of Digital Education & Policy at Swansea University

Tom Crick is Professor of Digital Education & Policy at Swansea University, a joint appointment between the School of Education, the Department of Computer Science, and the Faculty of Health & Life Sciences. While his disciplinary background is...

Profile picture of Sarah Younie
Sarah Younie, Professor

Professor in Education Innovation at De Montfort University Alumni

Sarah Younie is a principal lecturer in Education at De Montfort University and a visiting Senior Research Fellow at University of Bedfordshire. She has been involved in international research on educational technologies and teaching for twenty...

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