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The Mayor's Education Conference 2013

By Sophie Count 

Friday 22nd November saw the hosting of the Mayor of London’s first ‘education conference’. This conference aimed to bring together the leaders of London schools with a range of overseas experts specialising in education policy. The long-term goal of this was cited as the improvement in the global standing of a London education and to promote success among its state-funded schools. The conference featured keynote speeches from the likes of Sander Dekker, the Minister for Primary and Secondary Education in the Netherlands, and Professor David Hogan of the National Institute of Education in Singapore. These key figures represented wisdom from countries which are among those leading the way for education globally, the hope being that their imparted knowledge on educational best practice at the conference would help to improve teaching excellence in London.

Despite the focus on improvement, Boris Johnson was also quick to highlight the successes of London schools in comparison with national figures. For instance, he stated that “Children from disadvantaged backgrounds, including those in care or on free school meals, do better in London than their counterparts in other regions. We need to talk about opportunity and have high expectations for our young people’s future, not harp on about the problems they face.” Boris was also optimistic about London’s levels of social mobility, claiming that London Schools are at the forefront of a shake-up of the public-school educated male elite currently dominating British society. However, despite this good news, it is also to be noted that a recent study conducted by the Mayor’s office clearly highlighted that there are still persistently high levels of variation in educational attainment between those who are richest and poorest in London.

At the conference, Johnson also announced the names of the top schools in London to have overcome economic and social barriers in order to reach high levels of both attainment and aspiration, these he labelled his ‘Gold Club Schools.’ We are happy to reveal that four of the schools IntoUniversity partner with in London made it on to the list, so congratulations are definitely in order!

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