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Thomas Deacon Education Trust

Peterborough Education Conference

Lord Adonis and Fiona Onasanya MP are key speakers at first Peterborough Education Conference

Lord Adonis and Fiona Onasanya MP spoke to dozens of Peterborough’s education, business and city leaders at the first Peterborough Education Conference, hosted by The Peterborough Fabian Society and Thomas Deacon Education Trust.

The conference, which took place at Thomas Deacon Academy, encouraged leaders to debate the future of education in the city and agree a way to collectively raise aspirations and transform life chances for its young people.

The keynote speakers included Peterborough’s recently elected Member of Parliament, Fiona Onasanya MP, and Lord Adonis, former Minister of State for Education. Lord Adonis was also Head of Policy at the Number 10 Policy Unit from 2001 to 2003, specialising in constitutional and educational policy, and helped to introduce the academies policy.

The conference featured a panel debate with representatives from University Centre Peterborough, the Peterborough Youth Parliament, Thomas Deacon Education Trust, The Fabian Society and Opportunity Peterborough. The panel deliberated topics ranging from making the most of the city’s diverse culture to forging more effective school and business partnerships. Breakout sessions also considered how Peterborough can stop underselling itself and how education can play an important role in achieving a high skilled and high aspiration economy. 

Julie Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of Thomas Deacon Education Trust, said: “It was an honour to host the Fabian Society’s first Peterborough Education Conference and to bring those who shape our education system into one room to debate the topics close to our hearts. I am excited by the ideas shared at the conference and hope everyone went away with something they could put into practice to help improve education in the city and the life chances of our young people.”

Brian Keegan, Secretary of Peterborough Fabian Society, said: “It was a delight to work with the Thomas Deacon Education Trust to organise this conference and I know that Lord Adonis, who was responsible for the decision to build the Thomas Deacon Academy, was keen to participate in it. Education has always been key to the Fabian Society as a means of building a fairer and more just society. I was delighted to be able to bring to the city an expert of the calibre of Lord Adonis to stimulate our thoughts on the subject of educational aspiration.”