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Enjoying the return of in-person networking at ASCL's annual conference

Published: Mar 18, 2022 2 min read


STEM Learning and NCCE attended a bustling and successful ASCL annual conference at the ICC in Birmingham in March as delegates, exhibitors and speakers enjoyed a return to face to face networking.

The adjoining STEM Learning and NCCE stands were busy throughout the two days with senior leaders looking to find out more about our offerings.

Keynote speakers on day one included the Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi, writer and broadcaster Natasha Devon and former ASCL President Pepe Di’lasio.

Around 1,200 delegates from across the UK mingled across the ICC and as well as visiting our stands, enjoyed chatting with various exhibitors promoting various platforms and services geared towards senior leaders. Here we are awaiting the delegates before the start of day 1:


Steve Clarke, the NCCE's Computer Science Accelerator Programme Manager, managed to catch Nadhim Zahawi’s speech which referenced science and computing:


Zahawi also mentioned the importance of the work of the Education Endowment Foundation – which ties in nicely with our sharing of various useful blogs for teachers on STEM Community.

Other highlights included a compelling speech from rugby union referee Nigel Owens. He spoke with real power, warmth and humour about the importance of “not letting perfect get in the way of good” in your life. No one is perfect, so don’t even try. He gave a compelling account of being a gay teenager in a traditionally heterosexual world and the importance of being yourself in all environments. It was inspiring stuff for anyone, let alone senior leaders.

Day two lacked some of the intensity of the opening day but was a good opportunity to strike up longer conversations with some of the delegates – and as you can see, the exhibition hall remained busy: https://twitter.com/STEMLearningUK/status/1502606828382916612

Key speakers on this second day included ASCL’s General Secretary Geoff Barton, Ofsted Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman and Touring Car Driver Nicolas Hamilton.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to visit our stands at the conference – it was a hugely rewarding couple of days which will help inform our future strategy. See you at the next event!