Get set for education’s Glastonbury

Shane Mann discusses the biggest education event of the year – the Festival of Education

The Telegraph Festival of Education has cemented itself as the most important, interesting and inspirational event of the education calendar.

In 2016 we saw a record-breaking number of people attend across the two days at Wellington College in Crowthorne, with over 5,500 festival-goers immersing themselves in high-quality sessions which were delivered by 300 speakers from across the education sector.

We’re working tirelessly to ensure that festival-goers can once again expect a stellar line-up of speakers. In 2016 speakers included the original Pop Idol star Will Young, to hundreds of education experts from Sir Michael Wilshaw to Daisy Christodoulou, the festival was undeniably thought-provoking, inspirational and fun, providing a breadth of content to suit everyone interested in education.

This year’s festival is set to see some very exciting additions and enhancements, which will ensure another incredible CPD extravaganza.


At Summerhouse Events we also stage the FE Week Festival of Skills, a similar event for staff working in the further education and skills sector. This year we are bringing the event to sit alongside the Festival of Education. Moving this event from Capel Manor College in North London to Wellington, will further increase and diversify both festivals’ audiences. 

The Festival of Skills was established in summer 2016 and is our sister festival focusing on the further education and skills sector covering areas from ESOL to apprenticeships. The relocation of the Festival of Skills will add a real buzz to the overall event and we’re pleased to be able to bring a focus on the FE sector.  

Plans are also underway to add a book festival to the Festival of Education in 2017 which will provide festival-goers with a unique way of interacting with their favourite authors. We will be announcing further information on participating authors in the coming months.

Feedback we’ve had from previous festival-goers is clear that the event is so successful because it engages with the audience and carefully looks to our supporters and partners to participate by providing knowledge, content, workshops, activities and sessions in a variety of fields.

Last year we launched a national application process for speaking at the event and to participate and engage by providing knowledge, content, workshops, activities and sessions, in a variety of fields.

This year’s application process saw an 80% increase in the number of applications made to speak at the festival, with over 750 people submitting a bid. We were truly blown away by the amount of interest to speak this year. This is a solid indication of the importance and popularity of the festival.


We’re now in the final stages of finalising speaker applications and will be making hundreds of speaker announcements in the coming weeks. 

The festival attracts education’s most forward-thinking innovators and educators, influencers, practitioners of change, politicians, journalists, business leaders and policy-makers. It is undeniably one of the most unique gatherings in the education event calendar. 

Tickets for the Festival of Education are on sale now and are available at a discounted ‘early bird’ rate. More schools and organisations than ever before are making group bookings in 2017. Group bookings receive further discounts and provide a great opportunity for team bonding and undertake vital CPD in an inspiring and informative environment. 

Keep up to date with all the latest news and announcements using the #educationfest. 


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