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Latest headliners announced for South Yorkshire education festival

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Leading national figures from the field of education have joined the line-up for the first Hallam Festival of Education.

The Rt Hon. Lord David Blunkett (former Secretary of State for Education and Employment), the Rt Hon. Lord Jim Knight (former Minister of State for Schools and Learning) and Helen O'Donnell (Chief Executive and Director of Partnerships at Children's University) will all be part of the inaugural event.

The Festival, which is sponsored by Tes and takes place 14-15 June at Sheffield Hallam University venues, will combine a festival-style atmosphere with stimulating debate about current and emerging challenges in education.

The five new speakers announced today will join over 100 other speakers, groups and organisations from local, regional, national and international education systems.

Other speakers already announced include Baroness Estelle Morris (former Secretary of State for Education and Skills), Anne Longfield OBE (Children's Commissioner for England) and Tracy Brabin (Shadow Minister for Early Years).

The Festival is being curated by South Yorkshire Futures, Sheffield Hallam's social mobility programme, which aims to improve attainment and raise aspirations for young people across South Yorkshire, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Greg Burke, Director of South Yorkshire Futures, said: "We are thrilled to announce even more influential figures in education for the inaugural Sheffield Hallam Festival of Education. Their contributions - and the discussions that surround them - will add to South Yorkshire's growing reputation as a centre for educational best practice, research and innovation."

Sheffield Hallam University is the most prominent university in the UK for driving improvements in education and championing social mobility.

The Rt Hon. Lord Jim Knight
The Rt Hon. Lord David Blunkett
Helen ODonnell

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From early years through to higher education, the Sheffield Institute of Education at Sheffield Hallam provides around 1,000 qualified teachers each year to the education system regionally and nationally.

The University works with a range of partners to undertake world-leading education to inform and influence practice and policy, including working with UK and international governments.


Click here to see the line-up and buy tickets.

For press information: Laura Burden in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 5301 or email