A chance to hear Nick Clegg on education

I’ve received the following invitation to a speaker meeting – Nick Clegg on Education & Social Mobility – coming up, er, somewhere in London. I think it’s interesting for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, because it’s the IPPR. They were set up to be, basically, a new Labour think tank. They push some very new Labour ideas, like directly-elected Mayors, although they’ve also made some gentle criticisms of government policy eg on aviation (a soft target). So it’s a less than obvious platform for Nick.

Secondly, because education, rightly or wrongly, has not been so high profile in policy of late. When I chaired Nick’s public meeting in Islington last month, one of the questions was about his (political!) passions. Nick acknowledged the crucial importance of civil liberties, the environment and internationalism to liberal thinking, and the urgent topicality of housing, health and the economy; but his passion is education. Music to my ears! Along with the environment, education is my policy passion; nothing else has the same ability to empower individuals, and transform lives and life chances. So this is a great chance to hear our leader on what he believes is the top topic.

And that’s another reason why the IPPR is an interesting choice. Their recent work on education has been controversial, criticising bad teaching rather than anything more structural; Lib Dem education policy has traditionally been very teacher-friendly. Sadly I’ll be at work, so unable to attend, but if you can go along, do: it could be something special.

Education and Social Mobility: Challenges and Opportunities
Keynote speech: Rt. Hon Nick Clegg MP
Thursday 5th June 2008 from 10:00– 12:00, central London
The Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) is pleased to invite you to attend a keynote speech by Rt. Hon Nick Clegg MP, Leader, Liberal Democrats.
The last few years have witnessed important shifts in the political agenda on schools in England. Politicians have returned to the idea that schools have a wider role to fulfil than simply delivering on narrow measures of attainment – in equipping young people with the skills they need to progress in society in a changing economic context.
This event takes this shift as its starting point, asking what schools need to do to support social mobility and equal life chances for all young people in today’s economy. In a context of concern about the performance of English schools in international surveys, Nick Clegg will look to the future of educational reform, considering the changing needs, goals and objectives of schools and will set out his ideas to address the barriers that prevent our school system from being world-class.
The event will take place on Thursday 5th June 2008 from 10:00 to 12:00 in central London. Please confirm your attendance by replying to events@ippr.org or calling us on 020 7470 6105.
We look forward to receiving your response



  1. Hi Bridget

    How much is the event? And where is it? It doesn’t say anything on the ippr website?



  2. bridgetfox said

    Hi Jo

    All the info I have is in the email from IPPR – it is all a bit mysterious. Perhaps you have to register interest to get the details. Bit like a rave…

  3. bridgetfox said

    There is a summary of Nick’s speech on the Guardian’s ‘comment is free’ site

    and you can download the full content from the IPPR site here

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