Cumbria is set to host leading voices from the national education sector at an event focussed on improving opportunities in the county.

Shaping our Future: Making Cumbria the best place to teach is a joint initiative between Cumbria Education Trust (CET), the county’s largest multi academy trust, and national education charity, Ambition Institute.

The event on Monday 6 March will bring together headteachers, school leaders and education policy makers with a shared ambition to drive forward educational excellence in the county.

Keynote speakers already confirmed are Vicky Beer, the Department for Education’s Regional Director for the North West; Leora Cruddas CBE, Chief Executive of the Confederation of School Trusts; and Ambition Institute’s Senior Dean of Learning Design, Jennifer Barker.

Lorrayne Hughes, Chief Executive of CET, which is responsible for the education of more than 4,500 young people across its 13 schools, said now was a vital time to develop a shared vision for school improvement. She said: “Every child in Cumbria deserves a great education and the best possible start in life.

“As we continue to see the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and amidst ongoing teacher recruitment and retention challenges, how do we work together to make Cumbria the best place to teach?

“With the creation of the two new unitary councils, now is the ideal time to come together to collaborate on a shared vision for regional school improvement.”

Raksha Pattni, National Partnerships Director at Ambition Institute, said: “Our vision is an education system where every child can thrive, no matter what their background.

“High quality professional development for teachers ultimately improves pupils’ learning outcomes, so we are committed to helping teachers and school leaders to keep getting better. That’s why we are delighted to be co-delivering this event with CET – to set out how, collectively, we can make sure every child in Cumbria is taught by an expert teacher, working in a school led by expert leaders.”

The event at Penrith’s North Lakes Hotel, will take place less than a month before the new unitary authorities of Cumberland, and Westmorland and Furness, take over the responsibility for education services from Cumbria County Council.

The audience will hear from headline speakers on the current challenges facing the county and the opportunities to make Cumbria one of the best places to teach.

There will also be a panel discussion, led by Dan Barton, Assistant Director of Education and Skills at Cumbria County Council, who will be joined by Matt Hood OBE, CEO of Oak National Academy and Dr Ruth Harrison-Palmer, Director of the Institute of Education at the University of Cumbria.

Alongside the event, CET and Ambition Institute are announcing their partnership to recruit and train teachers to the region.

The two organisations will deliver a new Teacher Training Programme from September 2024, offering trainees high quality development rooted in evidence of what makes effective classroom practice. The partners aim to attract new teachers to the region with the draw of a National Training Programme, and give aspiring teachers in Cumbria a great start to their careers.

If you are interested in attending the event, please visit CET’s website for more information: