New Suffolk Festival of Learning aims to connect business with education

Nikos Savvas and Geoff Barton
Nikos Savvas and Geoff Barton

A new festival aims to connect business with education and put Suffolk on the map for providing ‘forward thinking and innovative’ schooling.

The Suffolk Festival of Learning, hosted at University Campus Suffolk in Ipswich on October 21, is the brainchild of a group of headteachers led by Bury St Edmunds’ Geoff Barton and Dr Nikos Savvas.

It aims to celebrate the county’s education, set the agenda for success and give businesses a platform to offer products and services to teachers.

It will feature businesses such as the Shakespeare School Festival and Industry Education in Music (IEM), which is opening a new music academy at Thurston Community College’s Beyton campus.

There will be workshops, panels and debates with high profile national figures such as Sir David Carter, the national schools commissioner, and Baroness Sue Campbell, chairman of the Youth Sport Trust.

Festival Director Rob Walden, who runs Real World Education Group, said they want to bring together businesses and schools in a ‘fun enjoyable way’ to build relationships that could ‘add value or cost-efficiencies’.

Mr Barton, head at King Edward VI School, said: “For too long Suffolk has needed a lift - a celebration of all the great work that goes on in schools and colleges as well as bringing fantastic professional development and networking opportunities between business and education.”

Dr Savvas, principal at West Suffolk College, added that it will be a ‘truly memorable event with high profile guest speakers and quality workshops’.

To purchase Early Bird tickets with a free lunch, visit www.suffolkfestivaloflearning.org

For details on the IEM Academy, visit www.iemacademy.co.uk