CfEY’s celebration of resilience and recovery 2023


11th July 2023

On July 5th CfEY hosted our flagship event for 2023: a celebration of the resilience and recovery of the education and youth sectors following the pandemic.

Three years on from the start of the pandemic, we took the opportunity to reflect on – and most importantly celebrate – the achievements and resilience of practitioners and young people. 

In anticipation of our event, we were delighted to interview education research legend John Hattie about his views on recovery and resilience in the education sector during and after the pandemic. You can watch the full video here.

The celebration took place on the evening of July 5th 2023 at Salesforce Tower London, kicking off with a welcome from CfEY CEO Joe Hallgarten. Joe set the tone for an evening that would appreciate the hopeful moments in recent years that have “surprised and delighted” in the face of enormous challenges.

“We know how challenging recovery is proving, especially for the most vulnerable children. But also over those three years, I’ve witnessed extraordinary acts of generosity, innovation, bravery, and bouncing back – from teachers, parents, young people.” Joe Hallgarten

We were delighted to have Vic Goddard, Principal of Passmore Academy and star of BAFTA nominated Educating Essex, attend the event to give an excellent keynote speech. Vic paid a moving tribute to loved ones who were lost, and all the hard work that took place over the pandemic to continues supporting young people.

“The biggest lesson I learned through the pandemic was that having a purpose is a privilege … People woke up everyday and were faced with the fact that they were unable to feed their children, but I had the privilege of being able to get up and support my pupils.” Vic Goddard

To hear more from Vic, check out the latest episode of The Life Pedagogic series, from CfEY’s Youth and Education Podcast.

Shadow Minister for Schools, Stephen Morgan MP, also shared a video of thanks to the sector.

“While the lockdowns have ended, the impact on schools is still felt, particularly in regard to attainment, attendance, behaviour and wellbeing. The task of any hypothetical future government will be big and will only be achieved by working together.” Stephen Morgan

We then heard from a wonderful panel of experts, sharing their experiences of the pandemic. This discussion, chaired by CfEY Head of Engagement Alix Robertson, included perspectives from:

  • Emmanuel Akpan-Inwang – Director of Lighthouse Pedagogy Trust, a charity that creates children’s homes for young people in care.
  • Navdeep Sanghara – CEO of Woodland Academy Trust, a primary school trust based just outside London in Kent.
  • David Thomas OBE – CEO of the charity Mathematics Education for Social Mobility and Excellence and former Senior Policy Advisor to Rt. Hon. Gillian Keegan.
  • Karen Wespieser MBE – Chief Operating Officer at Education Intelligence, the education research group that runs the daily survey app Teacher Tapp.

“Let’s be kinder to ourselves. We’re in a phase of rebuilding following the pandemic… If we lean into one another and work together we can use this as a force for good.” Nav Sanghara

Finally, CfEY Director of Research an Operations Ellie Mulcahy closed with our thanks to all involved, and welcomed guests to enjoy an evening of food, drinks and networking.

Check out tweets from the event via the hashtag #CfEYCelebrates, and to keep up-to-date with all of CfEY’s news subscribe to our newsletter here. If you would like to explore working with CfEY or joining our Supporter Network, please contact Director of Partnerships Terry Boyce on [email protected].

See you next time!