The #LearningFirst launch conference – 21st May 2016

Chances are that if you are reading this, you are already one of the #LearningFirst team and will be aware of the phenomenal evolution of #LearningFirst from Dame Alison Peacock’s tweet, to a community of over 500 people (so far), who have already aligned around our mission – to put assessment back in its box!  A community of professionals who are determined to devise and share strategies for high quality teaching that refuses to be dominated by ticking boxes, gridding or cramming.

The initial tweet from Dame Alison, grew rapidly into calls for events to share ideas; with many, many colleagues offering venues, sponsorship and their desire to part of the #LearningFirst team.  We were completely overwhelmed with your response!

A tentative date and venue was offered in Sheffield and that was it – we were off…  We had a sense, from the reaction on Twitter, that this was going to be big, and big is was!  Amazingly, the first round of 200 tickets were claimed in 39 minutes! We were absolutely delighted to see all the tickets go but strangely, we were left with a real sense of disappointment that many colleagues who wanted to be there, couldn’t.

So, working with Sam Twiselton, Sean Cavan and their colleagues at Sheffield Hallam, we have come up with this outline plan, which means that we are able to effectively double the number of delegates:

Big picture: The whole day to be split into 2 delegate groups to accommodate the maximum number of delegates. Where possible, all delegates will have access to the same speakers and contributors.

The day:

9.30 Registration

10.30 – 12.00 Delegate Group A – Conference in the main conference area with keynote speakers

10.30 – 12.00 Delegate Group B – Breakout rooms with contributors

12.00 – 13.00 Lunch

13.00 – 2.30 Delegate Group B – Conference in the main conference area with keynote speakers

13.00 – 2.30 Delegate Group A –  Breakout rooms with contributors

2.30 – 3.30 Informal networking/conversations/meetings/next steps.

Things for potential delegates to consider:

  • Although we are lucky to have such a wonderful venue, we are organising this on a shoestring, and all of our speakers/contributors are doing this pro bono – although we are hoping to be able to contribute to their travelling expenses. So, this is going to be a real grassroots, rough-around-the-edges conference – no glossy brochures here!
  • Currently, we think we have enough sponsorship to cover packed lunches BUT it is really important that, if you have any special dietary requirements, you bring your own packed lunch and refreshments.
  • We will probably be able to offer tea/coffee on arrival but please bring drinks to have with your lunch and throughout the rest of the day.
  • We are hoping to be able to stream the conference via the Internet.  We will not have the resources to edit footage to remove individual colleagues, or to share and seek permission from delegates/speakers or contributors prior to publishing. We will exploit the media collected to promote the aims of the #LearningFirst community.
  • The split of the delegate body into 2 groups will be done by us prior to the event. This is likely to be, the first 200 sign ups – Group A; Group B being the first 200 on the reserve list. This will be confirmed to you via email. We do appreciate that there will be people who would hope to be together but we are sure that you appreciate that this would be a nightmare to organise. So, we would be very grateful if you would accept our decision here.



  • If you already have a ticket just sit tight, keep an eye on Twitter and the website for updates, and for opportunities to contribute further to  the #LearningFirst community.
    • It may be an idea to register with Eventbrite, this seems to make the booking process quicker.
    • If you do not receive the Eventbrite email, check your SPAM folder – you will probably find it there. If you are on the reserve list you will receive an email via Eventbrite on Saturday night at 9pm. You will be able to secure one ticket only. This opportunity will be open to you until 9pm. on Monday 7th March, after which time the ticket will be open for others to secure.


Are you in?

Finally, there may still be people who are no part of this amazing team of colleagues. If you would like to join us, sign up here. This is where we are collecting information about the #LearningFirst team. It also gives us key information for our mailing list. So, if you would like to get involved and keep up to date with all of the #LearningFirst news, please complete the form as fully as possible.

If you have any further queries or suggestions please email us at

You find more images of the venue for our launch conference here.

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