Yorkshire's steel city prepares to host global literacy and education leaders

Literacy and education leaders from around the world are to descend on the region in coming weeks as plans gather pace for major events.

Tracy Parvin, president of the UK Literary Association

The Sheffield Hallam Festival of Education, in mid June, is to be the first of its kind in the region aimed at sharing ideas and breaking down barriers and raising aspirations. Now, after the line up was revealed for the UK Literacy Association International Conference, also to be held in the city, luminary leaders from around the world are also set to travel to Yorkshire.Education leaders are “missing a trick” when it comes to building play into the curriculum, association directors warn, with the conference to focus on how this can be done. “At a time when people are so focused on tests, exams and grades, it can be hard to make room for play, imagination and creativity in education,” said Tracy Parvin, president of the UK Literacy Association. “However, play has an important role in literacy education. “It is through playing with ideas that we experiment, take risks, generate meanings and negotiate our relationships with others and the world around us. “Delegates to the conference will consider the many different ways in which play and playfulness can contribute to literacy education as well as how imagination and creativity, through play, can be developed in the classroom.”

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EventsMore than 300 professionals from around the world are to attend the event from July 12 to 14, with headliners to include former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, Andrew Burn, director of the Digital Arts Research in Education centre and Lalitha Vasudevan of Columbia University in America. It comes as final preparations are put in place for the Sheffield Hallam Festival of Education, over two days from June 12 to 14. This event, organised by social mobility partnership South Yorkshire Futures, is themed around how education has the power to transform young people’s futures. Speakers will include Ofsted’s national director of rducation, Sean Harford; Baroness Estelle Morris and Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield, OBE.