To influence and help shape the strategic vision for the provision of high quality, relevant education and skills training. Ensuring the region’s education, skills and training ecosystem supports both the current needs of employers as well as their future requirements as the region continues to grow.

Education & Skills Project Group Chair: Iain Martin – Vice-Chancellor, Anglia Ruskin University

Professor Martin studied medicine at the University of Leeds and completed postgraduate training in Surgery in Yorkshire, concluding as Lecturer in Surgery at the University of Leeds. He then took up the role of Senior Lecturer and Consultant Surgeon at the University of Leeds and the Leeds General Infirmary. During his time in Leeds he developed an ongoing interest in Higher Education more widely.  In 2000, Professor Martin moved to the University of Auckland, New Zealand, as Professor of Surgery. Over the next 13 years he held a variety of roles including Deputy Vice Chancellor with responsibility for external and international engagement. In 2012 he moved to the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia as Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic, a position he held until his appointment as Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University.

Project Team Members

Anne Bailey – Director, Form the Future CIC
Julie Belanger – Research Leader, RAND Europe*
Lynne Birch – Schools Advisor, Cambridge County Council (Curriculum, Teach and Learning Team)
David Braben – CEO, Frontier Developments
Nikki Brown – Principal, Morley Memorial Primary School
Stella Cockerill – Skills Careers and Enterprise Manager, Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP
Neil Cuttell – City Deal Executive, Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
Andrew Daly – Principal, Swavesey Village College
Michelle Dowse – Vice Principal, Cambridge Regional College
Bob Ensch – Area Director, Morgan Sindall
Suzanne Hemingway − Strategic Director, Cambridge City Council
Simon Humphrey – Corporate Responsibility Manager, ARM*
Shirley Jamieson – Head of Marketing, Cambridge Enterprise
Anna McDonald – Director, Barclays*
Tim Oates – Group Director Assessment, Research & Development, Cambridge Assessment
Jane Paterson-Todd – CEO, Cambridge Ahead
Abilgail Trencher – Partner & Head of Employment Law, Birketts*
Martin Wade – Schools Finance Manager, Cambridge County Council – Schools Finance Team

* Member/Member organisation

Project Overview

Our focus is on activities where we can we can lead, co-ordinate and act as a catalyst for evidence-based system change rather than transactional interventions.

  • Teacher shortages: Articulating and proposing solutions in the Cambridgeshire region. 
  • Skills: Achieve an evidence-based understanding of the current position of skills shortage in the region and to advocate for system changes which address these gaps.
  • Funding: Securing a fairer funding policy across all Cambridgeshire schools.

Progress to date

We have put much of our effort into supporting schools and colleges to address teacher shortages and call for adjustments to the schools funding formula to better address the specific needs of Cambridge:

  • The publication of our report – ‘Attracting and Retaining Teachers in Cambridgeshire’ – which researched and analysed the nature of the teacher workforce in Cambridge and the specific challenges faced by the city, generated considerable interest and has acted as an important vehicle to kick-start political debate. We will continue this work over the next 12 months. 
  • One of the factors very clearly identified as exacerbating regional teacher shortages is the cost of housing and, as a result of the report, we have led discussions focused on exploring alternative financing for teacher accommodation on school grounds. 
  • We also explored how Cambridge Ahead can contribute to skills development in the city and wider region. The consequences of rapid economic growth will drive a greater need for increases in the skilled workforce, alongside support for new skills. We are working with others across Cambridge Ahead to ensure that we can act as an evidence-based catalyst for change in this area.

Into the future

Looking ahead, our attention will focus on the following challenges:

  • The Schools Sector: Supporting Cambridgeshire’s education system to cope with the rapid economic and population growth of the region: 
    • Advocating for devolved responsibility that meets regional needs for teacher training, including devolving training numbers.
    • Advocating for an agreement for funding provision that is more accurately aligned to actual pupil numbers through lead funding.
    • Collaborating with others to champion solutions for housing that support teachers and other key workers.

  • Post-18 education and skills training: Ensuring the post-18/non-compulsory skills sector is meeting the needs of this region and its businesses by: 
    • Working with the devolved authority and LEP to establish an evidence-based understanding of the current position of skills shortages 
    • Identifying from this evidence where we could most effectively strategically lobby for change and/or devolved regional solutions.

  • Strategic alignment with the Growth Project: Ensuring that the Education & Skills Group are strategically aligned with the 2018 outputs of the Growth Project to deliver tactical implementation that supports our objective to focus on the needs of our teachers, schools and businesses into the future. 

Research & Publications

Attracting and retaining teachers in Cambridgeshire: Report 21st March 2017

This report explores the current and future landscape of wet lab and incubator space provision for start-up and early-stage life science companies in the Cambridge sub-region.

All Research & Publications


01223 653023


Sarah Brereton, Director, Limewash
01223 813 557

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