The first ever Hallam Festival of Education – attended by more than 1,000 people from the education sector over two days – has been hailed a huge success.

Festival-goers (aged from nine to 91) arrived in Sheffield for the two-day event (14-15 June), sponsored by Tes, which combined a festival-style atmosphere and venues with activities, workshops, debates about performances about current and emerging challenges in education.

Headline speakers included Anne Longfield OBE (Children’s Commissioner for England), Tracy Brabin MP (Shadow Minister for Early Years), the Rt. Hon. the Lord David Blunkett (former Secretary of State for Education and Employment) and the Rt. Hon. David Laws (Former Minister for Schools).

Other highlights included a day of talks at the Sheffield Tes offices around education and technology, a panel on diversity and inclusivity with grassroots networks LGBTed, WomenEd and BAMEed and a preview of Lego© Spike Prime, a new robotics platform for secondary schools previewed at the festival ahead of its worldwide launch in August.

The festival – attended by teachers, support workers, education leaders policymakers, education companies, government and local authority officials – was officially launched by the Sheffield City Region Major Dan Jarvis MP.

Mayor Dan Jarvis said: “I’m delighted to have opened Sheffield Hallam University’s Festival of Education, which brought people from across the region together to celebrate all the good work that is taking place in education, as well as offering the opportunity to debate current emerging challenges in the sector.

“As Mayor, I am committed to ensuring that all our young people, no matter what their background, have equal access to the right skills, education and training to help them realise their full potential. That’s why I’m proud to support important schemes such as the Children’s University and South Yorkshire Futures, which are already making a real difference in our communities.”

“At events such as this, it’s clear to see that we can be much more than just the sum of our parts. By working together, by being ambitious, we can deliver genuine transformational change for the next generation.”