Oral evidence sessions

All online oral evidence sessions were conducted by the Oracy APPG between June and December 2020. They can be viewed on our YouTube channel here.


1. Can oracy help tackle the disadvantage gap and address inequalities?

2nd June 2020, chaired by Emma Hardy MP (view here)

  • Professor Becky Francis, Chief Executive, Education Endowment Foundation
  • Jean Gross CBE, Chair, Bercow: Ten Years on Inquiry
  • Roy Blatchford CBE, Chair, Forgotten Third Commission
  • Professor Sonia Blandford, Founder and CEO, Achievement for All
  • Alice Barnard, Chief Executive, Edge Foundation
  • Harriet Waldegrave, Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England


2. What is the place for oracy in curriculum, assessment and the accountability system?

14th July 2020, chaired by Emma Hardy MP & Ian Mearns MP (view here)

  • Professor Robin Alexander, Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Cambridge; Professor of Education Emeritus, University of Warwick; Chair of the Education Section, the British Academy.
  • Professor Neil Mercer, Director, Oracy Cambridge
  • Tim Oates CBE, Director of Assessment Research and Development at Cambridge Assessment
  • Mary Myatt, education consultant and author
  • Professor Dame Alison Peacock, Chief Executive, Chartered College of Teaching
  • Sarah Hubbard, Schools HMI and Subject Lead for English, Curriculum Unit, Ofsted and Jonathan Keay, Senior HMI, Curriculum Unit Ofsted


3. What can we learn from international approaches to classroom talk?

9th September 2020, chaired by Emma Hardy MP (view here)

  • Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education & Skills – OECD (Education & Employment)
  • Professor Lauren Resnick, Professor of Psychology & Cognitive Science, University of Pittsburgh
  • Dr Sandra Berkowitz, World Schools and Public Forum debate coach, and former professor of Communication Studies at the University of Maine
  • Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson, Senior Research Fellow, University of Sussex, and Research Fellow, University of Oxford


4. What status does oracy have in the Scottish and Welsh education systems?

17th September 2020, chaired by Marion Fellows MP & Tonia Antoniazzi MP (view here)

  • Paul Morgan, Senior Education Officer, Education Scotland
  • Nicola McDonald, Education Support Officer, Children and Families Service, Dundee City Council
  • Gillian Campbell-Thow, Quality Improvement Officer with strategic remit for language learning & Gaelic Medium Education, Glasgow City Council
  • Jim Whannel, Director of Gaelic Education at Bòrd na Gàidhlig
  • Eleri Goldsmith, Welsh government (Lead for the Languages, Literacy and Communication Area of Learning and Experience for the new Curriculum for Wales, Curriculum and Assessment Division)
  • Richard Thomas and Liz Barry, HM Inspectors, Estyn 
  • Julian Dessent, Curriculum lead for Carmarthenshire Council and Seren Lead for Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire
  • Cathryn Billington-Richards, Strategic Lead for Languages, Literacy & Communication at the Central South Consortium


5. Schools evidence session

9th December 2020, chaired by Lord Watson and Marion Fellows MP (view full session here and the edited version here)

  • Welland Park Academy
  • Madani Schools Federation
  • Ryders-Hayes School
  • St Francis de Sales Catholic Primary School
  • Hinchingbrooke School
  • Torriano Primary School
  • Biddenham International School & Sports College
  • St Ambrose Barlow School
  • Northampton School for Boys


We are also grateful to Voice 21 for hosting additional roundtables on oracy teaching training and CPD (chaired by Professor Sam Twiselton OBE), and the assessment of oracy (chaired by Professor Rob Coe), as well as a seminar to gather evidence from teachers. Thank you also to the Plymouth Oracy Project and the Fair Education Alliance who also held additional seminars to gather evidence for their submissions.