Education Committee holds session on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the role of education – Tuesday 11 December at 10am

On Tuesday 11th December, the Education Committee holds the second evidence session of its inquiry into the Fourth Industrial Revolution which will focus on the role of education, hearing from university leaders, including Sir Anthony Seldon, and from representatives focussing on current practice in schools.

The hearing is likely to examine questions around digital skills in schools and universities, innovative technology and the role of the teacher, social justice and inequality, lifelong learning, and how developments in England compare with international comparisons.

On the first panel, Sir Anthony Seldon recently released a book on the ‘Fourth Education Industrial Revolution’, Professor John Baruch set up and is the Director of the Centre for Education for the Fourth Industrial Revolution at Leeds Beckett University and Professor Stuart has been involved in setting up the 21st Century Lab at the University of Lincoln.

The second panel focuses on current practice in schools. Simon Peyton Jones is Chair of Computing at School, an organisation which promotes computing on the national curriculum. Duncan Baldwin leads ASCL’s work on artificial intelligence and automation and Professor Stanton Fraser conducts research on the design and evaluation of technologies for education and learning. 

The Committee’s first evidence session for this inquiry saw the appearance of “Pepper the robot“ and looked at a number of aspects relating to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, including on the implications for education of developments in artificial intelligence.


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The inquiry is examining the challenges posed and opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The inquiry is looking at how best to prepare young people to take advantage of future opportunities by examining the suitability of the school curriculum. It is also looking at the role of lifelong learning and how best to help people climb the ladder of opportunity in the future.

Witness schedule

Tuesday 11 December at 10am, Committee Room 15

Panel 1

  • Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham
  • Dr John Baruch, Director of the Centre for Education for the Fourth Industrial Revolution at Leeds Beckett University
  • Professor Mary Stuart, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln

Panel 2 

  • Simon Peyton Jones, Honorary Professor of the Computing Science Department at Glasgow University and Chair of Computing at School
  • Duncan Baldwin, Deputy Policy Director: Standards at the Association of School and College Leaders
  • Professor Danaë Stanton Fraser, Professor in Human Computer Interaction and leads the CREATE Lab at the University of Bath (at 10.45am).

The meeting will be broadcast live on Parliament TV.

Committee Membership: Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP (Con, Harlow), Lucy Allan MP (Con, Telford), Ben Bradley MP (Con, Mansfield), Marion Fellows MP (SNP, Motherwell and Wishaw), James Frith MP (Lab, Bury North), Emma Hardy MP (Lab, Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle), Trudy Harrison MP (Con, Copeland), Ian Mearns MP (Lab, Gateshead), Lucy Powell MP (Lab Co-op, Manchester Central), Thelma Walker MP (Lab, Colne Valley), William Wragg MP (Con, Hazel Grove)

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