Plenary Speakers

Chair: Tanya Arkle

Head of the School Resource Management (SRM) Division

Department for Education

Tanya Arkle, Deputy Director, Schools Resource Management and Non-Executive Director at Diocese of Bristol Academies Trust.

Tanya started her career as a microbiologist before moving to a range of policy roles across government. She has worked in Cabinet Office, assisted UK companies establish export opportunities in China, led the team which designated the South Downs National Park, negotiated UK fish quota in Brussels and delivered Civil Service Reform across a number of Arm’s Length Bodies.

She has worked in the Education and Skills Funding Agency for the last four years. She was responsible for Academy funding in the Southwest and Southeast of England, before moving to lead the School Resource Management Division.

She is a strong advocate for improving diversity across Whitehall. Tanya is also a non-executive director for a Multi Academy Trust in Bristol.

Baroness Barran MBE

Minister for the School System and Student Finance

Baroness Barran MBE was re-appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education on 27 October 2022.

Prior to this she was:

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for the School and College System) at the Department for Education from 21 September 2022 to 26 October 2022
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for the School System) at the Department for Education from 17 September 2021 to 20 September 2022
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Civil Society) at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport from 26 July 2019 to 17 September 2021

David Withey


Education Skills and Funding Agency

Work Session Speakers

Gary Benn

Director, Building & Projects Consultancy


Gary is an experienced surveyor who has been within the industry for over 30 years. More recently he has focused his attention and specialisms to the Education sector, advising schools, academies and estate managers on securing specialist funding, premises planning and decarbonisation strategies.

As a primary school governor and academy trust director he can offer valuable insight and guidance, seeing the issues through the school’s eyes as well as a consultant’s, for effective estate management within a school setting and is passionate about driving change to improve the learning environment for all students.

More speakers here soon…

Speakers, agenda and times may be subject to change