Government hosts cross-sector roundtable for AI in education

A roundtable of teachers, education professionals and tech company chiefs discussed how AI can be leveraged to boost education outcomes for British children.

Listen to 'Deputy Prime Minister and Education Secretary host cross-sector roundtable for AI in education

The session, which included representatives from Microsoft, Duolingo and Portsmouth Education Partnership reinforced the importance of working together to transform education in a way that is safe and puts students first.

Oliver Dowden“Rapidly advancing technologies, including AI, are going to change the way we live and work," said Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden. “That is why we are listening to and working with the sector on what technology means for education, to understand how we can draw on the advantages of AI to benefit pupils and teachers. Having the right safety measures and controls remains an utmost priority, and we are already at the forefront of AI safety."

Recognising that innovators across the education sector are already using gen AI, the roundtable shared best practice, learnings and challenges of AI including the need for robust evidence and safe usage. These needs include setting standards, ensuring essential technology infrastructure is in place, and supporting education institutions in mitigating the risks of new technologies.

Gillian Keegan Minister for Care and Mental Health“Artificial intelligence is already changing the way we work and learn, but we need to understand its risks and challenges," said Gillian Keegan, Education Secretary. “Bringing together tech experts in the field with teachers and education leaders is crucial if we are to take advantage of this emerging technology, and I look forward to hearing from those on the ground about how we can continue to lead the way in our approach to AI in education.”

Research conducted by the DfE shows that educational professionals are embracing AI to reduce the time teachers spend on administrative tasks, allowing them to allocate more time delivering lessons. But this technology also has the power to tailor education programmes to pupils, making learning more individualised and accessible and driving up attainment.

The DfE has invested £2 million in Oak National Academy to create new teaching tools using AI, and the results of the Department’s hackathon in collaboration with Faculty AI and National Institute of Teaching will be published in due course.

Roundtable attendees included: 

  • Luis von Ahn, CEO, Duolingo
  • Riaz Moola, CEO, HyperionDev
  • Daniel Emmerson, Academic Affairs Lead, Goodnotes
  • Ian Cunningham, Chief Technology Officer, TeachMateAI
  • Gemma Gwilliam, Head of Digital Learning, Education and Innovation, Portsmouth Education Partnership
  • Phillip Hedger, CEO, LEO Academy Trust
  • Josh Goodrich, CEO and Founder, StepLab
  • Jon Hutchinson, Director of Training and Development, Reach Foundation
  • Matthew Ansbro, CCO, Busuu
  • Sir Anthony Seldon, Headteacher Epsom College and co-founder, AI in education
  • Anna Artemyeva (Google for Education UK & Ireland lead)
  • Jen King, Microsoft, UK Schools Engagement Lead


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