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East Anglia becomes latest region to receive an IOP Vice-President visit

17 November 2023

IOP VP for Education and Skills Dr Lisa Jardine-Wright heads up delegation in latest meeting with members across UK and Ireland.


An IOP delegation led by IOP Vice-President for Education and Skills Dr Lisa Jardine-Wright OBE CPhys FInstP visited East Anglia this week to connect with educational and business leaders and local government to witness the area’s efforts around the promotion of physics.

First stop on a busy programme was a meeting with Meridian Trust at one of their newest schools, Sawtry Village Academy, in Cambridgeshire. The team was greeted by Curriculum Director James Brown, who is responsible for overseeing the science curriculum across all Meridian secondary schools, and Simon Moore, Head of Science at Sawtry.

Simon explained how the academy strives for students to achieve the best from academia, often creating bespoke pathways for young people wanting to study physics at A-level. James said that Meridian offers an holistic approach to education and they are keen to advocate to education boards to ensure exams are both fair and consistent for their students.

James Brown, Lisa Jardine-Wright, Simon Moore and Claudia Gipson outside Sawtry Academy

James Brown, Meridian Trust Curriculum Leader, Dr Lisa Jardine-Wright OBE CPhys FInstP, Simon Moore, Sawtry Academy Head of Science, and IOP Influencing and Engagement Manager Claudia Gipson.

For their next appointment, the group headed to Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) Peterborough offices for a roundtable discussion. ARU Peterborough Principal, Professor Ross Renton, highlighted the university’s efforts to engage with small to medium-sized business in offering bespoke apprenticeship routes for students.

Vice-principal Lucy Jones spoke about the passion at the newly built university, highlighting the potential for collaboration and growth with businesses and institutes and plans to remove barriers that often stand in the way.

Parminder Singh Garcha, Lisa Jardine-Wright and Claudia Gipson at Anglia Ruskin University Peterborough

Parminder Singh Garcha, Head of Education and Skills Strategy, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Dr Lisa Jardine-Wright OBE CPhys FInstP, and IOP Influencing and Engagement Manager Claudia Gipson.

Parminder Singh Garcha, Head of Education and Skills Strategy for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, was also in attendance and he felt that this was an exciting time for students and local businesses to engage with the offers at ARU, and he said would be keen to work with the IOP to understand the barriers faced in physics careers.

The newly appointed IOP East Anglia Branch chair, Dr Fengtong Ji, then took the delegation on a tour of his research facilities in Cambridge, where he explained in more detail his reasons for wanting to help shape regional branch activities.

Dr Fengtong Ji showing Lisa Jardine-Wright his research facilities in Cambridge

 Dr Fengtong Ji MInstP and Dr Lisa Jardine-Wright OBE CPhys FInstP. 

The day was rounded off with a meal and discussion with branch committee members.

Lisa Jardine-Wright with IOP East Anglia Branch Committee members sitting around a dining table

 Dr Lisa Jardine-Wright OBE CPhys FInstP and the East Anglia Branch Committee.