Leighton has contributed to the development of public policy at European, UK and Welsh levels for over 25 years. He has often used lectures and speeches to develop policy themes. Some of the key developments in education policy in Wales were set out in speeches he delivered between 2010 and 2013. Between 2014 and 2016 he set out the Welsh Government’s approach to the modernisation of Welsh public services. He is a regular speaker at conferences and seminars.



On school standards, Leighton’s 20 point plan for school improvement was set out in the February 2011 speech Teaching Makes a Difference. The text can be accessed here. Video of the speech can be accessed here  The accompanying Powerpoint is also available teachingpresentationen-2

Shortly after the 2011 election, he set out the new Labour Government’s vision and explained the detail of the new reading tests and the need for the new regional consortia. The text is available here

A year later, he set out some of the best practice underway in Wales in his speech Learning from the Best. A slightly mangled edit of the text is available here. Video is here:

In 2013, he set out how far he felt Wales had come in a speech entitled Raising our Sights which you can find here

On Higher Education, this speech set out the overall agenda in 2010: Leadership in Higher Education. Speeches to the Leadership Foundation in Higher Education in 2011- LEADERSHIP FOUNDATION IN HE CONFERENCE–  and in 2012 – Leadership Foundation – show how the agenda developed.There is a video of the last of these here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49y45yXy6G8

On the relationship between Wales and England on educational issues, Leighton delivered two lectures which went into some detail, in Aberystwyth in 2012 Education and the Welsh Public Sphere Final , and in Cardiff in 2013 Whats the deal on Wales

On qualifications, Leighton set out his initial thoughts in February 2010,  (b – February) 10-02-10 IWA Learning Pathways Conference (DC-LA-00009-1… and called for a national debate in February 2011 at the iNet conference Ministers Keynote iNET speech – 14 February 2011 In that speech he also warned that the Freedom of Information Act could not be uninvented and performance comparisons would be made by the media if not by others.

Public Service Reform

Leighton set out the Welsh Government’s emerging thinking on public service leadership and reform in a lecture to the Institute of Welsh Affairs in January 2015. These themes were taken forward at the Public Service Leadership Summit which Leighton led in November 2015, delivered by the Welsh Government’s leadership development Academi. Leighton’s speech to that summit can be viewed here:

Other speeches at the summit can be accessed on the same Youtube site.

Leighton explored these themes further at a seminar with the Institute for Government and Alliance for Useful Evidence later that month. The summit saw the development of a set of public service values and behaviours drawn up in the context of the Future Generations Act. In March 2016, Leighton published the Welsh Government’s Open Data Plan following its adoption by the Welsh Government Cabinet.