Creating a world where education has the best interests of the child at heart

If you're looking for a progressive alternative to mainstream education, you’re not alone.

This online hub provides inspiration and support to those seeking to understand more about progressive approaches to education.

We present a variety of options so that parents, guardians, teachers, policy makers and other professionals can make informed choices. Our directory of progressive education providers includes UK schools and learning communities which are forward-thinking and aim to have the best interests of the child at heart.

Explore the Directory

Why Do We Need Alternatives to Mainstream Education?

There are many reasons why progressive alternatives are becoming more popular, and why a growing movement of people are calling for a reform of our state education system.

Articles, News & Research

“The Hannam Report” – Investigating the Impact of Student Participation on Education

March 21, 2020

This study from 2001, by Derry Hannam (a now retired state secondary school teacher, deputy/acting headteacher and Ofsted inspector) evaluates the impact of the student participation aspects of the Citizenship Order on standards of education in secondary schools. Hypothesis The investigation set out to test the hypothesis that “in schools that are already taking the […]

Home Schooled Children’s Social Skills

March 12, 2020

“Research affirms that although homeschooling parents are not worried about their children’s social development, they do care about it. In fact, they are strongly committed to providing positive socialization experiences for their children. They believe, however, that “socialization is best achieved in an age-integrated setting under the auspices of the family”, rather than in a […]

Summer Born Report

March 11, 2020

The Campaign for Flexible School Admissions for Summer Born Children, or “Summer Born Campaign” was launched by parents, carers and professionals who believe that a summer born child should be allowed to start primary school in Reception class, aged five instead of aged four. They have published a report (2014) which contains: Examples of unlawful and […]

A Healthy Foundation for the Future

March 11, 2020

A report by The Health Foundation (2019) found that 80% of teachers feel that the focus on exams has become disproportionate to the focus on the wellbeing of their pupils. They are now calling for education providers to ensure that they equip young people with the essential skills they need to prepare them for the […]

Why Schooling is a Major Contributor to the [Socio-Economic-Ecological] Crisis – and What Can be Done About it. By Ian Cunningham

March 11, 2020

Introduction In this essay I will use as my starting point the ‘Manifesto for Change’ elaborated by Robinson et al, 2009. Each of the nine points in this manifesto summarise exceedingly well the basis of the global crisis explored in their paper [SEE ENDNOTE]. Others have commented on a range of aspects of the socio-economic-ecological […]

What is a 21st Century Education? By Ian Cunningham

March 11, 2020

Some people have suggested that the only change from Victorian schools to those of today is from black to white – blackboards have changed to whiteboards. We still have classrooms that are not much different from the 19th century with curricula that have progressed little since then and with lessons of standardised times delivered in […]

The Hole in the Wall Project and the Power of Self-Organized Learning

March 11, 2020

“…we did extensive research in self-directed learning, in many places and through many cultures. Each time, the children were able to develop deep learning by teaching themselves.” Read the full article here. Published by: Edutopia Date: February 2012 Author: Dr Sugata Mitra, Professor of Education Technology

School Refusal: Crime, Mental Disorder, or Human Right?

March 11, 2020

“Views on school refusal depend on beliefs about children and human rights.” Read the full article here. Published by: Psychology Today Date: February 2020 Author: Dr Peter Gray, Psychologist and Research Professor

School’s Out… Arguments for Self-Directed Education

March 11, 2020

“I set out to find out more about education where children are active agents. Perhaps the most radical type of all is self-directed education, where the children are not made to follow any curriculum at all, unless they want to. I interviewed psychologists researching learning in home educated children, and others focusing on children in […]

Coronavirus Reminds Us What Education Without Schooling Can Look Like

March 11, 2020

“The coronavirus outbreak might help some parents discover better alternatives outside of traditional schooling.” Read the full article here. Published by: Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) Date: March 10th 2020 Author: Kerry McDonald, Senior Education Fellow at FEE and author of Unschooled: Raising Curious, Well-Educated Children Outside the Conventional Classroom (Chicago Review Press, 2019). 

Voices from the Sector

Parent Voice 3

October 25, 2019

Jessica – Unschooling Mum and Educationalist Educationalist, Jessica* currently home educates her four-year old and has chosen to follow the ‘unschooling’ approach. Jessica has worked in education for nearly 20 years in a number of capacities. She has been a teacher in colleges and universities, been involved in teacher training and the design of learning […]

Parent Voice 2

October 25, 2019

Ross Mountney – Home Educator and Author Ross Mountney is a parent, home educator and author. She started her career as a teacher which she says “was a bit daft really” as she was never at ease with the school environment. That was when she began to suspect that much of what went on at school was […]

Parent Voice 1

October 25, 2019

Kirstie Gran – Parent and Trainee Holistic Family Health Coach Kirstie has a son in mainstream school and a younger daughter at home. She’s become interested in progressive education since she started studying the brain and how it develops in children. She’s currently studying to become a Holistic Family Health Coach and previously completed a […]