About Us

The Progressive Education website was created in 2020 by Jo Symes, a mum from the UK, following the success of her Progressive Education Group on Facebook.

Jo set up the Facebook group as a result of a disappointing start to her sons’ schooling, which set her on a path exploring alternative approaches to conventional education. The group is growing rapidly and is now an international community of almost 7k parents/carers, teachers, school leaders, students/young people, academics, education innovators/changemakers, psychologists and researchers.

So many inspirational resources were being shared in the group – from TED talks, academic papers, books, podcasts, blogs, to campaigns and innovative education projects – that Jo felt it was important to set up this info hub so that others can benefit too.

In this short presentation at the AERO conference in 2021, Jo introduces her website and how it came about. She now has ambitions for Progressive Education to be an impactful social enterprise to support and excel the movement for change.

The Progressive Education website explores why we need progressive alternatives to conventional methods in education, provides information on what the alternative approaches are, and shares ideas about how education could be reimagined.

Our directory of education providers lists progressive schools and learning communities in the UK aimed at school-aged children and young people (4-18 years). We have included providers which aim to put the child at the centre of their approach: Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Democratic/Self-Directed Education, Forest School, Small Schools and Waldorf Steiner. We also have a list of online schools and opportunities for hybrid learning.

If you are feeling inspired, there are a number of ways to get involved:

  • If you work in a school or you have a primary or secondary aged child, you can visit our school support page for ideas to enhance the student experience.
  • If you are seeking employment within the progressive education sector, our jobs directory lists roles for facilitators/teachers, support staff and campaign work.
  • Join campaigns which work to bring about positive changes within the state education system.
  • Access parent/carer support if your child struggles at school or you need help navigating the journey exploring the world of alternatives.
  • Find out how to set up your own school or learning community.
  • Keep up to date by attending events, visiting our library of articles and research, or joining our Facebook group

Have a look through our Voices from the Sector pages to hear why progressive education is so important for the 21st century. You can hear perspectives from parents, teachers, progressive educators, young people, state school innovators, psychologists and researchers.

We hope you will find these resources useful.