Event Title:

How to Set Up a School: Live Q&A with Fran Wilby and Melissa Kendall

Event Type:



If you've ever been inspired to set up your own school, to create something outside of the conventional, authoritarian education system, this is the third in our webinar series that gives you a chance to ask experts who have been there and done it!


Come and meet Fran Wilby and Melissa Kendall, co-founders of the first Lumiar school in the UK. This progressive school caters for Reception, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 and is based on a working farm in Stowford, Wiltshire.


The Lumiar education model was devised in Brazil 15 years ago by a group of pioneering educators. Their intention was to transform how and what children learn, to empower them to create the future, rather than just keep up with it. It is recognised by Unesco, Stanford University and Microsoft as one of the 12 most innovative education systems in the world.


What is Different about Lumiar?

“Lumiar UK looks different, feels different and IS different. But it goes way beyond ditching school uniforms and wearing their hair however they like!”

• The children have a say – collaborative decision making and weekly circle time.

• Learning happens through projects, not subjects.

• Adults are ‘tutors’ and ‘masters’, as opposed to ‘teachers’.

• Tutors support learners' social and emotional development and keep track of academic progress. They are also responsible for identifying the interests and abilities of their students and supporting them to devise projects that help them to practice their skills and grow new ones.

• Masters are visiting project experts who come into the school to share knowledge on a particular topic.

• Progress is measured through continuous assessment, not exams.

• Classes mix up different age groups.

• Learners are connected to the real world, and are shown that they can change it.

• Learning outside of the classroom – children spend half a day each week at the farm’s Education Centre, learning about where food comes from, and gaining new skills.


About Our Experts

After setting up the UK Lumiar school in Stowford with Melissa, Fran took on the role of Head of International Implementation and Support at Lumiar International. She has also founded the education consultancy, Eames Educational Solutions, and now works full time at Rethinking Assessment

Since co-founding Lumiar, Melissa has gone on to set up Griffin Club, which is a child-led community education project for 10-14 year olds in Wiltshire.


About the Webinar

The session will be an open Q&A with a chance to create some next steps if you want to take your school start-up idea further. You will be provided with a worksheet in advance to take notes and a chance to share your thoughts and next steps at the end of the session (if you want to). You can register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/how-to-set-up-a-school-live-qa-with-fran-wilby-and-melissa-kendall-registration-713193189027?aff=oddtdtcreator

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