Category: Articles

Feb 15
Shiver-Me-Timbers, Time to Cast Off Centralised Curriculum Models. By Julian Barrell.

A Meaningful Learning Revolution Is On The Horizon… In the UK, the National Curriculum has driven the evolution of learning towards something that can best be described as a one dimensional plank of wood. Learners follow a narrow path of subjects until a definitive end point is reached, often qualified by a form of standardised […]

Dec 22
Irons in the Fire, by Tom Brown

Part 2: Progressive Education I [previously] wrote about the Montessori Landscape in the UK and what I’ve learned so far about the scene [since relocating from the US]. Inevitably, my network and understanding have continued to grow since. Here are just a couple of additions: I have met with Dr. Nathan Archer who leads The International […]

Dec 22
Irons in the Fire, by Tom Brown

Part 1: Montessori in the UK I have so much to talk about. Over the last month [October], I have been involved in so many exciting projects in education, have met so many inspiring educators, and have learnt so much about education in the UK. I have another article on Inquiry-Based Education in the works, […]

Dec 18
How Would a Martian View our Schools?

This transcript was taken from a presentation entitled ‘School is Very Strange!” by Guy Claxton at the 2023 Rethinking Education conference in London. Guy Claxton is a cognitive scientist, education thought leader and prolific author interested in expanding human intelligence through research, writing and education. You can follow him on Twitter:

Nov 07
Flexischooling: A Case for Enabling More Children to Go to School Less Often, by Sarah Sudea

In the 2022/23 academic year, 28.3% of secondary school pupils were persistently absent. Huge numbers of children are unable to access full time mainstream school for a multitude of complex reasons. There is growing consensus that this is an issue that is not going away and affected schools, parents and children are under intense pressure […]

Sep 16
Guide to Education, by Michael Rosen

About the Poet Michael Rosen is one of the best-known figures in the children’s book world, he is renowned for his work as a poet, performer, broadcaster and scriptwriter. He lectures and teaches in universities on children’s literature, reading and writing, and also visits schools with his one-man show to enthuse children with his passion for […]

Aug 13
The 20% Project for Schools – A Modest Proposal, by Derry Hannam

What young people need It seems to me that the crucial commodity that young people need in order to find and deepen their interests and identity, and to learn how to live with others is TIME. Time to think, time to wonder, time to question, time to create, time to hang out with their friends, time […]

Jun 21
There Is Another Way: Self-Directed Education & Neurodiversity, by Dr Naomi Fisher

In this blog (which was first published by JKP), Naomi Fisher, a clinical psychologist with a PhD in autism, writes about the benefits of self-directed education, from children continuing to explore intense interests to a lack of comparison and judgment, allowing children to develop at their own pace. Her new book, A Different Way to Learn: […]

Jun 07
Open Letter to Welsh Government Challenging New Elective Home Education Guidance

This letter has been written by Rose Arnold of Suitable Education, at the request of and input from Welsh home educators, following the publication of the Welsh Government’s concerning elective home education guidance in May 2023:                                                                                                                         31st May 2023 Re: Welsh Elective Home Education Guidance May 2023 (288/2023) Parents and carers – not local […]

May 29
Emotion Matters: Supporting Wellbeing in Children and Young People, at Home and at School, by Dr Pam Jarvis

Why do some children find it more difficult than others to deal with stress? We tend to think of stress as a ‘bad thing’, but all human lives contain some elements of stress, and difficult problems that must be solved. Although people do have different underlying, biologically inherited basic temperaments, the majority of interpersonal difference […]

Mar 11
Schools, Bathrooms and Barricades, by Dr Chris Bagley

There is nothing inherent in human-ness that means teenage bowel movements must be policed. Young people are not innately bad actors for whom suspicion equals due diligence. Erecting barricades that block children from accessing toilets is a visible symptom of a failed system. The fact these ‘policies’ exist across many secondary schools demonstrates a catastrophic failure of […]

Feb 26
Spearheading the Education Revolution in Africa, by Damilola Okonkwo

I moved to Lagos, Nigeria in 2013, having grown up in London in the UK. After a career in Finance spanning more than 10 years, my husband and I decided to start a family in 2016, and I took a career break. This forced me to reflect on my own childhood and life choices, and […]

Jan 25
The Canaries in the Mine, by Jo Symes

This text that follows is the Prologue from the book, Square Pegs: Inclusivity, compassion and fitting in – a guide for schools What if our ‘square pegs’ aren’t the problem? What if they are actually the canaries in the mine, alerting us to the mounting problems in our education system? In her book, Troublemakers: Lessons […]

Jan 17
Outrage: Memories of Boarding School

Like many young boys in England in the early 50s, Robert ‘Bob’ Esau was sent away from home to boarding school at the tender age of eight years old. He found the separation from his family over the entire course of his childhood to be traumatic, and despite making many friends and working hard, he […]

Oct 03
Is Self Directed Education Uneconomic? By Dr Ian Cunningham

Large scale education The main defence of traditional large-scale schooling is that it is necessary to bring together large groups of young people in these settings so that they can be effectively prepared for their future roles in society. The inconvenient evidence is that all the research on adults as to what makes them effective […]

Sep 27
Reimagining Education in Practice – Community Learning Exchanges, by James Pitt

Invisible Mycelium networks (image above) provide communication and nutrition that support the growth of many species of plants and a healthy ecosystem – is this a model for education? Fred is the parent of ten year old Max. During Covid lockdowns the school asked Fred to ‘deliver’ lessons that the school had designed, so that his […]

Aug 20
Rebooting Public Education – Part 2, by Richard Fransham

Abstract We are in the predicament we are with public education because those in charge have failed to apply one of history’s greatest lessons provided to us by Thomas Kuhn. Paradigms compete and failing paradigms do what they can to keep contenders at bay. There are two education paradigms competing, the dominant autocratic model versus […]

Jun 22
Do Schools Kill Creativity? By Ortal Green

Education shapes our children’s future. But does our current education system provide our children with the learning environment they need to thrive? Unfortunately, our education system still operates on a twentieth-century traditional pedagogy where education has been about transferring knowledge to students. This pedagogy was designed for past requirements and doesn’t meet current needs. Today, […]

May 01
Punishment, by Sean Bellamy

”When people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.” Albert Einstein There was a rule at Sands until recently that fridges could not be dropped out of trees. There was never any corresponding punishment created. This rule has recently been removed because there are […]

Apr 09
The Side Effects of School: A Crisis in Mental Health Can’t Be Solved Through Therapy, by Dr Naomi Fisher

We’re facing a crisis in young people’s mental health.  Every day I get emails from several parents, asking if I can help their children.  They tell me how distressed their children are, how they are harming themselves and how they don’t know how to help.  There are so many that I can’t see most of […]

Mar 09
Rebooting Public Education – Part 1, by Richard Fransham

Introduction This essay is for people who steadfastly believe that healthy democracies are dependent upon public education being everybody’s first choice. It is written for those who strive for the open-mindedness John Dewey[1]  describes as follows: “Openminded is the active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to the facts from whatever […]