Category: Articles

Feb 20
#ImLearning: Celebrating children’s learning during Covid, by Dr Caroline Palmer and Kathryn Pratt

[This article was originally published on Age of Awareness which is Medium’s largest publication dedicated to education reform.] Join the #Imlearning movement and showcase kids’ learning to squash the “covid gap” narrative With the assumption that only measurable, National Curriculum-based learning is important, the government has identified, and publicised, a ‘covid gap’ in learning. To […]

Feb 09
Unschooling School: supporting the Innate Philosophy of learning within our current schools, by Heather MacTaggart

Our world needs creative problem solvers. People who know how they learn, how to communicate, and are adept at creative collaboration. But how do we nurture these natural qualities within the current education system which is based on the Standardization Philosophy?  We politely, kindly, and insistently agitate for change. We join together and advocate for […]

Feb 09
Let’s change our minds about lockdown learning, and give kids a break, by Naomi Fisher

Naomi Fisher is a clinical psychologist and author.  Her book ‘Changing Our Minds; How Children Can Take Control of Their Own Learning’ is out now, published by Little, Brown. This time a year ago, we’d never have guessed how many people would have spent this year homeschooling.  School seemed as much part of life as […]

Jan 21
Whatever Happened to Alternative Education? By Freya Aquarone

[This article was originally published by Radix whose vision is a sustainable society where all citizens can live securely with dignity, are active participants in society and are free to pursue their own interpretation of the good life.] Over the past half century, despite many changes of government, and many impassioned pleas for alternative visions, […]

Jan 13
‘This is the Best Thing in School’: Self Managed Learning at Uckfield Community Technology College

By Andrea Hazeldin, Deputy Principal and Head of College, Uckfield Community Technology College, 2013 Introduction The title is taken from a comment made by a Year 8 student at the College. This article outlines the approach that prompted that comment – and others such as ‘I’ve learned more from these five sessions than in my […]

Dec 17
Misuse of Key Terms by Children’s Commissioner and Local Government Association in context of Education Select Committee Hearing on Home Education

Open letter to the Education Select Committee The following letter was sent on 17 December 2020 to the Chair of the Education Select Committee Mr Robert Halfon MP, to the Clerk, to the Children’s Commissioner and to the Local Government Association and signed by the parties below. Misuse of key terms by Children’s Commissioner and […]

Dec 16
If it works don’t fix it. Leave Home Education alone as it works. Sort out the problems in schools, by Ian Cunningham

There is no need for a change in current arrangements for home education. The law on the ‘otherwise’ criterion is clear on the right to an education that is not in school. Below is some evidence for the need for schools to change, based on the book ‘Self Managed Learning and the New Educational Paradigm’ […]

Dec 06
Another Way is Possible: Becoming a Democratic Teacher in a State School, by Derry Hannam

Transcript from Derry Hannam’s talk at the International Democratic Education Conference (IDEC) on 30th October 2020 #WebIDEC2020: I must warn you that although this lecture is not a lecture or a speech or even just a talk – it is a story – and that still gives me the opportunity to say a lot!! “Another […]

Dec 06
The gifts that home-schooling parents give their children, by Joe Atkinson

I’ve worked with families that home-school for a variety of reasons.  Some enforced and some consciously.  Like many things on the edges of a society it is a place that is so often misunderstood, but a place where you can learn so much from the community and I am glad that I found this community […]

Dec 01
Don’t Go Back, Recreate the School, by Helena Singer

After six months of school buildings being closed, debates, balance sheets, proposals, controversies multiply around questions about “recovering learning”, “automatically approving or failing”, “how to follow protocols on returning to school”, “when closing the school year”, ” how to diagnose learning loss “, among others that address education with language of accounting. More extreme positions […]

Nov 30
Reaching out: when learning doesn’t look like school, by Rachel Evans

Recently there have been renewed concerns from the media and policy makers about home educated children who are not formally taught, and who may be classed as Children Missing Education. This blog is intended to speak directly to anyone with concerns. Children are hard wired to learn from the moment they are born. There is […]

Nov 25
Going, going, gone. What the sudden rise in home education does (and doesn’t) tell us about the school system, by Anna Dusseau

Recruitment, retention, results. This was what I gathered from my first meeting on the Sixth Form Management Team (SMT), back in the early teens of last decade. We called it the ‘3 Rs’ and it formed the basis of decision-making within our Sixth Form, an ambitious offshoot of the competitive inner-London academy I was employed […]

Nov 25
The impact of school on young people’s mental health: a UCL doctoral student shares his findings, by States of Mind

With our youth-led research project, Breaking The Silence, we’re exploring the impact of the UK’s educational system on young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Today we hear from Jaspar Khawaja, a doctoral student at the UCL Institute of Education, who has been collaborating with us in recent months to develop the research. Asked about the […]

Nov 19
Schools are prioritising academic achievement over wellbeing and growth, by States of Mind

With our youth-led research project, Breaking The Silence, we’re exploring the impact of the UK’s educational system on young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Today we hear from Jaspar Khawaja, a doctoral student at the UCL Institute of Education, who has been collaborating with us in recent months to develop the research. In our previous […]

Nov 17
The Case for Un-Learning, by Ross Mountney

You maybe don’t realise but in order to home educate successfully parents have some serious un-learning to do! Un-learning? That’s a bit contrary for an education blog isn’t it? How is that going to help with home schooling when there’s so much new stuff to understand? And that’s the whole point; there’s a lot of […]

Nov 14
Let Us Unleash All Potential, by Katy Zago

Diversity? Financial sustainability? Creativity? Let us unleash all potential! As an active member of the Luxembourg Treasury Association (ATEL) for about 20 years, I had the honour of being one of the rare guests to attend this annual conference like no other, given the health circumstances. Indeed, times are changing, and for the first time this […]

Oct 28
Creating a Democratic Class and Curriculum, by Derry Hannam

Rather than impose my own idea of the kind of structures that the class democracy should have I decided that we would make it up as we went along by dealing with issues as they arose. The one thing I was clear about was the need for a class meeting. As the school required that […]

Oct 21
Our School Systems Are Not Working – Some Proposals For Change

This is a transcript of a speech given by Derry Hannam at the Holistic School, Taiwan on 18th October 2020: I am very pleased to be invited to give this talk at the Holistic school in Taiwan – the Summerhill School of Asia – and to follow in the eminent footsteps of my good friends […]

Oct 21
Are Parents Teachers? By Kimberley Cooper

Working during the pandemic as a full-time primary class teacher and being a parent with two young children, I have come to reassess these important roles and the essential connections between them.  This feels especially relevant since my daughter’s and son’s bubbles were recently sent home due to cases of CV19 in the setting.  As […]

Oct 10
Is Progressive Education Really… Progressive? By Max Hope

I like words. I think about words. I dream about words. I sometimes wake up with words, sentences and paragraphs in my head. Words explain a thousand pictures. For me, anyway. I am looking at a new website – a fabulous website – progressive I love this website. It contains so many rich ideas, […]

Sep 30
OK – You’re Certified, by Derry Hannam

“OK You’re certified,” said the friendly twelve-year-old boy. Throughout 25 years of advocating the democratisation of schools I have often feared these words yet when they were finally delivered the context was delightful. I was visiting the Sudbury Valley School in Framingham, Massachusetts. The introductory tour took us to the music room. As a one-time […]