The Manchester Museum was an interesting and inspiring location for our event, delegates made their way through the main doors, up the grand staircase and past elephants and lions before arriving at our venue for the screening of MLTS.
After setting the scene with the film showing we decamped next door for some light refreshments; the room was a buzz with networking and discussion around the key themes, it was great to see and hear such enthusiasm for our cause.
Back in the main room attendees were presented with provocations from our speakers:
Andy Hodgkinson – Chair of eCAPH
Martin Ainscough – Director of Creative Learning, Fred Longworth High School
Rosie Clayton – Virgin Big change Project & RSA Cities of Learning Project
Areas covered included:
- Why do we need education?
- How can we provide learning and teaching experiences that support these images and desired outcomes for individuals and society?
- What are the problems and barriers within the current system of education that prevent the effective development of alternative forms of education and collaboration?
Breakout groups were tasked with debating and discussing the key themes of the evening with a view to developing networks and strategies for change. Feedback from these debates was shared and in turn sparked more discussion once groups began to cross pollinate ideas. Some of the debate questioned whether traditional school buildings are still fit for purpose and how the wider community including business could serve as our new ‘classrooms.’ There was a clear desire to encourage our children to embrace the global community and a need was identified to provide them with the agency to explore this further. There was much talk around our current system of qualifications and if they are still fit for purpose, with the wealth of experience in the room we were able to explore this from a range of levels from primary through to FE and also from the perspective of concerned parents. There was a clear concern for the mental health and wellbeing of our children and educators, an issue that has been raised in a number of forums that we have attended as OwnEd and clearly a great concern that should be high priority.
To conclude the event, our delegates outlined some of their key desires for the future of our education including:
- A connected approach
- Trust and autonomy
- A values based system
- Celebration of human difference
- Lifelong learning
- A change in accountability
As always it is fantastic to attend events such as this and be reminded of the fight and desire that is out their to change our education system for the better, to start moving our ideas forward and to connect people who we hope will be the change makers at many different levels. We would once again like to thank all of those who attended and gave their insights and knowledge to the great debates that happened.