Meet Jaiden Corfield, a Big Change Youth Associate and Big Education Challenge Champion. As a youth campaigner, Jaiden has spent his youth campaigning with and for young people. He is now Founding Director of Beyond Voice Consultancy, and spends his time designing models for intergenerational collaboration.
What inspired your passion for transforming education?
My need to change things began when I was an angry and frustrated 11 year old. There was a narrative that being a Salford lad meant crime and violence. I remember thinking I wanted to aspire to more than that – but it felt like you couldn’t. I discovered a great charity, Reclaim, in Salford and I spent the next decade campaigning for young people. This experience showed me that creating change is much bigger than one person. Being part of a team was liberating. I then worked with Rekindle to co-design a new kind of supplementary school – led by young people, for working class young people.
Education is a really beautiful idea, but the system is broken. So many kids are failed, ignored, and valued on their grades which limits their beliefs. I want young people to aspire to a bigger narrative so that they can fulfil their potential. I want them to know how to show up for themselves and others, building empathy in everything they do in life. We should be co-designing a new way for education by bringing head teachers and young people together so that they can design the system together. Education is so much more than grades – it is about purpose.
What inspires you about the Big Education Challenge?
I love the way it is disrupting the ways young people can get involved. Young people often feel that their opinions are not valued, but the Big Education Challenge recognises that young people are kicking at the door and have ideas, and that is exciting. The impact of experienced innovators on my life has been massive. When we are trying to create change we stand on the shoulders of giants. It is already happening and those innovators and individuals need to be supported and sustained. I think the Big Education Challenge will open the door to bold visions, and the support and capacity building that Big Change is offering will make those bold visions become a reality.
If you had to choose one change you hope to see in education and learning what would it be?
I think it is vital that young people are supported to find purpose. So many teachers are fuelled by purpose, schools are places of purpose, and a fundamental reimagining of the purpose of education needs to be at the heart of change.
What message of support and advice to the aspiring innovators who want to apply to the challenge?
The journey to changing education isn’t easy but it is beautiful. Submit your ideas to The Big Education Challenge because we need you, we need the bold, the disruptors, and people who are willing to pursue change. You can never create change alone, so bring your talents along and be part of a powerful community. Allow your moments of discomfort to drive you and fuel your innovation.