The problems with the status quo are well rehearsed; we are failing too many young people now, but also failing those who seemingly succeed. The world has changed beyond recognition, but the education system has not.
Innovation has been stifled under mounting pressures of exam results. Many schools know they need to change and want to do so, but lack the skills, and courage to really achieve their vision. Many schools simply do not have the capacity to do this expansive work under mounting pressures of exam results.
Big Education is about a big ambition. To bring together the energy and spirit of our schools, teachers and communities to deliver a bigger and bolder vision of what education can be about.
They believe deeply that we need to educate the whole child – head, heart and hand. And if we do that with innovation and rigour, then young people will be equipped to make a difference to the world.
A paradigm shift is needed; new thinking about the very purpose of schooling, through to the values of the system, the curriculum, pedagogies, culture, assessment, and, of course, the leadership.
The world has changed beyond recognition, but the education system has not.
Work in action
Big Education’s Big Leadership Adventure is a challenging two-year programme for leaders who are committed to going on a personal and professional journey of being a change maker in their organisation and system.
The cohort of 30 develop in a unique and holistic way, as they become ready to push the boundaries in education, growing as leaders, thinkers and doers.
Big Education is working to create a growing coalition of schools and individuals who are demonstrating the leadership needed to bring about real change.
The Big Changers
Liz used values as a key driver in her role as head at Surrey Square, from January 2006 until August 2018. Following an outstanding Ofsted in November 2009, she was asked to lead the amalgamation with the linked Infant School, and the newly formed Primary School was judged outstanding in November 2016. She and Nicola Noble developed a model of co-headship from 2014 onwards. As a National Leader of Education, Liz worked with many schools to develop practice and raise standards. She was a founder of IAG, motivated to be part of creating a forward thinking secondary school.
Peter is the co-founder and the first headteacher of School 21, a pioneering 4 to 18 school that opened in Stratford, East London in 2012. The school has a growing reputation for developing oracy (speaking) skills having set up Voice 21, a charity working with more than 400 schools across the country. It has also developed sophisticated programmes for real world learning and wellbeing.
For nine years to 2003, Peter worked as a strategist and speechwriter to the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. He left to become a teaching assistant in a challenging Islington school, before training as a history teacher and working his way up to become a headteacher. He is author of 1 out of 10, from Downing Street Vision to Classroom Reality.