The Foundation for Education Development (FED) are delighted to share a thinkpiece by Peter Hudson, Chair North-West Association of Primary Head teachers (NWAPH). In this thinkpiece, Peter reflects on the FED’s third National Education Summit and how ‘the time is most definitely right and we may never get a better opportunity’ to implement a long-term plan for education.
Inspirational and energising: FED lead the way towards a long term and sustainable educational future
Passionate debate, influential minds and voices, considered opinions, informed views and stimulating ideas made for a truly inspirational conference at the Liverpool John Moores University; the first face to face conference for The FED since the limitations forced upon us by the pandemic.
It is indeed rare to have such a wide range of professionals from every position within the education community, from politicians (national and local) to CEOs and Head teachers; advisors and consultants, theorists, authors and, vitally, some of our young people.
No-one can fail to recognise the major challenges facing educators: whether it be recruitment and retention of staff (especially leaders), the pressure and process of OFSTED, SEND, wellbeing, the curriculum or climate change. Each topic was given an airing and suggested practical solutions around how we can improve, whilst recognising the amazing work already going on.
The biggest question underlying every word was whether education is really in crisis. And, whilst to many the answer seemed obviously “Yes,” today challenged this with a “manifesto of hope” (to quote one of the discussions). The challenges and pressures upon education leaders are very real and have never been greater with apparently so little recognition. However, the solutions are real too and today was a day to send out a strong message of hope.
There was so much to take in, consider and debate but it all tied together. There was a clear and shared recognition of the main challenges to our education system but equally a shared view of how things could be better.
How we can help influence and develop the message and a long-term strategic plan still includes some challenges, especially when there are so many other challenges facing society on a daily basis, but the time is most definitely right and we may never get a better opportunity.
With such engagement from all sectors and some significant attendees from those establishments who we need to engage with, things are surely moving in the right direction.