The Foundation for Education Development (the FED) is dedicated to the belief that long-term strategic education planning is vital to the success of countries and their people. In the spirit of collaboration, we provide an independent and neutral space for stakeholders to help shape the future of education. This is a critical year for the FED as we strengthen our case for longer-term planning in education, refine our thinking around the mechanisms we propose for wider stakeholder voices in education planning and longer-term policy making, and we work to amplify our voice to raise the issue of education higher up the political agenda.
The FED is currently recruiting members to their Practitioners’ Council. The role of this council is to learn from those who work directly with children and young people whether in a formalised school or college setting or in more informal or alternate education provisions or services.
Co-Chairs of the FED Practitioners Council, Dr Jess Mahdavi-Gladwell and Dr Kate Bridge, reflect on their involvement
Dr Kate Bridge – Co-Chair of the Practitioners council, Physics Teacher, Mum, Runner
I was encouraged to join the council by Lisa-Marie Muller from the Chartered College of teaching, and I have not regretted taking part one bit. As a council we provide an important voice of those on the coalface of education what is really going on in schools; the moments of wonderment in our teaching and the challenges faced by ourselves and our learners. Hearing from others in the different parts of the sector has been awe inspiring in terms of the difference that each of us makes; this process allows you to cheer on education practitioners and helps you reflect on your own practice. By taking part in the council my eyes have been open to not only the different types of practitioners but also how other stakeholders interact with education. I truly believe it is the together approach that FED is developing that will make our future brighter for all. On a more personal note, it gives me hope that my own children, nieces and nephews might get a better deal in our system by the work I am part of now. I am so excited about what we have planned this year for the council. Working with Jess was an absolute pleasure, and I am looking forward to further collaborations when we can. Plus I am excited to work with a new co-chair.
Dr Jess Mahdavi-Gladwell
I have stepped down from my role as co-chair of the FED Practitioners’ Council due to a new deputy head job which left me feeling that the role needed to be filled by someone who could more genuinely identify as a practitioner and so bring that perspective to the Council. Though I am thoroughly enjoying my new role, one of the things I’m sad to leave behind is the Practitioners’ Council. The time I spent in role was developmental and challenging as well as incredibly interesting. I was privileged to meet with a varied group of colleagues working in different settings and roles. Their perspectives and experiences, together, created a productive and reflective space where people shared knowledge and professional vulnerability to think together about how we, the people in the classroom, can contribute to a shared vision for the future of education. Taking space to envisage education, somewhat sheltered from the winds of political change allowed for creative thinking and renewed hope that things could be better, for children and for those who work in schools.
There were some highlights outside of the meetings, opportunities to attend exciting events and new friendships are examples of these. The most rewarding aspect, however, was listening to the views of groups full of talented, committed teachers and other colleagues and to learn about how their settings work impacted on their vision of a long-term plan for education. These meetings provided professional learning and networking opportunities and, as I leave this group, I have joined the council for those who work in Alternative and SEND provisions so that I can continue to contribute to and benefit from being a part of FED.
To this end, the Foundation for Education Development welcomes the inputs from all teachers, middle leaders, classroom assistants, pastoral managers, youth workers, probation workers, hospital education providers, etc. Because the FED is invested in improving the education system for ALL learners we welcome practitioners who support young people whatever their education pathway, including those who provide extra support to the most vulnerable.
The council will meet regularly throughout the year (online). Your commitment as a member is to attend a minimum of three of the six consultation sessions we will host this year. Each session lasts 90 minutes and is held on a weekday evening.
If you are interested in joining this group please complete this short form by midnight Sunday 15th October.
Deadline: 12am, 15/10/2023