5 Reasons Why…..
Last week, the LSC Education team enjoyed attending The Sunday Times Festival of Education held at Wellington College. Over two fantastic days, 5,500 people took part in a wide range of educational debates, discussions and activities. We came away inspired and with the firm opinion that anybody involved in Education who is able to, should put this event as a firm date in their annual diary. Here are our reasons why....
1. Everyone’s Equal
Dubbed the ‘Swots Glastonbury’ by Sir Bob Geldof, the Festival, held at Wellington College, Berkshire, asks its visitors to hang up their suits in favour of jeans and t-shirts. While this might on the surface seem of no consequence, in reality it is a highly effective way of creating a relaxed atmosphere and most importantly a place where everyone feels equal. Whether you are training to be a teacher, are a highly experienced educational leader, a parent or a student, you can debate with some of the most interesting, respected and influential educationalists in the world.
2. Spoilt for choice
The two day programme covers a staggering array of inspirational workshops, panel discussions, presentations, activities and entertainment. The only real problem with the programme, which this year included 200 speakers, is that there might be just too much choice. The LCS Education team decided to each visit different sessions, to try and divide and conquer!
3. A hotbed of debate and learning
While the Festival is set in arguably one of the most prestigious independent schools in the country, it has been committed to being non-exclusive and is successful at making the event welcoming and open to everyone. It brings together educationalists from every sector; state, independent, FE, HE, special education and the international sector. It is this convergence of educational contexts and settings that makes the festival so enriched and alive. It truly is the place to share best practice and to take home some great new ideas to your own classroom, school or sitting room.
4. All-star guest list
The continuing rise of celebrities at the Festival certainly gives an exciting and refreshing feel to the event. As Dr David James, the Festival Director comments, ‘Education is not confined to the classroom, just as learning is not owned by the young.’ This year, Tinie Tempah gave a superb talk, aimed at the students, about how he achieved his success. People came together to talk about real issues that have influenced their lives; for example Gareth Thomas, Wales Rugby Captain, spoke about the bullying he experienced, and celebrated author Sebastian Faulks explained why he was inspired to write novels. Ken Robinson, Guy Claxton and Carol Dweck were among the many well-known experts who gave their thoughts on education.
5. Young people take centre stage
Many schools brought groups of pupils, and parents brought their children. They took a full and active part. The Festival provides not only a great deal of fun - circus skills sessions, giant bubble making and silent discos - but also an opportunity to interview many speakers, including the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, for musicians to busk for their chosen charities and for older students to present sessions for visitors to attend.
Edward Clark, Dr Helen Wright, David McGahey, Sophie Hunter and Claudia Clark from LSC Education joined this year’s festival. Between us we enjoyed over 35 different sessions.
Our thanks to Sir Anthony Seldon, Dr David James and the Festival team for a superb event.