Stephen Twigg MP, Professor Geoff Whitty CBE and Children’s Commissioner Maggie Atkinson in sparkling form at the launch of Transform Education

Wednesday 14th March 2012

Thanks to the masses who packed into the Thatcher Room at Portcullis House, Westminster last night to celebrate the launch of Breslin’s Transform Education project ( and who heard Stephen Twigg, Geoff Whitty and Maggie Atkinson in sparking form – we’ve thrown some of their comments out through Twitter (@UKpolicywatch) but these soundbites can’t hope to do their efforts justice.
Thanks also to our partners at GlobalNet 21 for helping us to stage what will be the first of three meetings and, we envisage, a much bigger project.

From the ensuing discussion a series of key questions emerged and readers of this blog might want to ponder them further. Here, in no particular order, are just some of them:

  • What purpose (or purposes) do we want (and need) a twenty-first century education system to serve?
  • What do we mean by ‘breadth’ in education, and in the curriculum in particular, and how do we ensure such a curriculum for all learners?
  • What does meaningful, purposeful engagement-building learner voice or youth participation look like and how might it support the broader educational enterprise?
  • What do we mean by professional, practical and vocational education and what is its place, status and purpose in the curriculum of all young people?
  • How do we best support the challenged, the challenging, the looked after and the otherwise vulnerable?
  • How do we introduce transformative change, especially in the highly structured context of the modern secondary school?
  • What can secondary practitioners learn from those in early years and primary education, those in the youth sector, those in the ‘alternative’ education community and those in adult education and FE?
Comments and additions to the list are welcome. Let the discussion begin!
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Chief Executive, British Educational Research Association