After #NottsVoiceEd – what’s next?

This email sent to all those who registered for ‘Nottingham-Shire: A Voice for Education.’

I am writing to you as someone who registered for Saturday’s ‘Nottingham-Shire: A Voice for Education’ event at the University.

Nearly 60 people were able to attend on Saturday representing a range of education sectors – schools, further, higher and adult education.

I am grateful to those who presented at workshops and helped stimulate considerable discussion.

Hilary Wainwright, in her keynote address, encouraged us to think how we both challenge what we are against and advocate positively for what we are for. Several of the workshops illustrated practically how people are already doing this in different contexts. Saturday was an important opportunity to share the learning from those experiences. Key themes of the day were how we need to make connections and develop broad coalitions.

If you attended on Saturday – thank you for your attendance and your contribution. Thank you too for your patience and flexibility. There were, even by the standards of such occasions, some significant ‘unforeseen events’. Your understanding was much appreciated.

What happens next?

On Saturday a proposal was tabled to set up a ‘Nottingham Campaign for Education’ (NCE) – that proposal is available here – https://nottsvoiceed.wordpress.com/2015/11/13/proposal-a-nottingham-campaign-for-education/

A number of people offered to help support the setting up of such a group. This is not intended to replicate any other group but rather one of its distinctive features will be to work across sectors, and to draw together existing groups focused on specific sectors or issues.

It will clearly take a while to clarify the aims and organisational structure of such a group. In the meantime, it will exist as an informal network and if you wish to be kept informed of developments, and to contribute to its discussions, please email me at howard.stevenson@nottingham.ac.uk.

One very practical suggestion for action was that there should be a submission to the consultation, currently underway, on a 10 year plan for Nottingham City schools. That submission would be in the name of NCE. Details of the plan, and the consultation process, are here – https://nottsvoiceed.wordpress.com/2015/11/10/school-education-in-nottingham-what-do-you-think/

The deadline for this consultation is the end of the month. The whole consultation period is barely a month. There are a group of people willing to develop a submission – if you email to be part of the NCE mailing list you will automatically be included in discussions about the submission, and have a chance to comment on drafts. One of the points the submission is likely to make is that the consultation exercise is woefully inadequate and that a genuine and much more imaginative consultation about the type of education we want in the next 10 years could act as a powerful means to engage with, and mobilise, parent, teacher and community interests.

Thank you again for your support.

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