Past Meetup

Transforming Education: Curriculum and Achievement

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Details would like to invite you to the first of several meetings we will be holding this year on transforming education in partnership with Breslin Public Policy. This first meeting is about rethinking curriculum and achievement: transforming education for the 21st Century and will be hosted by Stephen Twigg MP - The Shadow Education Secretary. Also speaking will be:

Maggie Atkinson - the children's commissioner for England.The Commissioner and her team make sure adults who work with children think about the needs of children and young people and listen to their views to their lives better.They speak up for all children and young people, especially those who are not often asked for their views or who might be vulnerable. For example, children who miss out on education, disabled children, those who have just arrived in this country, young people with emotional difficulties and those who get in trouble with the law. The Commissioner's job was created in 2004 by the Children Act. The Children Act is a law created by the Government to keep children safe from harm. The Commissioner uses the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) to guide her work.

Prof Geoff Whitty CBE is a former Director of the Institute of Education, University of London and offers experience of both theory and practice of leadership and management, especially in education and related professional fields. He has led evaluations of the implementation of major education reforms and has universities, schools and local authorities in building capacity for improvement. Geoff’s book (with others) Education and the Middle Class won the Society for Educational Studies book prize in 2004. In 2009, he was awarded the Lady Plowden Memorial Prize for outstanding services to education and he recently received a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Geoff is a specialist advisor to the House of Commons Select Committee for Education and a member of the General Teaching Council for England and the Board of Ofsted. He has held visiting appointments in the USA, New Zealand and China and is currently an Honorary Professor at Beijing Normal University.

What does educational achievement mean in the 21st century?

You can hear Tony Breslin talk about the transformation of education in this Podcast here … (

Is it just about securing the qualifications necessary to find a job and can it be measured solely by a set of examination grades; or is it about developing the resilience to cope with fast changing environments in the spheres of employability and beyond?

How we define achievement will shape how we develop the curriculum and how we assess student progress and performance. So, how do we develop a curriculum that reflects the need to fuel an ever-changing labour market whilst, at the same time, nurturing in learners the personal potency to adapt to those changes as well as the wider challenges that are impacting on our society and our planet?

At a time when the government's review of the National Curriculum is set to reach its conclusions, we will be asking what needs to be at the core of this curriculum, what the mix of vocational, professional and academic learning should be and what level of freedom individual schools should have in setting the curriculum.

Transforming our education system so that both achievement and curriculum reflect the finite world of the 21st Century is one of our greatest challenges. Developed in partnership with consultancy Breslin Public Policy Limited, this event seeks to open up the debate about the future of our education system and about our broader approach to learning and schooling. It is the first of a set of discussions that we shall be jointly hosting on the issue with Breslin as part of their Transform Education project. This meeting represents the public launch of the project. Education is a new project, in the process of being established by Breslin Public Policy, that aims to bring together learners, practitioners, academics and policymakers into dialogues so as to better inform the development and implementation of education policy, both in schools and elsewhere and for young people and adults.

Breslin Public Policy has been established by Tony Breslin, the educationalist who between 2001 and 2010 led the independent education and participation charity the Citizenship Foundation.

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