In my capacity as an Education Team research elf, I’ve topped and tailed the Christmas holidays with working on one of the background papers for the Future Schools Network. We and our partners at the Innovation Unit are producing a series of these which will all be available online eventually. However, we thought this one, which deals with our aims and ambitions for the Network, could get a bit of a discussion going about where we all want to go with FSN. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Firstly I’ll recap some things you may remember from elsewhere. The Network will bring together up to 30 schools and several other innovation and education experts and decide on up to six key themes for schools in the twenty first century. They’ll develop “next practice” to address each theme and apply them in their schools.
We’re hoping to get two things out of this. It’s hoped this process will create a coherent picture of what a future school could look like. Of course, there’s no one answer to that, but it’s hoped that we can build up an idea of how schools can better serve pupils’ needs.
The Network will also be creating next practice and sharing concrete skills and strategies for addressing our core themes. This will mean producing resources for a wider group of schools to explore, adapt and develop these themes, as in Opening Minds.
The question I’d like to put to you all is what are the working practices that you think will help us achieve all this? There are three types of relationships here; between network members; within school communities; and between people from professional fields outside of teaching. What are the values (such as respect, trust, equality) that we’ll need in the Future Schools Network, and what ways of working will encourage them?