Big Thinking

Big Education has been a lot about ‘culture’ this week. Both internally, with the inaugural meeting of our ‘culture club’, looking at our ways of working as an organisation, and also with our ‘culture’ day as part of The Big Leadership Adventure.

Liz Robinson Co-Director, Big Education

Much banded around as an idea with organisational development and leadership, culture is a fascinating topic to really unpick and get under the skin of. Every place and organisation has a culture, whether we actively...

Employers often use this phase to communicate the fact that they are looking for certain attributes, skills and qualities when they are hiring.

Liz Robinson Co-Director, Big Education

I am lucky enough to be a fellow on the Forward Institute programme. With the overarching theme of responsible leadership, this brilliant programme brings together leaders from across the spectrum of organisations, to...

How can we equip ourselves for the long haul this is turning out to be?

Liz Robinson Co-Director, Big Education

It has felt like a tough week. Many people have felt fragile, brittle. Stresses have been bubbling up. Too many tough weeks, tough calls and bad news. Social media is awash with stories of the challenges on the ground ...

"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."

Kate Rogers Big Leadership Adventure 2020/21

I’ll never forget the first class I taught when I embarked on my teaching career. The deputy headteacher at the time described them as ‘a box of frogs’. Who would have known that Steve Jobs would come up with a better...


Big Communities

This week saw the publication of a significant new report from the RSA. It was with great pride that I read this, complete with a

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Schools In Their Communities  Series

Schools In Their Communities: Taking Action and Developing Civic Life is a collaboration between Big Education and Citizen School

Introduction: Let's commit to a life of responsibility and action

Dr Sebastien Chapleau
‘It’s not hope that leads to action. Rather, it is action that inspires hope.’ – Neil Jameson CBE. Albert Camus’s The Plague (La Peste) was first published over sixty years ago. It focuses on how citizens from…

Provocation: Why academy trusts should employ community organisers

Neil Jameson CBE
‘We should not, must not, dare not be complacent about the health and future of British democracy. Unless we become a nation of engaged citizens our democracy is not secure!’ – Lord Irvine of Laird, Lord Chancellor …

Surrey Square: Why Community is Key

Matt Morden
& Fiona Carrick-Davies
Surrey Square is a school at the heart of the community it serves, meeting not just the educational needs of its pupils but also responding to the plethora of social issues facing local families….

Reach Academy & Reach Academy Children's Hub

Luke Billingham
A school and charity partnership working together to provide community support and to enable community action. The story of Reach Academy and Reach Children’s Hub demonstrates the significant role that schools and…

The Story of School 21's Community Choir

Emily Crowhurst
Setting up our School21 community choir has been a life-affirming endeavour. Friday afternoons in our school hall are an embodiment of our school value of community and model the power of music to promote…

Ruth (and) the Giant

Emmanuel Gotora
The end of the school year is always a hectic time, especially for primary schools. In Forest Gate, east London, the excitement reaches fever pitch as a group of energetic 10 and 11-year-olds at St. Antony’s Primary…

From the classroom to real world action: How young people change their community

Louisa Searle
Social action education in schools and colleges can seem like yet another thing to add to the list of responsibilities that time-poor teachers, lecturers, support staff, and school leaders must carry out as part their…

Hendon School: Youth-led community engagement and the mental health SOS – Stamp Out Stigma – campaign

Noelle Doona
Hendon School is in the London Borough of Barnet. It is a large and diverse comprehensive school with 1,250 students and over 130 staff. 47% students are in receipt of the pupil premium grant, 68% students have English…

#LoveESOL: Action for ESOL and multilingual citizenship

Dermot Bryers
This is the story of how a group of parents from Streatham have influenced ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) policy in London and, beyond the city, impacted the national debate on language rights…

Positive Images: How young people organised to change policy and build better relationships with the police

Claire Arkwright
Notre Dame Roman Catholic Girls’ School, in the London borough of Southwark, has been a member of Citizens UK for almost a decade. As a school, Notre Dame has been engaged in multiple campaigns over the past few years….

'Your actions have shamed us today!'

Meeta Dave
& Heidi Shewell-Cooper
So said a local neighbourhood ward councillor in the summer of 2019 to an assembled group of Year 6 students, parents, and wider community representatives gathered in a small community park area, directly in front of…

From classroom to boardroom: young citizens lead the way

Dr Jamie Kesten
& Dr Matt Scott
Sometimes it takes an organised group of young people to accomplish what powerful adults cannot. Indeed, there is power in it being young people who ask about and act on local issues that often remains untapped or…

Educating Young Citizens Through a Habit of Action

Paul Amuzie
My joys, over the last eight years as a Community Organiser, have come from exploring, and engaging with, what organising looks like in schools and further education organisations. I have, over this time, started to see…

Community Organising in Newham: A Diverse 4 Years – Refugees, Housing, and Youth Safety

Andy Lewis
St Bonaventure’s school was set up the Order of Fransiscan Minor in 1875 in the basement of a Church in Stratford, and moved to its current site in 1877. The school was built before the Church and the Friary, but the……