Change lies with us - now is the time to find our voice and come back stronger.

Rich learnings from across the Challenge Partners network for a better post-Covid schools system

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As we approach the end of term, the two things on most education minds are: ‘are we nearly there yet?’ and ‘what more do we need to do now to be ready for September?’ Important questions, especially the focus on taking some well-earned rest over the summer given the tireless work across the sector, non-stop since February.

At Challenge Partners, we have been exploring a third question this term: how do we ensure the new normal we eventually settle into is better than the normal we had before? How do we use this crisis as a platform to build a system, a curriculum and opportunities for our students that address some of the endemic challenges that have long plagued us? Like the yawning disadvantage gap. Like the relevance (or lack of it) of the curriculum to the communities our pupils come from and the world they’re growing up in.

We have asked the practitioners across our diverse and vibrant national network of over 500 schools and 100 trusts what has worked during lockdown that they don’t want to let go. Their answers have covered everything from the individual to the institutional to the systemic.

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