Archives For NottsCampaignEd

Blogs about this event can be found on this site – by clicking on the tag NottsVoiceEd.

The University of Nottingham School of Education website for the event is here.

To register for the event use the Eventbrite site here.

To download a poster for the event  click here – Poster

The event is part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science – full details of all events here

Tweets will use the hashtag #NottsVoiceEd and #ESRCFestival


Provisional details of this event have already been blogged about.  The workshop is a chance to meet with others, discuss what type of education we want (in schools, colleges, universities, adult) and think about how we bring about the change we want to see. Please see the earlier blog item to find out more about this event and it aims.

The event is on Saturday 14th November, 10am-4pm at Highfield House, University of Nottingham.

Plans are now well underway and the programme is currently being developed, Final plans will not be confirmed until we know the the details of those attending as we will endeavour to construct the day according to the interests and experiences of those attending.

Please find here details preliminary details of keynotes and workshops:


Hilary Wainwright

Keynote: Hilary Wainwright – Hilary is the author of ‘Reclaim the State: Experiments in Popular Democracy‘ and ‘Public Service Reform: But Not As We Know it‘. She has extensive experience of working with workers and service users to create democratic public services.


Peter Flack (assistant secretary City of Leicester NUT) and colleagues from City of Leicester schools will discuss how they have forged strong school, parent and local authority partnerships as a means of resisting the drive to fragmentation and privatisation.

Nadia Whittome (student campaigner) and student activists will discuss what a real student voice in education can and should look like.

Parent campaigners from Hands Off Hove Park in Brighton will discuss how they developed a parent-led campaign to keep Hove Park as a community school.  In particular they will focus on how community campaigns can utilise the media to promote their objectives.

Mel Cooke and Rob Peutrell (Nottingham UCU) will share their experiences of the Action for ESOL campaign, and in particular the way in which coalitions have been developed to defend this vital aspect of adult and community education.

[Can’t see what you want? If you’d like to organise a workshop please email Howard Stevenson to discuss your ideas].

As well as keynotes and workshops there will be plenty of opportunity for participants to discuss issues and set the agenda. Talking and doing will be as important as listening and thinking.  We will bring about the change we want by connecting ideas and activism.

This event is FREE – but pre-registration is important. Please register online here.

This is a unique opportunity to connect with others and be part of a movement to rediscover, reclaim and reinvent education as a democratic public good In Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

Change is in the air – be part of it.

Please note – Five Leaves Bookshop will be represented at the event with a selection of education titles and books by Hilary Wainwright.

logoThis event is part of the ESRC’s ‘Festival of Social Science‘. Thanks are due to ESRC for financial support.

Society is being transformed. The welfare state that developed in the post-war years is under attack. Almost every element of  it is being ‘marketised’.  Services are sold off and contracted out. Private sector organisations (some for profit, others not) replace public provision. Competition and internal markets have become the taken for granted ‘common sense’.  We are all customers now . . .

These phenomena are all visible in education – where schools, colleges and universities are forced to behave like businesses, whilst people of all ages are encouraged to see education as little more than an investment to enhance labour market employability.

Education is reduced to inputs, outputs, efficiency and the return on investment. We are told that the market provides us with choice and that choice gives us power – but at the same time the big decisions about education are increasingly made by people far removed from the local communities where the people who use and need public services really are.  There is a gaping democratic deficit in how we decide the really big questions in education, and many of the small questions too.

In the City of Nottingham and County of Nottinghamshire all of these tendencies are evident.  Over the years the areas have had more than their fair share of the ‘big ideas’ in education – none of which have really addressed the fundamental problems faced in the City and the County. Meanwhile, the corridors of power, where the key decisions are made, often seem more remote, and less accessible, than ever.

However, it is important to remember that none of this is inevitable. Education can look different – and there are different ways of thinking about how we identify and address both the big and small questions in education.

On Saturday 14th November (10am-4pm – FREE) at the University of Nottingham we will be discussing all these issues in more detail.  Not only thinking about the type of education we want, but also the ways we can make sure that all have the opportunity to be ‘co-constructors’ of the education policies that shape local provision.

HilaryWainwrightThe keynote speaker is Hilary Wainwright.

Hilary is the author of ‘Reclaim the State: Experiments in Popular Democracy‘ and ‘Public Service Reform: But Not As We Know it‘.  She has excellent first hand of experience of working with grassroots groups to democratise local services. This ‘Think Piece’ gives a great example of some of her thinking – Wainwright-TP-821

There will also be workshops of developing local partnerships and networks, using the media to support community based campaigns, developing democratic teacher professionalism and student voice (further details to follow).

The event is intentionally broad – aimed at students, parents, those who work in education and simply those interested in education.  It will cover all phases and interests – from early years, through schools, FE and HE to community and adult. It will include discussion of both the City and the County (hence Nottingham-Shire).

The starting point for the day’s discussion is that education is a public (collective) good and that education for democracy must itself be democratic.  Beyond that, there are no pre-determined outcomes, no preferred solutions and no blueprints.

Discussion will be about how we rediscover, reclaim and reinvent democratic public education in our communities – city and county.  The concern is both with the what and howwhat do we want, and how do we mobilise collectively to make it happen? There can be no ready answers because it will be for participants to decide for themselves both the destination and the route.

In order to help facilitate discussion there will be some external and whole session speakers (details to be announced).  However, most of the day will be devoted to small group discussion, with plenaries to share thinking and formulate collective responses.


Come along –  register here (places are limited)

Get involved in planning the day – drop me an email and become part of the conversation.


Email me to find out more or ask a question.

This event is part of the ESRC’s Festival of Social Science. I am grateful to the ESRC for financial support.