Tag: Working in Schools

Searching Hansard should be part of the citizenship curriculum.

Emma Mulqueeny writes that Hansard is cool:

What is Hansard?

Hansard is the edited verbatim report of proceedings in both Houses. Daily Debates are published on this website the next working day at 8am. Find out more about Hansard

Why is it cool?

Because, as Robert Brook showed on twitter earlier, you can do wonderful searches such as this one: http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/search/umbrella on umbrellas. Or on any subject of choice…

What fun!

(Am I a little bit sad?)

My response to her last point is an emphatic no, not in the slightest bit sad. Among the tweets I have marked as a favourite is this one from Lloyd:


Searching Hansard should be part of the citizenship curriculum.

RSA Education Charter on learning and creativity.

Very occasionally I write a post for Thriving (my hat tip for this one), I’m a school governor and also a Fellow of the RSA.  The 250 year old organisation for ideas and social action is just opening its first school in Tipton in the Black Country. As I’ve written before I sometimes find myself astonished/cross by how cautious some of our major institutions are about something as important as education. So I’ve signed up to the RSA’s new educational charter (which you can do here). If you sign it this is what you’ll be supporting:

The Charter

It is the primary purpose of education to awaken a love of learning in young people, and give them the ability and desire to carry on learning throughout life. We need to recognise that education has many aims

Education must nurture creativity and capacity for independent and critical thought.

Young people should leave formal education equipped with the confidence, aptitude and skills they need for life and for work.

Education should help young people to understand how to be happy and to develop and maintain their own emotional, physical and mental well-being.

Every young person has the right to develop to their full potential

Ability comes in many forms and learners need to be supported to enjoy success no matter where their talents lie.

The educational success of learners should not depend on their background. Schools, communities and families must work together to close gaps in attainment.

The curriculum in schools and colleges should balance abstract and practical knowledge so that every learner can access high quality academic and vocational opportunities.

Education should engage the learner with exciting, relevant content and opportunities for learning through experience and by doing.

Education must be a partnership

Learners have a valuable role to play in contributing to the design of their own learning, and in shaping the way their learning environment operates.

The education of young people should be a partnership of schools, parents and the wider community in a local area.

Schools should be inclusive, creative communities which build tolerance, respect and empathy in young people.

We must trust our schools and education professionals

Every teacher should be a creative professional involved in the design of curricula and learning environments, and should be supported and developed to fulfil that role.

Every school should be different, every school innovative and we must find ways of holding them to account for their performance that rewards rather than stifles this creativity.

Fair Play – a brief review of this partly online consultation for young people.

I’ve just played the online consultation game from the Department of Children and Families. You can find it here www.dcsf.gov.uk/playspace. Sorry to the folk at the department if I’ve slightly skewed the result. I ticked the over 13 button (which is true) as were the rest of my answers.

I expected to be very dismissive of the game but I was instead interested. It was an intelligent way to use a simple game to narrow down who was sharing their opinions. Allowing choices of things to go on the playground as a reward was a good idea (I immediately chose the treehouse, tunnel and den – why wouldn’t you!). The main problem with the game as a tool for consultation is I have no real incentive to work my way through to the the end. However it might work as a social object – to encourage a group of people to talk about what they want from play areas. It is also only one game – so inevitably won’t be well enough targeted for different age groups.

There is a separate online questionnaire, which I imagine is where the department is really expecting to get useful data. This, and all the other information could do with being more smoothly integrated. At the moment the game has it’s own set of pages, the rest simply appears on the web in a way which suits the department internal bureaucracy rather than the user. The game ought to have it’s own site with all the other information radiating out from that. It also would work best as w widget or some sort of onlne object which can be integrated into other people’s sites, myspace pages etc. Then the audience can distribute the consultation.


  • A good stab
  • Not in the slightest web 2.0
  • Would have benefited from being executed with more conviction.