Last Thursday was fascinating. During the day I was privileged to represent IAPS at the inaugural meeting of the Sustainable Schools Alliance (SSA) Management Board. As I have mentioned elsewhere, IAPS are committed to Sustainability through education in what we have termed Education for Social Responsibility (ESR). The board was composed of a disparate group of organisations and the debate around the need to drive education for sustainability by an overarching body was stimulating. That we (representing Independent Prep Schools) were the only schools body was a little disconcerting and I left the meeting with desire to ensure that other representative bodies are drawn into the debate.
And this is where I get to the idea of silos. So much good work goes on within schools. For example, on the theme of Sustainability, there are many schools under the Eco-Schools umbrella doing marvellous things. Yet it has always been, particularly in Independent Schools, a challenge to enter into meaningful dialogue about change in schools with others. However, that is (ironically) all changing with the advent of the “teachmeet“. These, short, sharp CPD sessions expose attendees to a huge amount of practice that is occurring in other schools and carried out by other practitioners. I enables you to a) find out what innovative activity is taking place and b) know what you are doing already is innovative because someone else is sharing something you already do!
I was doubly privileged, therefore, to able to get a 3 minute slot to talk about ESR at last Thursday’s SLT-focused Teachmeet (SLTechmeet) – There were even Head teachers there. This was the first time that I had been able to speak publicly about the initiative. I was pleased with the reception and encouraged to speak for longer next time.
And the great connection? Stephen Lockyer is the Deputy Head of a Prep School. The theme of the evening was to “Leave your ego at the door” and for us all to step out of our silos and engage with colleagues across the educational sector. And it is thanks to energetic educators such as Stephen and Ross McGill that teachers and school leaders can get together and discover that there is a lot to learn from each other.