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Shortly before Christmas 2015, the Parliamentary Education Committee announced that they would address the question: 'What are the purposes and desirable qualities of education?'. Fantastic. We contributed, (see Diary article) and attended their conference. It has all now gone very quiet.
But not outside of Westminster.
We were delighted to find that a coalition is emerging, and we are now members. It is called 'More Than a Score' and its campaign is to re-enliven education. It too is addressing the question 'what are the purposes and desirable qualities of education': and it is a group of determined organisations and people.
At MTAS 2016 conference, author Tanya Landman posed the question "Are we in sinister territory? Do politicians actively want to switch children off from learning, from thinking for themselves?"
Well, that caught me up short! Did you know? Google told me, no-one else.
So here is Wikipedia:
"Universal Children's Day takes place annually on 20 November. First proclaimed by the United Kingdom in 1954, it was established to encourage all countries to institute a day, firstly to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children and secondly to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world's children."
Is this forgotten now in the UK? Is it buried in the same drawer where we will find the iconic phrase from the 1989 Children Act: 'The children's interests are paramount'?
"Universal Children's Day offers each of us an inspirational entry-point to advocate, promote and celebrate children's rights, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for Children."
Whatever the day, let's take the opportunity, delight and opportunity, not only promote society as fit for children but also a place where children's voice is heard:
The image is from the 'Planetary Messages' video of the children of Reggio, and they have something to say, as do all of ours - can we listen? Here it is: I know we've shared it before, but ...
Here is an outstanding example of a light in the darkness.
We all know that these are difficult times, and that on the vulnerable frontline are the pioneering initiatives.One such is the outstanding ReMida Odense, a centre for creativity conceived and run by our colleagues of the Denmark Reggio Network.
You can read about the ReMida centre here. It is under threat of closure, and of course they are working hard to change this course. The organisation has been immensely bolstered by the efforts of Vigga and Elise, two local children who have set up a local and Facebook campaign. It is not only heartening but necessary to have the power of a community involved in educational actions such as ours - the history of Reggio is a prime example. This is such a strong example of community action – and a powerful example of children as advocates and leaders in society. Well done to them!