‘Think until your head hurts’

As part of Forest School’s ongoing commitment to staff development and advancement in education, we were pleased to welcome journalist, Times columnist, and Chair of the Times Education Commission, Rachel Sylvester, to speak at today’s whole School InSET.

Set up last year at the the suggestion of Sir Anthony Seldon, and supported by a team of 22 commissioners with successful backgrounds across business, education, government, science, and the arts, its purpose was to examine Britain’s whole education system against the back-drop of the pandemic, declining social mobility, new technology, and the changing nature of work.

Over the course of a year and with the support of researchers and analysts from PwC, areas including the curriculum, assessment, wellbeing and mental health, technology, teaching, social mobility, SEND, and higher education were questioned and rethought, whilst other countries were visited to see what they did differently or better.

Mentioning Classicist Mary Beard’s quote ‘Think until your head hurts’ was a reminder for us that education seems to becoming increasingly distant from learning, with students even at degree level asking what they need to do to achieve a First, reducing the process to a tick-box exercise, and not the intellectual curiosity that is increasingly desirable in a world that is becoming more reliant on AI, technology and robotics. Simply, we need creativity now more than ever.

We’d like to say thank you to Rachel for a very thorough and interesting session, hi-lighting the challenges ahead for Forest as we keep striding forward in education, and reminding us that we have educationally exciting times ahead here at School.