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Posts by Mark Taylor

Big Education Challenge – Live Video Podcast

Big Change’s brand new challenge prize – Big Education Challenge. The £1 million prize fund seeks to reward bold ideas with the potential to transform education. The Challenge is split into two prizes – the Groundbreaker Prize (for youth-led innovation from applicants aged 18-25 with a bold idea) and the Gamechanger Prize (for experienced innovators of any age with a track record of leading innovative approaches with social impact). The prize launched in November 2022 and applications will close in February 2023.

The prize was launched with new statistics from Big Change showing:

Key stats

• 65% of UK adults think that the education system doesn’t prepare young people for their futures

• 75% believe our country needs a bold, long-term vision for education that all parts of society have contributed to.

• 76% say that ideas about improving education need to come from grassroots communities including teachers, parents and students.

The new statistics reinforce the need for change – which is exactly what the Challenge hopes to achieve.

Caitlin Ross is Head of Impact for education charity Big Change. Caitlin leads on the identification, funding and support of Big Change’s pioneering project partners. She also leads on Big Change’s impact strategy, making sure they gather the insights we need to keep growing and learning, both as a charity and as a funder. Caitlin has a frontline background in microfinance and in youth work, working on the ground with organisations in Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean. She brings her experience delivering scalable, impact-focused interventions to Big Change’s grant giving and impact work to support pioneers who are helping young people thrive in life.

Liz Robinson is CEO of Multi-Academy Trust, Big Education.

Liz’s motivation comes from a profound belief that schools can play a transformative role in children’s lives, but also in shaping whole communities. Social justice and wider change underpin her views that school simply must be about the whole child, the whole family and the whole community.

As the head at Surrey Square for many years, Liz used values as a key driver to redefine the purpose of the school and radically reshape the culture and approaches. She is exceptionally proud of how the school continues to develop and innovate.

Liz has deep expertise and a particular interest in capacity development and growing leadership. Her philosophy is based on a client-centred approach, actively empowering others into thoughtful action. She created The Big Leadership Adventure, our flagship programme supporting changemaker leaders in the sector.

Liz co-founded Big Education to be a place where those who believe in more radical change in the sector can come together; to collaborate, share, challenge and encourage one another. Let’s do more, together.

As mum to two young girls, Liz works flexibly to manage her role. She advocates for and seeks to model an authentic, reflective and relational approach to leadership.



Primary Education Summit – March 2023


National Association for Primary Education is proud to present a Primary Education Summit ‘Visions for the Future’ over two weeks starting on 15th March 2023.
This is intended to promote discussion about the type of rich and engaging primary education which will enable all our children to meet the challenges they face now and in the future. This will include the annual Christian Schiller Lecture ‘Values-based Education – the beating heart of Primary Education’ presented by Dr. Neil Hawkes, eleven pre-recorded guest presentations and four live panel discussions led by prominent figures in primary education.
Full details of these are given below. We very much hope that you will wish to join us for some or all of these sessions – and let other people in your school or organization know.

298: Absolute Internship with Fredrik van Huynh

Absolute Internship matches talented university students and graduates with international work experience placements in elite cities around the world. With over 60 university partnerships and more than 800 host companies across the globe, we help ambitious individuals stand out in an increasingly crowded job market. Our programs offer unbeatable work experience, incredible adventure, and a summer to remember!

Their goal is to inspire accomplished scholars to succeed. They facilitate this through their award-winning internship programs in BarcelonaBeijingHong KongLisbonLondonMadridParisShanghaiSingapore, Stockholm and Tokyo. With over 30 industry specialisations to choose from, we provide opportunities to develop a professional network, meet diverse, driven and like-minded students and learn from successful business leaders and industry experts.

You have invested in your education. Now it’s time to invest in yourself. With over 5,000 past alumni and a reputable program in the industry according world-leading media publications such as The New York Times, BBC News, Bloomberg, Forbes and The Financial Times, Absolute Internship is without doubt well-positioned to help you with your international internship experience abroad.

I chat with co-founder Fredrik van Huynh


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The National Association for Primary Education speaks for young children and all who live and work with them. Get a FREE e-copy of their professional journal at 

297: How to recruit school governors and trustees with National Governance Association

New research from the National Governance Association has found that vacancies for school governors and trustees are at their highest since 2016. 67 per cent of governing boards reported at least one vacancy and of these, 38 per cent reported two or more vacancies. The results are part of the NGA’s 2022 annual governance survey which also found that, post pandemic, 63 per cent of respondents reported issues with recruitment compared to 55 per cent in 2019.

Governing boards are responsible for the strategic direction of a school or trust and their decisions impact hundreds, if not thousands of pupils. With the typical board consisting of nine or ten governors or trustees, the high vacancy rate means some boards may struggle to drive improvement and provide sufficient scrutiny and financial oversight.

Overall, the NGA estimates there are currently more than 20,000 vacancies.

The research also found that the number of governors and trustees under 40 was just 6 per cent – the lowest on record since 2015. Half of governors and trustees are over 60 years (51 per cent) but just 1 per cent were under 30. Schools and trusts benefit hugely from the experience of older governors and trustees, but without younger volunteers also joining boards, they are missing the input of those who have recently experienced school.

Anju Dhir, who became a school governor in her mid-thirties, believes governors need to be more visible to young people: “There are more governors 80 years and over than under 30. The issue is that young people simply don’t know what we do – or that we even exist. This is a huge waste of human capital, for both schools and our young people. Becoming a governor is an incredible way to develop your career and can start from as young as 18 – how many young people normally get to join the board? For governing boards having someone who has recently experienced our education system is invaluable. Governing has helped me to develop in my career, as well as being a satisfying way to give back to my local community.”

To help with governor and trustee recruitment the NGA has launched a new film demystifying governance and encouraging people to find out more about how they can help the schools in their community. It’s part of the NGA’s Visible Governance initiative to make governance more visible in society.

Emma Knights, CEO of the National Governance Association said: “School and trust governance needs to be recognised and celebrated for its positive role in ensuring pupils and staff can flourish. Huge thanks are owed to all those committed volunteers carrying out this role with such care and reflection without a song and a dance. These findings make for sobering reading: schools need more good people and we need to get the message out far and wide to engage the thousands we need to fill governance roles. This is why we have launched a new film today explaining what school governors and trustees do and their role in helping our schools to succeed.”


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The National Association for Primary Education speaks for young children and all who live and work with them. Get a FREE e-copy of their professional journal at 

267: How the school environment is affecting pupils with Professor Stephen Heppell

Stephen’s “eyes on the horizon, feet on the ground” approach, coupled with a vast portfolio of effective large scale projects over three decades, have established him internationally as a widely and fondly recognized leader in the fields of learning, new media and technology.

He was a school teacher for more than a decade, and has beena professor since 1989. Stephen has worked, and is working, with learner led projects, with governments around the world, with international agencies, Fortune 500 companies, with schools and communities, with his PhD students and with many influential trusts and organizations.

Professor The Felipe Segovia Chair of Learning Innovation at Universidad Camilo José Cela, Madrid, from 2011 – continues

Professor. Chair in New Media Environments, Centre for Excellence in Media Practice, Bournemouth University, Prof from from 2008 – 2017,

Emeritus Professor Chair in New Learning Environments, Anglia Ruskin University, from 1989 – continues

Executive chairman Learning Possibilities+ from 2010 – continues

In June 2006 Stephen was awarded the Royal Television Society’s Judges Award for Lifelong Services to Educational Broadcasting. In 2008 he received the prestigious BETT Award for Outstanding Achievement in ICT Education. In 2014 he was honoured to receive the UK’s NAACE Award for Lifetime Achievement in educational technology.

Stephen is, and has been, a regular face on TV all around the world – in the UK this ranges from Newsnight, the BBC Breakfast sofa and Sky News, to Channel 4’s Things to Come. On radio too: from BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours to the Steve Wright Show – or even right back to Phil Miles on Australia’s Island Sound radio in 1992! In Australia radio regular appearances range from national ABC to statewide Mix Radio in WA.


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Twitter @stephenheppell

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Resource Mentioned

The Role of Podcasts in Education Marketing and Education Technology | BETT 2022 EdTech Talks

It’s More Complex than Just CO2 | Professor Stephen Heppell | BETT 2022 EdTech Talks

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The National Association for Primary Education speaks for young children and all who live and work with them. Get a FREE e-copy of their professional journal at

Are you looking for a FUN activity to do with your children this summer?  

Would you love to make your own delicious ice cream? 

Now you can learn exactly how by taking part in an exciting and engaging ice cream experience during the summer holiday.  

Full details at:

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