Sunday, January 13, 2008

Human Scale Education - lets draw on the experience. 

Way back when my son was little, I seriously considered moving to Devon (from Milton Keynes) to be part of the community running the Small School at Hartland so he could be a pupil there. Other events (including employment infelicities) prevented this. But I still have a very positive feeling towards the ‘Human Scale Education’ movement –which by-the-by has tended to have a rather ‘left’ image.

The school was set up by parents in Hartland in order to keep an option for rural secondary education, rather than sending their children many miles away to a town based school. Parents now raise about a third of the cost of running the school and are expected to contribute their time to pass on personally skills and knowledge that they have.

In other words it is very precisely a school set up by parents to provide a richer educational provision than the Educational Authority could realistically manage.

The essential, the key to the success of this project, is that it came up from the roots and was not imposed from above. Precisely the point made by Ross Scott and Tony Greaves in the Lords Debate on Community Empowerment.

I suggest that as this party works through the implications of Nick Cleggs’s manifesto conference speech we look at some of these experiences.

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