We've come up with five premises on which School Differently is based. If you agree with all five premises, then why not join in the conversation? There's a groundswell of young people, parents and educators who all believe the system needs to change. Let's make it happen. 

1. The purpose of an education system is to educate the child and prepare the adult

2. Educating the child goes wider than academic disciplines

3. Preparing the adult goes wider than the world of work

4. This purpose applies to ALL children and young people

5. The current education system requires a new framework to successfully achieve its purpose

Square Peg

Square Peg is a CIC set up to effect change for children with school attendance difficulties and their families. This covers legislation & policy, research and campaigning.  We've also built a network of 200+ individuals: academics, practitioners, lawyers, young people, technology experts, and more. Our long term aim is for a personalised education system that nurtures the talents and passions of ALL children and prepares them for adult life in 2030 and beyond.

Who are we?

Independendent Thinking

Established in 1994, Independent Thinking is a unique platform for innovative educators and school leaders to share their practice with schools across the UK and globally. Through INSET events, conferences, books and our growing online presence, we are doing our bit to fight for inclusive, caring, creative and relevant education for every child.

The Conversationalists

A diverse group of individuals met on two occasions in May and June 2020 to debate the question 'What is the purpose of education?'. They came from both Square Peg and Independent Thinking networks and represented a range of expertise and stakeholders, including the partner in a human rights law firm, a 17 year old campaigner and the founder of a digital design agency. You can see who they were and what was discussed on our Conversations page.

What is possible?

We've chosen to highlight Agora school in Roemond, Netherlands, not because we work with the school, but to show what's possible when people get together and find another way. The school gets around 70 requests a week from all over the world from people wanting to come and see what they do. There are no year groups, teachers are coaches and students decide what they want to learn. It started in 2014 with 30 students as an experimental annexe to a more traditional school There are now 250 students and a waiting list. Read Ian's blog following his visit in 2018, and Medium's more recent article and presentation from Agora Manager Rob Houben.

Martin Illingworth created a short film for our first School Differently meeting, based on his book, Forget School. It is intended to open our eyes to the possibilities of a different way of looking at education, just as Forget School sheds light on how young people perceive school’s current provision, and offers insight into what they think needs to change if education is to work for generations to come. In both film and book, Martin explores how schooling culture, curriculum design and pedagogical approaches can be reconfigured in readiness for the emerging shifts and trends in 21st century life and employment, so that young people are better prepared for life in 2030 and beyond.

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