Español: Simon Camby y Barnaby Lenon, Festival of Education 2019

Español: Simon Camby y Barnaby Lenon, Festival of Education 2019


hello my name’s Simon Camby and I’m the
director of education at Cognita and I’m here today at the Festival of
Education which is the largest gathering of educators in the UK and this year
there are over 4,000 teachers and leaders here and I’m joined today by
Barnaby Lenon who is the chair of the Independent Schools Council so thank you
ever so much for giving your time, really appreciate it. You’ve got this
fantastic position of seeing the whole of the independent world in this country
so I just wonder if you could just give me a sense of what you see the role of
independent education being today. Well I mean the role is to provide an
education that parents want and they can’t necessarily find in the state sector.
That in simple terms is the role but I think there are a lot of
independent schools that are doing things that are in short supply in the
state sector and then there’s the fact that because independent schools charge
fees they often have two or three times as much to spend per pupil than a state
school and I mean we would feel that actually state schools were underfunded
but in an independent school it’s going to get you know smaller
classes, a greater range of subjects particularly at secondary level, more
extracurricular activity and so they’re getting something for their money that
they can’t easily find in the state sector and then finally there’s
something about being independent from the government, that’s what it really
means for us, to make our own decisions on the basis of what is in the best
interests of our pupils and that our parents want. That’s what we can do. I know recently you’ve spoken about achievement for all students, for all
children in the system, I wonder if you could just share some thoughts around
what you mean by that? Yeah so what’s in my mind is a couple of
things really. I think first of all is the fact that in the country generally
achievement tends to be always determined in – judged in terms of – exam
results and university entry. Those who do well in their GCSE, they’re going
to go on and take A levels and go to University and the half who don’t… and so
what I’m arguing is that the 50% who don’t do particularly well maybe at GCSE
who maybe have interests other than academics, as a country we need to be
providing more for those who are best following a non-academic route and as a
society we need to be appreciating the tremendous contribution of those who do
those jobs which don’t require a university degree. At the festival this year wellbeing is a major strand and Cognita has curated the wellbeing
summit. We know within our family of schools around the world that wellbeing
is a really big issue for parents and for teachers, I wonder just what your
thoughts are as somebody that sees the whole of the independent system? I think first of all independent schools these days all take wellbeing seriously,
secondly they have the big advantage of smaller class sizes so the teacher is
much more likely to be able to identify a child who’s struggling let’s say and
so teachers have the time to take children aside and deal with them
individually and that’s the key thing. I mean it’s all very well identifying a
pupil who needs help but it’s finding the time to speak to them
that really matters and independent schools do have more of that so it’s
really about the time and the knowledge of the individual. So the thing which
really interests me about wellbeing is that you know there’s no doubt that the
measures of of mental ill-health, let’s say amongst particularly young girls, you
know fourteen, fifteen-year-old girls, is is measurably worse now than it was 15
years ago and I don’t think that’s just an increase in reporting so for me the
challenge is for everyone to identify what the causes of that decline might be
so that we can readily deal with it. So really good research and then schools
acting on it in, you know a forthright way so using evidence but also
presumably working in partnership with parents. If you were to give parents any advice around wellbeing, what would it be? So I
would sa,y I would say to parents two things: first of all if you possibly can
please stay together and secondly don’t roll with your teenage children so much
that you lose the ability to communicate with them, don’t take their horrible
moody presence so seriously that you lose that ability to have contact with
them but I actually gave parenting lessons to those of my
parents who were willing to succumb to this in the the art of retaining the
ability to converse with your difficult teenage son or daughter and it was very
effective so keeping the connection, keeping the elation, don’t do as some
parents do end up constantly nagging or arguing with their children, think about
maintaining a respectful and hopefully happy relationship during that just very
difficult period, you know, between thirteen and sixteen because if you can
do that then they come out at the end of that tunnel
and they’re happy and probably successful young adults so that’s the
sort of parenting tip. So it sounds to me like that’s a conversation that you’ve
had many many times. Yes absolutely. Barnaby. thank you so much, really
appreciate your time and I really appreciate your insights into the system,
thank you.

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