Asking the big questions about education

Holly Branson and George The Poet speaking with young education activists
Kami White
Holly Branson
Holly Branson's writing
Published on 24 June 2021

At Big Change, we truly believe that now is the time to ask the big questions about education and everybody should have their say.

With this in mind, I am thrilled to join The Big Education Conversation - the national campaign to get people talking about the purpose of education and what needs to change.

The Big Education Conversation
The Big Education Conversation

As part of the campaign, I sat down with George The Poet and a group of young activists for a thought-provoking conversation about our own experiences at school and what should be re-imagined. It was such a brilliant discussion, and it really highlighted for me that young people need to be leading the conversation about change in education and taking action too.

Here were some of my favourite moments from our conversation:

  • “The vision for education is so important. If it starts with school, hopefully that can trickle down onto society.” – Aliyah, 18, Pupil Power.

  • “School should be teaching a bit more self-care and self-love.” – Joshua, 19.

  • “There’s a feeling that you’re being removed from your essence when you’re in that [exam] environment.” – George.

  • “Why do we sprint away from the school gates at the end of the day?” – Aliyah.

  • “I think it’s very important for children to have a proper way to understand who they are.” – Joshua, 19.

  • “Kids come home from school and the first thing we ask is, ‘how was your spelling test?’ As Adam Grant said on his podcast, we should actually be asking questions like, ‘who were you kind to today?’” – Holly.

  • “The word exclusion shouldn’t have anything to do with education. School should only ever be inclusive.” – Aliyah.

  • “The education system doesn’t help you find your true strengths. I felt like a robot at school.” – Joshua.

  • “I left school with everything being right on paper, but when I looked at my community there was a lot of confusion.” – George.

  • “If you’re told what to regurgitate you lose that love of learning.” – Holly.

Thank you to these brilliant young activists and to George for sharing such wonderful insights and ideas.

What do you think should change in the education system? Whether you are a student, ex-student, parent, or business leader, add your voice to The Big Education Conversation and perhaps have a chat with others about the changes in education they want to see.