Posted by: Adam Roake | February 9, 2009

Regeneration and Education

I attended Sir Ken Robinson’s lecture at the RSA to launch his new book, the Element, at the RSA on Thursday (check here in a couple of days for the podcast).  His thinking on the importance of creativity in education and the way our current education system tends to stifle is inspirational.  Please watch this lecture!


I have also been wading through a new consultation document released by Kent County Council, Unlocking Kent’s Potential, which sets out their draft framework for regeneration of the county to 2020.  The biggest single chapter relates to improving education and skills to “provide the skills and talent for Kent businesses who will be central to the regeneration of our local communities”. 


It’s good to see a council making the link and making education a top priority to achieve regeneration.  There are some good things in the Kent document about promoting vocational opportunities as equal to the academic curriculum and possibly more important for the local economy.  However there is a huge challenge to drive through this idea of a more inclusive approach to education within a system where all Kent children take an academic test at eleven.  For children and parents alike the test inevitably implies success (= go to a grammar school) and failure (= don’t!).  Somehow Kent will need to explain how failing the Kent test does not mean you’re doomed to second class education and ultimately a failed life.   If they cannot, then regeneration in the county will suffer, particularly in the traditionally deprived north and east of the county.  



  1. I agree with these comments very strongly.

    I am also interested in your remarks on the 11+ system in Kent.

    This could also be extended to the competition for places experienced here in London which are problematic even at primary level.

    So many parents ( and by extension then pupils) feel as if they have failed if they don’t get the school of their choice.

    The issue is maybe less about choice but how we can invest to put schools at the heart of communties and ensure that the local choice is not seen as substandard.

  2. The book ‘the Element’ is really very good.
    i am agree with your views also.

    24 7 Class

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