Tag: changing schools together

Stories of Change

Friday, September 04, 2015 by richard

What is the real impact of our work?

Read direct from young people and teachers who have been emersed in the Space Unlimited process.  We are delighted to share our recent publication Changing Schools Together: The Stories

New stories of change will be live on our dedicated page soon, with stories from our work in communities and business sector.

Contact lucy@spaceunlimited.org for hardcopies of any of our publications.

Changing Schools Together Young People As A Source Of Energy For Change In Education

Friday, March 27, 2015 by richard

On 4th March 2015 we hosted an event to share and learn from our recent Changing Schools Together programme, which ran for two and a half years from 2012 to 2014.

We wanted to bring together young people and teachers from the programme and give them an opportunity to share a rich picture of their experience together with a range of stakeholders who had not been directly involved. Our aim was to support an open dialogue about the learning and implications of the work for people, practice and policy.

It was a lively morning and the big talking points included:

Mutual respect – the young people felt very strongly about why this is important, what it looks like and how it increases confidence. They said that it’s clear people find it easier and safer to talk when mutual respect is explicit.

Keeping momentum going – not exactly a surprise topic and it provoked an interesting discussion about where does the energy come from, the model or process or from the young people involved?  How does the school create space for dialogue? The importance of young people’s natural energy seems like an important asset – in school and beyond!

Embedding change and leaving a legacy – teachers and students wanted to emphasise the importance of the perception of any group of people trying to lead change.  It must be seen to be about real change for students and staff to take it seriously.  Thinking in advance about how to sustain the group as people leave and join (the group and the school!) also helps.

Personal impact – teachers and students talked about increased confidence and skills (for now and later life) and also a sense of being part of the school and feeling listened to.  Relationships between teachers and young people felt less scary with more trust.

We would like to thank everyone involved again for giving up their time and energy to take part.

You might like to read this blog from Fiona Munro at The Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS) who was there and has reflected on what she heard and the insights it prompted.


Youth-led enquiry – a resource for change in schools

Monday, September 01, 2014 by heather

In January 2012, with the support of Paul Hamlyn Foundation, we embarked on a new programme Changing Schools Together.

Our goal is to help schools and teachers to engage young people as more active partners in the development of their learning experiences. We hoped that our methods of youth-led enquiry could directly benefit participating young people, teachers and schools and at the same time help to build capacity for ongoing collaborative cvhange within the wider education system.

Over the last 2 and a half years, we have been working alongside 358 pupils and 96 teachers in 19 schools – 15 in Scotland and 4 in England – in partnership with Glasgow, South Lanarkshire and City of Edinburgh Councils, Whole Education and Edge Foundation. It’s been quite a journey.

We have just published our impact report – you can download it here – and we think it makes for interesting reading about the way in which young people can be a powerful source of energy for change in schools and the wider education system. In particular, Changing Schools Together has shown that young people can help to change the dialogue about learning which in turn improves relationships and deepens engagement. It has also demonstrated that given the chance, young people are enthusiastic and imaginative designers and facilitators of innovative learning experiences.

In their own words:

“It just felt really respectful. I think that’s why I said things I wouldn’t normally say.” Young Person

“I’ve let go of the idea that you only say what you think to please the teacher.” Young Person

“l was learning with the young people. I noticed them looking at me for answers but I had none to give.” Teacher

“It’s been hard to step back, but it’s been so important that we have.” Teacher