Schools hold up a mirror to society

Throughout history, places of education have reflected the communities they served – whether austere, industrial or data-obsessed. Kester Brewin argues it’s time to shatter these constraints and build the world we want to see

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What exactly is a school? If you had to choose one metaphor to describe the school you worked in, what would it be? Business? Charity? Learning hub? Would your students say the same?

This question of the governing metaphors we (perhaps subconsciously) work to is an important one. Because – with money so tight and the debate over grammar schools, charitable status and the ideologies behind multi-academy trusts (MATs) still so fierce – the ways in which different stakeholders answer it can profoundly affect decisions about how schools are funded, managed and nurtured.

If a philosopher were ...

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