This year's education show will be fun. Enjoy it, says Yolanda Brooks.
Back in the Twenties, Lord Reith, the first director general of the BBC made the famous proclamation that the fledgling radio station would educate, inform and entertain. Decades later, that same mission statement perfectly describes the Education Show at the NEC in Birmingham next week.
Education is not simply a word that gives the event its title. With more than 60 seminars covering subjects as diverse as performance management, pupil behaviour and critical thinking, visitors are given numerous opportunities to further their professional development and gain a greater understanding of the latest educational practices.
Keynote speeches will be given every day, and this year speakers will include Tim Brighouse, chief executive officer of Birmingham LEA, and broadcaster and author Russell Stannard.
With chancellor Gordon Brown's budget giving an extra pound;1 billion to education, schools will be keen to acquire those resources they've had to put on hold.
With more than 600 exhibitors under one roof, the Education Show provides the perfect opportunity to compare and contrast prices and quality. It is also a good time for professionals to let exhibitors know about products they would like to see but which don't yet exist. The wish lists which appear throughout this supplement will provide a few starter ideas.
And so we come to the final word in the Reithian trinity - entertainment. This year, the organisers have been really determined to put on a show. While most vistors will be attending out of professional duty, there will be no excuse for trudging around hushed in seriousness.
Be informed, and get educated by all means, but don't let that be an excuse for missing out on the show's more light-hearted moments.
One of the highlights will undoubtedly be the young musicians from around the Midlands who will be appearing in the Performing Arts Zone. Jazz, bhangra, folk, steel pans and percussion are among the varied styles waiting to be enjoyed (See page 15).
If being part of the audience isn't enough, then head for the PE Zone where you'll be able to try equipment and even have a go at less familiar sports such as tri-golf and tchouckball.
These two new show features will join the popular Publishing Village programme and the Creativity in Practice demonstrations in the Art Zone.
Over the past 11 years, the Education Show has built up a reputation for providing an expansive range of educational resources, equipment and services to meet the needs of professionals in early years, primary, secondary and further education. With details on the latest products, information on intiatives and events, floor plans, and most importantly, where to get the best give-aways, Resources 2001 will help you make the most of your visit to the show.
In light of this month's budget, maybe it's time to forget Reith, and remember those three famous words from Sixties pools winner Viv Nicholson, "spend, spend, spend".
The Education Show runs from March 22-24 at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham