This year our conference theme is Preparing Young People For Their Futures. It raises a number of questions: What does the future hold – for life, learning and work? What will the jobs market look like for young people starting school today? What should school’s role be? How can we help young people take ownership of their futures?
The theme calls to mind the wealth of confusing, often conflicting, news headlines and research reports presenting sometimes dystopian visions of the future. We do not accept the most extreme of these- of robots and automation leading to mass joblessness, of increasingly divided societies fractured by fake news and social media. Some jobs will disappear, but others will change or be created. There will be both upheaval and opportunity. There will be winners and losers; our nagging concern is that with our current trajectory these may replicate or exacerbate existing inequalities.
Many discussions about the future suggest that much of what schools do is obsolete. We disagree. Many of the things that schools do will continue to be relevant in young people for the future.
We will build on our 2018 conference Attainment is Not Enough, where Andreas Schleicher argued there is an urgent need for us to take a broader approach to preparing young people for their futures. We will look at which competencies and domains of knowledge are increasingly important and how to develop them.
You will hear from leading international experts, thoughtful leaders and skilled practitioners. Overall we seek to provide inspiration, challenge and thoughtful reflection for you – school and system leaders up and down the country committed to an evidence informed approach to better preparing young people for their futures.
Schools cannot wait for others to set the agenda on this. Whole Education’s 9th Annual Conference will help you do it.
Tickets: WE members £295 / Non-WE members £395