Learning Spaces

The final frontier?

Dr Chris Gerry has been challenging the educational status quo for years. He’s been both headteacher and executive headteacher of six secondary schools over the past 18 years where he’s made significant changes to the way the curriculum is delivered. Most recently he was responsible for the rebuilding of Hugh Christie Technology College in Tonbridge – one of the first schools to be wireless and with a 1:1 student/device ratio – and later at New Line Learning and Cornwallis Academy in Maidstone. Now retired from teaching and working as a consultant, we asked him to reflect on the rationale behind the New Line Learning plazas and what’s happened since.

These days global problems seem to appear faster than we can solve them.  Climate change is making its mark felt with winter temperatures in the arctic at over 20 degrees and snow in Hawaii reported.  Meanwhile it is the global economy that continues to preoccupy policy makers and politicians.  It no longer appears to be the generator of wealth for all that it once was – at least in the West.  The knock-on effects for ordinary people have been both economic and political.  At the economic level the lack of earnings growth has been described as the worst since 1860 by Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England.  Politically too there has been a cost with a marked rebellion against the old order and the rise of populist solutions – think Brexit and Trump and the challenge from the far right in Europe.

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