Rural Youth Ambassadors from 2016 facilitated a Twilight Seminar for education communities focusing on the growing role that clusters, partnerships, networks, communities of practice are having in enhancing learning opportunities and improving education outcomes for children and young people within education.
Affectionately known by the Rural Youth Ambassadors as “Connecting Schools”, the Twilight Seminar was the final activity of the 2016 Rural Youth Ambassadors who as part of their twelve month deliberations wanted to share with rural and remote education organisations their desire for education organisations to work together in providing greater learning opportunities and the potential for improving their learning outcomes and lift their aspirations.
Hosted at the Bastow Institute for Educational Leadership and “beamed out” through its extensive video link network via polycom, numerous education settings and education leaders joined this seminar to hear both Tom Bentley and Maggie Farrar explore the power that partnerships and clusters provide in enhancing learning opportunities for students especially in rural and remote communities, sharing their experiences within a number of education jurisdictions.
During this workshop both Tom and Maggie explored a number of questions put to them by the Rural Youth Ambassadors:
- What if we had the needs and desires of students at the centre of all discussions?
- What if schools worked together in their local communities where they shared their staff across the various schools and principals worked together to provide the best possible education for their children and young people?
- What stops schools working together?
- How can we get principals thinking more broadly than just their own schools?
- Why can’t governments provide incentives to encourage rural schools to work together?
The event was recorded, and we have uploaded the full Twilight Seminar. To view click on: Connecting Schools Twilight Seminar.
A summary video will be produced and made available in the near future.
About the Presenters
Maggie comes with extensive experience, knowledge and skills in the development and implementation of effective clusters and partnerships to enhance learning opportunities for children and young people.
She is best known for her role as a senior leader at the National College for School Leadership in the UK serving as the Director for Leadership Development, Community Leadership, Research and Succession Planning for ten years and also as interim Chief Executive, where she played a strong leadership role in the establishment of Learning Alliances, Teaching Schools and Academy Partnerships within England.
In recent years Maggie has been working across a number of states of Australia supporting education communities and education sectors in developing collaborative approaches to enhancing teaching and learning.
She is highly skilled in working with clusters of schools and school / community partnership groups to secure more effective collaboration and to build locality leadership capacity to achieve sustainable impact.
Tom Bentley is a writer and policy adviser based in Melbourne.
He is principal adviser to the Vice Chancellor at RMIT, where leads the Policy and Impact Team. He is an honorary senior fellow at Melbourne University’s Graduate School of Education.
From 2007-13 he was Deputy Chief of Staff and senior policy adviser to Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia 2010-13 and Education Minister 2007-2010. From 1999-2006 he was Director of Demos, an independent think tank based in London.
He has advised institutions around the world including the OECD, The Gates Foundation and the Copenhagen Business School. His recent publications include Educating Australia: Challenges for the Decade Ahead (with Glenn Clifton Savaage, MUP 2017), The shared work of learning: using collaboration to lift educational achievement (with Ciannon Cazaly, Mitchell Institute, 2015) and Time for a new consensus: fostering Australia’s comparative advantages (with Jonathan West, Griffith Review 2016).