Big Change and IPPR have been working together to set a new direction for education and learning in England through understanding and elevating the public appetite for long term, significant changes.

Our work to date has focussed on understanding and galvanising public opinion about the change that education and learning needs, in particular through the Big Education Conversation. This paper is produced by independent authors Loic Menzies, Will Yates and Billy Husband-Thompson to build on this programme of work by seeking to identify what academic evidence has to say about the changes needed in education and learning.

It explores three of the most challenging questions that emerged from our listening and engagement with young people, parents, teachers and employers.

  1. How can school systems fairly and effectively assess young people’s learning, recognise achievement beyond exams, and drive better school standards?
  2. What are the likely impacts and potential trade-offs involved in broadening the curriculum beyond just academic subjects for young people?
  3. What are the most effective ways school systems can support and improve young people’s wellbeing?

This paper will be used to inform future work between IPPR and Big Change, including a publication seeking to shape the manifestos of political parties ahead of the next election and ongoing Big Education Conversations with young people, parents, teachers and employers.