Welcome to Rethinking Education

We provide high quality, excellent value, research-informed training and consultancy for schools, colleges and universities. Here are some examples of our programmes, courses and one-day events:

For school leaders

  • Implementing school improvement

  • Whole-school language of learning

  • Leading action research

For teachers

  • Metacognition and self-regulation

  • Philosophy for children

  • Oracy education

For pupils

  • Students as researchers

  • The language of power

  • Effective group talk

We have developed a new approach to teaching and learning – the Learning Skills curriculum – which improves outcomes for all pupils, with accelerated gains for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. Click here to read the research behind these claims, carried out at Cambridge University.

Our aim is for a version of the Learning Skills curriculum to be taught in every school, in every country in the world. More details will follow the publication of our book, Fear is the Mind Killer: Introducing the Learning Skills Curriculum, to be published by John Catt in 2019.

We also carry out independent impact evaluations and publish reports – like Growth Headset, a one-year study exploring the use of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in schools.

To find out how we can help you evaluate some aspect of your organisation or practice, drop us a line to arrange a free, one-hour consultation.

Why we do it

We believe the schools of today shape the society of tomorrow.

We believe education should have two aims: to help every person to become their best self, and to help people learn to get along with one another.

We believe that if we can reform education to meet these simple goals, we will resolve many of the most serious problems humanity currently faces.

How we do it

All our work with children and adults is rooted in 5 key principles:

  • Metacognition: reflecting on what we do, how we do it – and how to get even better at it

  • Self-regulation: taking increasing ownership over the learning process

  • Oracy: developing high quality speaking and listening skills

  • Complex interventions: combining effective practices together so that the ‘marginal gains’ stack up and interact, producing a larger effect size overall

  • Effective implementation: a systematic approach to school improvement, drawing on insights from ‘implementation science’

Meet the team

Dr James Mannion (@RethinkingJames)

James is an education researcher and consultant who worked as a Science teacher for 12 years, and spent 8 years in school leadership roles. James has an MA in Person-centred Education from the University of Sussex, and a PhD in Learning to Learn from the University of Cambridge. James’s doctoral thesis is an evaluation of Learning Skills, a whole-school approach to teaching and learning that led to significant gains in subject learning, with accelerated gains among students from disadvantaged backgrounds. James works part-time as a Bespoke Programmes Leader at the London Centre for Leadership in Learning at the University College London Institute of Education. In this role, he works with teachers and schools throughout the UK to promote research-informed approaches to professional development and school improvement. James is a passionate advocate of practitioner inquiry as a basis for professional development, and he regularly presents at educational conferences on this subject. He is also a founding member of Oracy Cambridge, a study centre and think tank dedicated to promoting effective speaking and listening skills in schools and the wider society. You can contact him at james@rethinking-ed.org.

Kate McAllister (@Rethinking_Kate)

Kate qualified as a French teacher in 2000 and has over 10 years’ experience in school leadership roles. In her last school role, Kate was Head of Entrepreneurship, with responsibility for leading whole-school enterprise and character education. Kate first started work on a year 7 “primary model” curriculum in 2005, with the aim of helping pupils develop the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the difficult transition from primary to secondary school. She spent the next 10 years refining and improving both the methodology and the results, culminating in the whole-school approach to teaching and learning known as Learning Skills. In 2015, Kate took Learning to Learn to new frontiers when she set up the School Bus Project, a charity providing mobile education for refugees. Kate crowd-funded the purchase of a double decker bus, installed solar panels on the roof and spent 6 months working in refugee camps in Calais, providing much-needed education and support for people living in displacement. Following the closure of the Calais camps, Kate set up Crisis Classroom, an organisation providing training and support for volunteers working in the field of refugee education. She is also an Associate of the London Centre for Leadership in Learning at the University College London Institute of Education. Kate specialises in building sustainable partnerships and networks to enhance learning, develop employability skills and enable effective collaborations within local, national and international communities. You can contact her at kate@rethinking-ed.org.

We’d love to hear from you!

To find out how we can help you become a beacon of research-informed practice, drop us a line to arrange a free, one-hour consultation.