Well. What a week that was!

On Thursday last week, the RMT announced that there will be a train strike on Sept 17th – the day of the Rethinking Education conference.

While the rail workers have my 100% support for their much-needed industrial action, it is fair to say that I spent the next 24 hours cycling rapidly through the stages of grief: denial, despair, depression and friends.

The conference will be at the beautiful Addey and Stanhope school in New Cross, an area of London that is not well served by the tube. But the school is literally surrounded by three overground stations, which was a large part of the reason we chose it as a venue.

Last Thursday evening – the day the strike was announced – I polled the speakers and delegates, and fewer than half of the respondents said they could make it to the venue on the 17th.

It was around this time that the despair gave way to gritty determination, and a nationwide carpooling operation swung into action.

Yesterday I polled the speakers and delegates again and this time, the figures are looking *much* healthier. A handful of speakers remain unsure whether they can make it, and likewise the vast majority of delegates can now make the journey also.

We could have changed the date. But with further industrial action likely in the weeks ahead, switching to an alternative date would have brought its own problems.

But now there is no need to switch because WE ARE ON FOR THE 17th – YAY!

This conference is an attempt to bring together people from across the full spectrum of the educational ecosystem: mainstream educators, alternative educators, parents/carers, young people, psychologists, researchers, homeschoolers, unschoolers… And you!

As far as I am aware, this is the first time such an event has happened. And it is shaping up to be a most life-affirming affair. 

A few days ago, I wrote a blog outlining why this conference is happening, and why people need to get involved (either by attending the face-to-face conference, or the online conference that sits alongside it).

TRAVEL UPDATES

Tickets are still available, and so if you fancy coming but you aren’t sure about travel stuff, you may find the following useful.

Car pooling
If you fancy coming to the conference but you aren’t sure whether you can make it, there is a car pooling operation in full swing. Drop me a line and I’ll share the details. 
Parking
There is lots of free parking at or near the school. The green area at the top of the image is the school playground, with up to 60 spaces. You can access it via Willshaw St. And if it’s full by the time you get there, all the streets marked in green on this map have free parking.
Transport for London
Tubes, buses and the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) are all running a full service on Sat 17th. The Jubilee and Elizabeth lines both go to Canary Wharf, which is 18 mins on the DLR to Deptford Bridge – a 6-minute walk from the school. Check the TfL journey planner for more details.
National Express
Recently I caught the National Express for the first time for years – it was 3x cheaper than the train, and it got us to our destination far sooner. So for those of you coming from further afield, this might be worth a try: https://www.nationalexpress.com/en 
Long-distance taxis
A friend of the conference runs a long-distance taxi service which serves the whole country. For example, you could park at a train station outside London and be ferried in – or possibly from a coach station. If you want to get a quote, here are the details: 
Accommodation
Accommodation in the area is booking up, but there is still some availability – especially if you throw the net wide to anywhere on the DLR. The school’s address is:
Addey & Stanhope School, 
472 New Cross Rd, 
London,
SE14 6TJ
LET’S GET TOGETHER!
This conference is called ‘LET’S GET TOGETHER’, and get together we will – by any means necessary. Do join us if you can, it promises to be a most life-affirming affair. 
In case you needed proof, here’s a preview video by our youngest speaker, Lox (10). Lox will be leading a moonwalking workshop on the 17th, In this 6-minute trailer video, he outlines the key moves so you can get in practice!