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