Here at the Churchill Fellowship programme, we believe that the UK’s education sector can learn from new ideas and best practice in other countries. We also believe in people and in the potential of an inspiring individual to be a changemaker in their profession or community.
In March we announced this year’s Churchill Fellows: a group of 141 dedicated individuals from across the UK who will be seeking international solutions to some of the UK’s most pressing challenges. Thirty of them will be looking for innovations in educational topics. They will bring these back to the UK and, with our support, will share their findings in their workplaces, schools and communities in order to bring about positive change.
From education in rural communities or how robots in schools can help children with medical needs to participate in lessons remotely, to mental health programmes in schools or supporting young people following a crisis or bereavement, these 30 Churchill Fellows will explore a range of life-changing issues. Here are just a few of their upcoming projects...
Supporting and training teachers with safeguarding responsibilities
Poor mental health, self-harm and suicide within schools are increasing, and teachers are not always equipped to cope with their safeguarding responsibilities. Integrative Child Psychotherapist Jane Brinson will visit models for clinical supervision of teachers and school staff in Australia’s and New Zealand’s health and social care sectors, which can be applied to education settings in the UK. Jane will use her findings to create a framework for UK schools and supervisors.
Teaching Science in schools
Scientific illiteracy is common in the UK and less than one in ten students leave secondary school with an A-Level in maths or physics, leading to a skills shortage in the UK. Science teacher Simon Palmer is investigating ways to improve the teaching of maths in secondary school science, in Singapore and the USA. Simon will share his findings with colleagues to help make the subject more accessible.
Teaching sex education and relationships in primary schools
From September 2020, the teaching of relationships and sex education will become compulsory in UK primary schools, yet teachers have little clarity on the level of training they will receive. Primary school teacher Hannah Steele will explore how Estonia, the Netherlands and the USA have delivered sex and relationships education as part of initial teacher training programmes. Hannah will use her findings to influence teacher training programmes in the UK.
Disability inclusion in schools
Only 6% of school leavers who have a learning disability go into employment. Head of Growth at the learning disability charity ENABLE Scotland Ashley Ryan will visit the USA and the Netherlands to research inclusive education and transitional support opportunities for people who have learning disabilities. Ashley plans to use her findings to influence UK government policy on inclusive education.
We’re hugely excited to see what ideas these new Fellows will bring back to the UK and what changes they will initiate. You can view more of this year’s Fellows’ projects in education here.
Anyone can apply for a Churchill Fellowship, regardless of age, background or qualifications, so long as they are a UK citizen aged 18 or over. In the last ten years, we have appointed more than 150 Fellows in the area of education and have seen some incredible results. You can read some of their stories here. This year, our Education Fellows are jointly funded through a partnership with the Mercers’ Charitable Foundation, enabling us to support more in one year than ever before.
If you would like to find out more about applying for a Fellowship, and to be alerted when we open for applications, please visit www.wcmt.org.uk. We would love to hear from you.