To Sir, With Love Education Debate

To Sir, With Love Education Debate

As part of our Creative Learning Programme, the Touring Consortium Theatre Company and Northampton Royal and Derngate organised an Education Debate held on Thurs 19th Sept 2013 at 6pm in the Royal auditorium, Northampton.

Education Then (1940s) and Now

A panel discussion to look at the differences of approach to Education from the 1940s to the present day.

The debate was live streamed on Theatre Cloud. You can watch a recording of the entire debate below.

The panel includes:

Chair Person: Stuart Linnell - Stuart Linnell presents the lunchtime show on BBC Radio Northampton from 12 noon to 2pm, Monday to Friday.

Click here to read a profile on Stuart Linnell »

Paul Sedgwick – Senior Lecturer in Education, School of Education, University of Northampton 

Paul trained as a primary school teacher in 1985/86 and spent 18 years teaching in special, primary and secondary schools.

He specialised first in general SEN, then as a Teacher of the Deaf and finally in Language and Communication issues.

Paul was team leader for an LEA specialist support team supporting pupils with autistic difficulties before starting with the University of Northampton in 2004.

He has a PGCE from Oxford Polytechnic, an MA in Education from the Open University and a PG Cert Ed (Hearing Impaired) from the University of Herts. He is a Fellow of the HEA.

Estelle Tarry – Senion Lecturer, School of Education, University of Northampton 

Estelle was previously a Head Teacher at International Schools in Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Netherlands. Estelle has experience with the National Curriculum, International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and Primary Years Programme (PYP).

She gained her Doctorate in Education for the University of Bath in 2008.

Jeanne Barczewska – Senior Lecturer in Education (Early Years), School of Education, University of Northampton 

Jeanne is currently responsible for the assessment process for Early Years Professional Status which includes assessor and mentor training, feeding into the National QA process for EYPS.  This also involves arranging preparation days for the EYPS validation process and coordinating these days.

Jeanne has worked at the University in a part-time capacity for a number of years and has been involved in teaching for 30 years.  She has been an Associate Lecturer for the OU, Associate Trainer National Children's Bureau, Director of Training and Consultancy for Tall Oaks NVQ Assessment Centre NVQ Assessor and IV as well as working as the Quality and Development Manager for BUPA Childcare overseeing 44 private day nurseries.

Mike Griffiths – Head Teacher, Northampton School For Boys

Mike Griffiths has been Head of Northampton School for Boys since 2001. He was previously head of Wallingford School in Oxfordshire and deputy at Northampton School for Boys. These posts followed a period out of the classroom, first as Senior Lecturer in Science Education at Sheffield Hallam University and then as Science Adviser for Sefton and Ofsted inspector. Mike's early career was spent teaching science in two comprehensive schools in Wolverhampton. His current school is a convertor academy and a designated National Support School, with Mike as a National Leader of Education. The school is a high performing comprehensive which admits girls to the sixth form. It has a national reputation for the range and quality of its sport, music and residential programmes. Mike has been an ASCL member since 1993 and served as Branch Secretary in Northamptonshire from 2001-2010. He was elected to Council in 2004 and has served as Chair of the Public and Parliamentary Committee and most recently as Membership & Communications Officer. He has represented ASCL on various DCSF/DFE working groups.

Ali Thoburn – School Governor, Chestnuts Primary School

Ali is the Chair for the Governers’ at Chestnuts Primary School in Haringey, North London.

Amaka Okafor – Drama Teacher and Actress

“Amaka says she learnt her trade by putting her hand up to appear in every school play possible and also by criss-crossing the UK to act in community halls and small venues. She has been a member of The Unicorn Theatre’s ensemble cast for the past two years and already appeared in productions of The London Eye Mysteries. She also played the role of Miranda in the Unicorn Theatre’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.” – The New Black Magazine.


Questions were raised on the following topics:

School leaving age, expulsion and dealing with bad behaviour, corporal punishment, the 11+, Secondary Moderns, Technical Schools and Grammar Schools, the Comprehensive system of education, Academies.