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Teach for All Conference, China

Our founder Tom Ravenscroft shared the Skills Builder approach at the Teach For All conference in China, held in Tengchong in the Yunnan Province of China, in the country’s west.

Four high intensity days brought together social entrepreneurs, teachers and education leaders from across Teach For All’s thirty partner countries. We presented our work in a workshop session, in the context of our support from Teach First, one of the Teach For All partners.

Here are four things Tom took away from the trip:

  • Teachers are core to education. That might seem simple, but the global perspective showed again that the most effective innovations will always be those that support teachers.
  • Skills and attributes will be essential for our young people: the speed of change in the world and its economies mean that knowledge alone is no longer enough. We have to create young people who cannot be automated or replaced with an algorithm – and the essential skills that we focus on are the bedrock of that.
  • Purpose and aspiration is the driver: In the Chinese context, much of this is driven by both a national sense of progress, and by the expectations and dreams of parents. In the UK context, engaging businesses and external volunteers can be helpful, and there is more we can do to support community links too.
  • We have to think more globally: That doesn’t necessarily mean trying to “win the global race”, but there is a lot that we can learn across different education systems. From our perspective this means looking to, and hopefully contributing to, best practice across the world.


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