forums & salons

Education Forum

The Academy of Ideas Education Forum was established in 2004. Through encouraging open and informal debate the Education Forum has created something unique, a true conversation between teachers and education professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. We have done this by offering all participants ample opportunity to examine an important issue through the free flow of argument.

The original aim of the forum was to bring together professionals who work in the area of education who seriously wanted to understand what is happening to education in our schools and further education colleges. We have achieved more than we expected and now have hundreds of people on our mailing list.

The Education Forum is an exciting enterprise that we hope will make a positive contribution towards creating a real debate about education in the UK.

To keep up with our events and other news, register for our mailing list using the form below. For any enquiries, please contact the forum administrator, Gareth Sturdy, via email at, giving your contact details and brief information about your professional role and interests in education.


You can listen to a selection of recent discussions via our Soundcloud playlist.

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A list of the Education Forum’s committee and their contact details can be found here.

Read the Education Forum case for subjects.

events archive

Time to scrap GCSEs?

7:00pm, Friday 9 October

After toppling statues: is it time to rewrite the curriculum?

7:00pm, Monday 6 July

Back to school: safety versus public service?

7:00pm, Tuesday 26 May

Is it time to reopen our schools?

7:00pm, Tuesday 5 May

Pedagogy and the corona classroom

7:00pm, Wednesday 15 April

Should school children be forced to have the MMR vaccine?

7:00pm, Tuesday 11 February

In conversation: Martin Robinson on ‘Curriculum: Athena versus The Machine’

7:00pm, Thursday 5 December 2019

The Education Culture Wars: what should be the role of schools today?

7:00pm, Monday 18 November 2019

Is teaching my life or just a job?

7:00pm, Monday 16 September 2019

Pupil protests: is something wrong with climate change teaching?

7:00pm, Wednesday 26 June 2019

Should we be worried about sex and relationships education?

7:00pm, Monday 25 March 2019

Genetics, education and intelligence

7:00pm, Tuesday 12 February 2019

Excluded from school - next stop jail?

7:30pm, Monday 12 November 2018

Education Forum at the Battle of Ideas 2018

10:00am, Sunday 14 October 2018

AoI Education Forum at ResearchED 2018

9:00am, Saturday 8 September 2018

Muscular liberalism: hijabs and schools

7:00pm, Monday 11 June 2018

Schools through the ages: an illustrated history

11:00am, Saturday 2 June 2018

Creativity and schools: what is creativity anyway?

7:00pm, Monday 21 May 2018

The rise of the scripted teacher: liberation or disaster?

7:00pm, Monday 23 April 2018

What is a knowledge-led school anyway?

7:00pm, Monday 5 March 2018

What are the rights and wrongs of school dress codes?

7:00pm, Thursday 25 January 2018

Who has made the most important impact on education?

7:00pm, Monday 11 December 2017

Brexit hate crime in schools: shocking truth or over-hyped?

7:00pm, Monday 13 November 2017

Education Forum at the Battle of Ideas 2017

10:00am, Sunday 29 October 2017

Never mind growth mindset - should kids be allowed to fail?

7:00pm, Monday 18 September 2017

Education Forum at ResearchED 2017

9:00am, Saturday 9 September 2017

The History and Meaning of Liberal Education

2:00pm, Saturday 10 June 2017

Nothing to lose? Putting teacher judgement to the test

7:00pm, Monday 8 May 2017

Teacher recruitment crisis: why do great teachers quit?

7:00pm, Monday 20 March 2017

Boy trouble: is gender important in education?

7:00pm, Monday 30 January 2017

‘No excuses’ discipline: does ‘sparing the rod’ spoil the classroom?

7:00pm, Monday 21 November 2016

Education Forum debates at researchED National Conference

10:00am, Saturday 10 September 2016

Are textbooks the answer? And if so, what is the question?

7:00pm, Monday 11 July 2016

The Unsafe Space debates

10:00am, Friday 24 June 2016

The Idea and Impact of ED Hirsch’s ‘Cultural Literacy’

2:00pm, Sunday 19 June 2016

Do teachers need a College of Teaching?

7:00pm, Monday 16 May 2016

What is Religious Studies for in an increasingly secular age?

7:00pm, Monday 18 April 2016

What is education for?

7:15pm, Tuesday 8 March 2016

The Modern Trivium: triumph of tradition or trivial gimmick?

7:00pm, Monday 9 November 2015

How should educators respond to the election?

7:00pm, Thursday 16 April 2015

How useful is evidence in education?

7:00pm, Monday 9 February 2015

Critical reflections on Dewey’s Democracy and Education

7:00pm, Monday 16 June 2014

Where now for Ofsted?

7:00pm, Monday 19 May 2014

Should teachers embrace performativity?

7:00pm, Monday 28 April 2014

Is knowledge under attack?

7:00pm, Monday 18 November 2013

What makes a good teacher today?

7:00pm, Monday 16 September 2013

Education or Emile?

7:00pm, Monday 17 June 2013

Knowledge versus emotion in education: a false dichotomy?

7:00pm, Monday 20 May 2013

Why so many interventions in education?

7:00pm, Monday 22 April 2013

The End of EBacc - a victory for the arts?

7:00pm, Monday 18 March 2013

Is it mentor be? - exploring education’s role model fixation

7:00pm, Monday 11 February 2013

What makes a good school?

7:00pm, Monday 17 September 2012

The truths about neuroscience

7:00pm, Monday 14 May 2012

Who really runs the classroom today?

7:00pm, Monday 23 April 2012

Tony Sewell ‘On Education’

7:00pm, Monday 12 March 2012

A framework for the national curriculum

7:00pm, Monday 6 February 2012

A framework for the national curriculum - the Education Forum response

7:00pm, Monday 16 January 2012

Why a Science Free School?

7:00pm, Monday 14 November 2011

What is education for in the 21st century?

7:00pm, Monday 19 September 2011

Does every child need a classical education?

7:00pm, Monday 18 July 2011

Do we need a ‘nappy curriculum’ for our youngest learners?

7:00pm, Monday 13 June 2011

Is teacher training a turning point?

7:00pm, Monday 16 May 2011

Can the Wolf Report save vocational education?

7:00pm, Monday 11 April 2011

The English Baccalaureate: one step forward, two steps back?

7:00pm, Monday 21 March 2011

Citizenship is dead. Long live history?

7:00pm, Monday 14 February 2011

All Quiet on the Phonics Front?

7:00pm, Monday 17 January 2011

Is education educating yet?

7:00pm, Monday 13 December 2010

Can we still make the case for subjects?

7:00pm, Monday 15 November 2010

Free schools: do parents or teachers know best?

7:00pm, Monday 4 October 2010

Who needs teacher training?

7:00pm, Monday 20 September 2010

‘Please sir, can we have some more schools’

7:00pm, Monday 21 June 2010

We Must Do Better!

7:00pm, Monday 19 April 2010

Chavs into haves - should private schools be banned?

7:00pm, Monday 22 February 2010

Education Election Debate

7:00pm, Monday 25 January 2010

Stephen Ball in conversation with Dennis Hayes

7:00pm, Monday 14 December 2009

Should we defend home schooling?

7:00pm, Tuesday 24 November 2009

The Myth of Racist Kids

7:00pm, Monday 21 September 2009

Why a ‘Physics Factory’?

7:00pm, Monday 22 June 2009

Pseudo-Science and Education

7:00pm, Thursday 18 June 2009

The Confidence to Teach

7:00pm, Monday 18 May 2009

Book Launch of Reclaiming Childhood

7:00pm, Monday 20 April 2009

Are we over-protecting children?

7:00pm, Tuesday 24 March 2009

Teaching the subject of Music

7:00pm, Monday 23 March 2009

Teachers as Role Models

7:00pm, Monday 23 February 2009

Playing with education: After the Rose Report does education have any meaning?

7:00pm, Monday 26 January 2009

Teaching the Unteachable?

7:00pm, Monday 24 November 2008

Environmental Educators’ underhand tactics

7:00pm, Monday 20 October 2008

The Therapeutic Turn in Education: replies to our critics

7:00pm, Monday 22 September 2008

Stab Schools?

7:00pm, Monday 16 June 2008

Should we uphold the Ten Commandments of ‘pedagogy’?

7:00pm, Monday 19 May 2008

Cultural education

7:00pm, Monday 14 April 2008

The paradox of family learning

7:00pm, Monday 18 February 2008

Helping children to be happy: can the Children’s Plan succeed?

7:00pm, Monday 21 January 2008

Early-years education - held jointly with the IoI Parents Forum

7:00pm, Monday 19 November 2007

Subjects or Skills?

7:00pm, Monday 24 September 2007

What Training Do Teachers Need?

7:00pm, Monday 9 July 2007

School Leadership

7:00pm, Monday 14 May 2007

14-19 Education: The New Qualifications

7:00pm, Monday 26 March 2007

14-19 Education: ROSLA to 18 and Social Inclusion

7:00pm, Monday 26 February 2007

What is personalised Learning?

7:00pm, Monday 22 January 2007

Selection in State Schools

7:00pm, Monday 27 November 2006

The Nationalisation of Childhood

7:00pm, Wednesday 18 October 2006

Understanding Inclusion

7:00pm, Monday 25 September 2006

An ‘In Conversation’ Event

7:00pm, Monday 17 July 2006

Why bother to teach modern foreign languages?

7:00pm, Monday 19 June 2006

Raking over old bones: Darwinism on trial

7:00pm, Wednesday 10 May 2006

‘Professor Stephen Rowland in conversation with Dr Dennis Hayes

7:30pm, Monday 24 April 2006

Special Event:Global Ethics and Citizenship Education

7:00pm, Friday 21 April 2006

Reflections on the art of teaching

7:00pm, Monday 20 March 2006

Standing up to the bullying panic

7:00pm, Monday 20 February 2006

The Phonics Controversy

7:00pm, Monday 23 January 2006

Professor Richard Pring in conversation with Dr. Shirley Lawes

7:00pm, Monday 12 December 2005

Youth, Apathy and Activity

7:30pm, Monday 14 November 2005

Examinations do you good

7:00pm, Monday 19 September 2005

Multiculturalism and the promotion of faith schools – steps backwards in education?

7:00pm, Monday 4 July 2005

Why the fuss about ‘vocationalism’?

7:00pm, Monday 6 June 2005

Sick of school dinners?

7:00pm, Monday 9 May 2005

Literacies or Literacy?

7:00pm, Monday 4 April 2005

Too Scared to Teach?

7:00pm, Monday 14 March 2005

What is a subject?

7:00pm, Monday 7 February 2005

Learning Styles: snake oil, sacred cow or holy grail?

7:00pm, Monday 17 January 2005