CPE LEX: Educational Difference – Flexing and Personalising Education. Nov 4, North Wales


Educational Difference – Flexing and Personalising Education.

CPE Learning Exchange (LEX). Alternative Educational Futures Series.

Saturday 4th November 2017. Colwyn Bay, North Wales

Twitter: #AlternativeEducationalFutures

We have a diverse line up, interesting inputs and discussion running throughout the day.

Come along and listen, question, contribute, talk, network and enjoy!




Sue Palmer is a writer, broadcaster and consultant on the education of young children. She is well-known to UK teachers as a specialist in literacy, especially the teaching of writing, but concern about children’s lifestyles led her to research and publish the bestselling book Toxic Childhood: How the Modern World Is Damaging Our Children and What We Can Do About It, followed in 2007 by a practical handbook for parents, Detoxing Childhood: What Parents Need to Know to Raise Bright, Balanced Children, and her most recent book 21st Century Boys. Sue is also a popular speaker, addressing thousands of teachers each year across the UK and around the world – and increasingly invited to address audiences of parents, health professionals and others concerned with children’s well-being. She writes frequently in the national press, and has worked as a consultant to the National Literacy Trust, the Basic Skills Agency, many educational publishers, the Department for Education and the BBC. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sue_Palmer  

Michelle Melson is one of the lead campaigners of the Summer Born Campaign Group. Michele is a parent of a summer born boy and she didn’t want him to start school a few months after their 4th birthday. She believed that it was in her son’s best interests to wait until he reached compulsory school age. On January 15, 2014, Michelle and Pauline Hull published their Summer Born Report titled, ‘Compulsory School Age in England has been Lowered to 4 through an Unfair and Unlawful Summer Born Admissions Process‘ (also see accompanying press release).The report contains numerous examples of Unlawful and Unfair Policies and Practices; Evidence of Inconsistency, Contradiction and Errors in DfE publications and Ministers’ statements; an extensive Glossary of Legislation that relates to school admissions; an insightful and detailed Admissions History; plus, examples of Parents’ Experiences. Media coverage of the report’s publication can be found in the News section of their site. Following their numerous submissions of evidence (all on website and final February 23 submission is available here), Michelle was invited to appear as a witness during the Education Committee’s Evidence Check on March 4, 2015. Michelle attended and gave evidence on behalf of the Summer Born Campaign.

Dr Harriet Pattison is an erstwhile home educator lecturing in the Early Childhood Department at Liverpool Hope University and a  trustee and a director of the Centre for Personalised EducationHarriet flies the flag of the alternative to a surprisingly receptive audience.  Harriet completed her doctoral thesis on home educated children learning to read and is now very pleased to be finally able to return this work to the home educating community who made it possible.  It has been a work of endless fascination and Harriet shall continue to write and think about reading and the wider implications of the research in the time ahead.  Harriet has also become equally fascinated by the philosophy of the alternative and is developing work in this area too.  Writing includes: Pattison, H (2016) Education and the Time of our Lives in Other Education Special Issue ed N. Peim. (forthcoming) ; Pattison, H and Thomas A (2016) Great Expectations:  Agenda and Authority in Technological, Hidden and Cultural  Curriculums in eds  Noddings, N and Lees, H in Palgrave International Handbook of Alternative Education Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan; Pattison, H (2015) How to Desire Differently: Home Education as a Heterotopia in The Journal of Philosophy of Education,  (49)  4; Thomas, A and Pattison, H (2015) The Informal Acquisition and Development of Literacy in: P. Rothermel (Ed.) International Perspectives on Home Education, Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan; Thomas, A. & Pattison, H. (2013) Informal home education: philosophical aspirations put into practice. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 32, 141-154

http://www.othereducation.org/index.php/OE Harriet’s latest title is Pattison, H (2016) Rethinking Learning to Read: The Challenge from Children Educated at Home. Educational Heretics Press.

Janette Mountford-Lees is the headteacher at Hollinsclough Primary Academy. Janette has been instrumental in developing flexischooling at the school taking it from the smallest school in England undersubscribed with 5 pupils to a thriving rural school and community with 55 pupils. Janette has written and spoken about flexischooling at Hollinsclough widely. In 2011 Janette jointly authored ‘ New Models for Organising Education: Flexi-schooling – how one school does it well’ sponsored by the  CfBT Education Trust and others, to research into the feasibility of integrating and supporting Home Education within mainstream state provision. In 2014 Janette received a Farmington Scholarship, from The Farmington Institute, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford. She produced a report as to the experience and effectiveness of flexischooling at Hollinsclough and presented this to other Farmington fellows.



Wendy Charles-Warner is a trustee / director of the   Centre for Personalised Education. Wendy is retired from a career in civil law and has been advising on Home Education law and practise for around 34 years. She has provided training to Local Authorities on the law and practise of Home Education and their duties in that regard, for the past 8 years. During this time she has given both oral and written witness evidence to the Welsh Assembly Government, its Ministers and Members, together with UK Members of Parliament, on the subject of Home Education. Wendy has acted as an advisor on Home Education law and practice to NGOs in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Poland and Ireland. Wendy has undertaken research in the field of home education, particularly in the area of separating fact from myth.

Peter Humphreys is Chair, trustee and a director of the Centre for Personalised Education. Peter spent 25 years as a primary teacher, 10 years as Headteacher going on to work as an educational consultant covering roles in local authority advisory service, the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) and Futurelab. He is a visiting lecturer at Birmingham City University in teacher education. He was editor of the CPE-PEN Journal 2004-2016 writing regularly throughout this period. Peter’s most recent work includes Rethinking Learning and Lives 2040: Educational Technologies and Personalised Learning Landscapes (2014) and Neoliberal Schooling, Dehumanisation and an Education (2017) in Rudd, T. & Goodson, I. F. [Eds.] (2017). Negotiating Neoliberalism: Developing Alternative Educational Visions. Sense Publishers. Rotterdam/Boston/Taipei.


Fiona Beavan is a lecturer in Further Education, home educator and trustee/director of the Centre for Personalised Education.  Fiona is embarking on her EdD research on embedding alternatives into the transition at 5 from part time to full time schooling from the mother’s voice.. Mum to eleven lovely children. Fiona has an MA in Early Childhood and is director/ founder of charity Joshua’s Boxes. Facebook Groups – Centre for Personalised Education


Programme (Provisional)

 10.00 -10.30 am Arrival, registration, refreshments, networking, bookstall

10.30 –10.45 Peter Humphreys / Fiona Beavan. Welcome, domestics. Centre for Personalised Education, 

10.45 -1145 Sue Palmer. (Title to be confirmed)

11.45 -12.00 Question and answer session

12.0 0-12.40 Lunch, refreshments, networking, bookstall

12.40 – 13.00 Peter Humphreys. An Education – Key Questions.

13.00 – 13.30 Michelle Melson. Why Parents Desire a Change in the Summer Born Law?

13.30 – 13.45 Question and answer session

13.45 – 14.15 Dr Harriet Pattison. Re-defining Learning to Read. 

14.15 -14.30 Question and answer session

14.30 -14.40 Tea and coffee break

14.40 -15.10 Janette Mountford Lees. (Flexischooling – Title to be confirmed)

15.10 – 15.25 Question and answer session

15.25 -15.45 Wendy Charles-Warner. Home Education Myth and Reality.

15.45 -15.55 Question and answer session

15.55 -16.05 Peter Humphreys/ Fiona Beavan. Final Comments.

16.05 -16.20 Refreshments, networking, bookstall





  • Inclusive of academics, teachers, other educators, students, parents and learners from the mainstream and alternatives, educational officials and officers and interested citizens.
  • Rather than talking within bubbles and siloes we seek to network these constituencies.  Learning with and from each other creating a shared dialogue, mutual respect and understanding whilst generating visions of a future personalised, educational landscape.
  • Come along and listen, question, contribute, talk, network and enjoy!



  • Car. From A55 – turn right or left depending on direction from A55 on to Marine RoadTurn right on to road.
  • Enter roundabout, Exit roundabout at 2nd exit on to Holyrood Avenue, Turn left on to Windsor Drive
  • Train. Via Colwyn Bay Station. Then Taxi (approx. £4-4.50 Atlas Taxi outside station) to venue.
  • Walking. From Station. 27 min / 1.4 miles.

Car Parking

  • There is plentiful and free car parking on the school campus and overflow if necessary.


  • The venue is disability accessible with gentle ramps from the outside. The event room is ground floor.
  • There are disabled toilet facilities
  • Guide dogs are permitted.


Refreshments and Food

  • We try to keep costs to a minimum. Participants can choose to bring their own sandwiches or purchase their own lunchtime refreshments and food from local shops / cafes in Colwyn Bay area.
  • CPE will provide drinks (tea/coffee/water/ juice etc.) throughout the event and on arrival, lunchtime and at the end of the programme.


  • All participants will need a learning exchange badge (collect on arrival) to move in / out and around the building. Please return these at the end of the day.



Full details on the Eventbrite Booking system.





Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

  • An ID badge will be available on arrival so that participants can move around the venue.
  • Children and young people are welcome. However, please see notes above.
  • Tourist & Cultural attractions close by…. please see notes above.

How can I contact the organisers with any questions?

What’s the refund policy?

  • The Centre for Personalised Education runs on a small budget and fine margins and tries at all times to be as inclusive as possible. If unfortunately, you do require a refund please contact the organisers.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

  • It would be helpful but not essential. We will have records of attendees.

Can I update my registration information?

Is my registration fee or ticket transferrable?

  • Yes, but please inform the organisers.

Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn’t match the person who attends?

  • We’ll cope! If you can let us know that would be helpful. Contact the organisers.



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