We all know the quote from Nelson Mandela “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” and many of us agree that education for all is desirable and good in itself but it has not always been regarded as such. I passionately believe we should celebrate and showcase the story of the development of education in an accessible and exciting museum. By telling this history we can learn from the past and shape the future.
Anne Swift, Former Headteacher , former NUT President & NEU Executive Member, Chair of Trustees and Museum Director of Finance
I want this museum to provide fun as an attraction for both children and grown-ups, but I want it to be so much more too. A modern museum is also a centre of study and research to guide future policy. I want the National Education Museum to be that kind of museum. By accessing the commitment and passion of those who in our past worked to spread knowledge and understanding, I want the museum to inspire creative ideas in education for the benefit of generations present and future. It is very exciting to see it fast gathering support.
Graham Clayton, Education Law specialist, Vice Chair of Trustees, Museum Director of Communications
I first had the idea about the need for a National Education Museum many years ago but only recently got this going with a group of likeminded people. Having widened our base of support, we are making real progress and are delighted with Portsmouth University’s involvement. When speaking at meetings to raise funds and awareness, the positive response has been very heartening. The Museum will be a place not only to learn the history of education, and to share scientific ideas and developments for its future, but also intrigue and delight children who visit.
Hank Roberts, Former ATL President, Founder Trustee, Museum Director of Strategy and Fundraising
The Museum is a brilliant idea, and I am thrilled at the positive responses we have had, particularly with the funds raised through the Founder Patron scheme. We are now in a position to look seriously for our first premises in Portsmouth and where we will be able to properly store our initial artefacts and have a space to welcome the general public. What a magnificent contribution to education it will be, both for learning from the past to learning for the future.
Jean Roberts, Retired teacher with over 40 years’ experience, Museum Director of Operations and Secretary to the Trustees
One of the museum’s aims is to establish and maintain a museum for the benefit of the public. After the disruption of the 2020 and 2021, education is at the forefront of many people’s thoughts and it is important that we engage with the potential users from academia to students, parents and educators as to how the museum may be set up in a way to best serve its various audiences and advance the cause of education. A prime area for development will be using digital technology to engage young people with the museum’s collection.
Sheena Wright, Chief Examiner and Lead Moderator for ELC Science at AQA, Museum Director of Premises and Development
School days, love them or hate them we’ve all been through them. By looking back at our education system we can discover much about the social landscape of Britain. I look to the National Education Museum to empower people to explore the building blocks of Britain’s complex social history through the lens of an institution we have all accessed, but maybe haven’t thought critically enough about. Through the stories, documents and artefacts of bygone school days, I want the Museum to provide that perfect mix of nostalgia, reflection and knowledge – from its centre in the heart of Portsmouth and online throughout the country.
Andrew Dunkley, Secondary School Teacher, Museum Director of Collection and Archive
The museum’s aims are to inspire and engage visitors to create an understanding about how the world of education has evolved. The UK does not have an Education Museum and given that education plays an integral part in so many peoples lives an opportunity to explore its history and the future is long overdue. The fact that it is based in Portsmouth is fantastic because Portsmouth is the home of John Pounds (June 17th 1766 – January 1st 1839) a local teacher and altruist and the man most responsible for the creation of the concept of Ragged Schools, the first real form of free education for all.
Amanda Martin, former President NEU, Museum Director of Portsmouth Projects
It is especially important to me that the National Education Museum will house a co-produced community archive for the Black history of education in the UK. The common discourse in British educational history is white and largely ignores the contribution of educators from black and diverse backgrounds. NEM seeks to redress the imbalance in our collections. The achievements of Black and diverse educators will be celebrated in the collection and the NEM aims to hold the UK’s largest collection of Black History of Education, based in Portsmouth. I am delighted that the NEM is working in partnership with the University of Portsmouth, where I was Head of School, to collaborate with the local community and curate this collection.
Dr Catherine Carroll-Meehan, Professor of Education and Pedagogy, Dean of Education Liverpool Hope University
The desire to create a modern National Education Museum provides an exciting and important challenge to fill the existing gap. It has been noted in the museum world that “The current definition, which has only seen minor adjustments over the past few decades, does not reflect and express adequately the complexities of the 21st century and the current responsibilities and commitments of museums, nor their challenges and visions for the future” The Trustees take that responsibility very seriously and are working together to make that goal of a modern museum a reality.
Jerry Glazier, teacher and Executive Member NUT and NEU
I am involved in the National Education Museum because I believe it important to celebrate the struggle for education in Britain and internationally, and the way in which education empowers people to understand the world they live in and to change it.
Gawain Little, Executive Member NEU
A National Education Museum will be an important celebration of the power education has to change lives in so many different ways. Whether that’s gaining new skills and learning to achieve early-life aspirations, through to acquiring new perspectives and understandings about the world and society. Education is limitless, so it’s vital we have an institution that tells its story of progress for future generations. I’m delighted to be a Trustee of the National Education Museum and I will be doing all I can in Parliament to ensure its future success.
Stephen Morgan Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South