We all want children and young people growing up on islands to build the knowledge and skills they need for the future. In this session, we will explore different examples and approaches for schools and colleges on islands to develop a broad and sustainable curriculum rooted in the geography, history and heritage of their island setting.
Olly Newton spent 12 years in the UK Department for Education working on policies including 14-19 diplomas, raising the participation age and finally as Head of Apprenticeship Strategy. Olly is now Executive Director of the Edge Foundation, where he oversees the programme of research, policy reports and the Edge Future Learning delivery programme for schools and colleges. Olly also chair’s the Island Education Network and in his spare time volunteers with the Scout Association and as Enterprise Adviser and Governor at Firth Park Academy in Sheffield.
Francesco Sindico is the Founder and Co-Director of the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (SCELG) at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. He is also Associate Professor (Reader) in International Environmental Law at the University of Strathclyde Law School. He leads the EILEAN initiative at SCELG where he researches about law, islands and sustainability. As part of his work on islands he has collaborated with the Scottish Government in the implementation of the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 and is now a member of the National Islands Plan Delivery Group. He has coordinated with Island Innovation a global survey on Islands and COVID-19 and is also co-leading with Island Innovation and the University of Prince Edward Island the COVID-19 Island Insights series. Francesco is also very active in the climate law field and is the Founder and Co-Director of the Climate Change Litigation Initiative (C2LI). He has also worked extensively on international water law, an area where he provides legal advice to international organisations and governments before international courts. You can find more about Francesco’s island related work here
Lyston E Skerritt returned to Montserrat in 2017 after studies abroad, with a passion for education, youth affairs and efficient system development. As a youth, he was involved with the Montserrat Secondary School Cadet Corp, the Leeward Island Debating Competition and served as the Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. In 2005, he was awarded the Georgia Rotary Scholarship and pursued his tertiary education in the United States of America. He holds a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies from Augusta University in GA with minors in Philosophy and Psychology. In 2012 he completed his Master’s in Education and Counseling from the University of Louisville. He is a trained counselor, ombudsman and mediator with a decade of work supporting the establishment and operation of education institution, non-profits and non-governmental organizations. Since his return, he has rapidly advanced in the Government Public Service and now serves as the acting Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports. Above all else, Mr. Skerritt lives by the strong family and religious foundation afforded to him growing up in Montserrat and still attributes many of his successes to his reflection on the MSS motto, “Qui non proficit deficit”, He who does not progress retrogresses.
Rachel Kitley is the Principal of Cowes Enterprise College – an Ormiston Academy, which is based on the Isle of Wight. Rachel moved to the Island in 2017 with her husband and two children, to lead the school successfully on a positive journey of improvement. The school is now ranked as the best on the Island for the progress students make whilst there, and has received widespread praise for the innovative approach to education being championed there.
Prior to joining Cowes, Rachel has held a number of leadership and teaching roles, including being the Co-Headteacher at Kingsbury High School in London in inner London with over 2000 students on roll and which achieved above average Progress 8 during her time in this role.
Aside from teaching, Rachel has long shared advice, guidance and best practice across the sector, including regularly writing for the TES on effective practices in the classroom and also writing curriculum resources for Heinemann. Rachel also presents at both national and
Jo has worked in education in London and in Jersey for almost three decades. Her career is characterised by a track record of breaking down barriers to achievement for students and staff. Before entering education, Jo worked in offshore finance and volunteered whilst travelling abroad.
Jo believes that education transforms lives and in each of her workplace settings has worked tirelessly to make this belief a reality. She has led major action research projects focused on learning and innovation to ensure that staff remain equipped with the right skills and are motivated to achieve the very best for students; whatever their age, background, or starting points.
Jo’s vision for the College has never been more pertinent: “Our mission is to transform lives by empowering learners to find fulfilment and to make a positive social and economic contribution to our Island and the world they live in.” With her experience, she is uniquely qualified to drive innovation at Highlands College to create a fit for future workforce. Born and educated in Jersey, she has a MA in Education and Management, and completed the Association of Colleges Senior Leadership Management programme in 2018, and is currently studying for the Certificate in Company Direction. She is Vice-chair of the Institute of Directors staff development group in Jersey. Jo also worked with the States of Jersey “I Will Mentoring and Shadowing programme” collaborating on the design and implementation plans for increasing female representation at senior levels of the Government of Jersey’s public service.
Currently, she is a literacy project manager at the Oceano Azul Foundation, being responsible for projects that aim to prepare a Blue Generation, ocean literate, and to increase public awareness on the challenges of ocean sustainability. With a PhD in Marine Ecology, she has an academic background of research and teaching in this field. For several years, was the executive director of a science centre for the promotion of scientific culture to the general public and children.
Edge is the independent education charity dedicated to making education relevant. We believe a coherent, unified and holistic education system can support social equity and enable all young people to fulfil their potential.
Edge’s research shows that a broad and balanced curriculum, including creative and technical subjects, rich employer engagement, teacher autonomy and interactive pedagogy, can help to bring learning alive and prepare students for more than just a set of exams.
Edge runs the Island Education Network, which brings together islands around the British Isles and British Overseas Territories to discuss issues relating to education policy in an island setting.