Today’s coffee companion (although we both had tea) is the UK head of business development in the public sector for one of the big US technology companies.

We have both been in our roles for a similar length of time, so there was a bit of “How’s the new job?” experience sharing, but mostly we talked about the concepts behind democratic education and parallels with the world of work, and specifically with Equal Experts with it’s non-hierarchical approach to organising.

Democratic education is based on the idea of children leading the agenda in terms of how a school operates, and what the children actually do for their own learning. It sounds both fascinating and also potentially chaotic in comparison to conventional schooling. A bit like manager-less businesses sound to many!

It made me realise that we seem to have industrialized schooling in the UK to achieve repeatable quality at scale for a low cost (relatively). The issue is that we end up with a one-size fits all approach.

The one-size model wasn’t fitting the needs of my companion’s child, so a few years ago the family moved well away from the South East of England to get access to a school run on the democratic principles.

That led us into a conversation about moving our of town and into the countryside, a topic that is a recurring theme in my household. One day we’ll do it – it’s fascinating to hear the experiences of others.

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