Articles and blogs

Residentials – unlocking the potential

As we enter 2020 I have set a resolution across all of my work to ensure every child gets a residential experience – at least once at primary age and once at secondary. In truth these experiences should be annual – whether through schools, youth work or other routes – but let’s start small (ish).

By | January 9, 2020

Working, as a parent of a disabled child – the supersized juggle

When our third child is weeping with anxiety, clinging to the banisters and begging us to not to send him to school today our hearts break. For him and his pain. For his siblings now late. For the school that he loves and is doing such a good job helping him manage his panic attacks. But also, the thought that goes through our heads is less generous but just as vital – panic as we start to rearrange our day where one or both of us will be either late or off work.

By | January 4, 2020


‘Hard to reach’. ‘Disadvantaged’. ‘Lacking aspiration’. ‘Poverty of ambition’. Bored. Bored of the stereotypes. The judgements and the deficit model. The lazy assumptions about communities by postcodes. My boys playing in the garden of one of those postcodes. The house… Read More »

By | November 22, 2019

A free pass for families

I love the National Trust. Kids ran riot in several of their properties over the summer (sorry). And I was struck by their inclusion in this pretty sensible list of money saving tips for children’s holiday adventures.
Indeed, National Trust and other membership schemes can present great value. Below are some examples of passes that could be included in list. This makes no statement about how family friendly they are or the value they present. But for many – regardless of value per visit – they are still unaffordable.

By | October 22, 2019

Family friendly venues

As we look at access to cultural capital – to nature, arts, heritage, sports and the broadest range of social and enrichment experiences – we know that many families stand on the periphery. While there are – reasonable and important – ongoing debates about whose culture is valued, the reality is that there are many families who do not get the same access to public or charitably funded resources as their peers. The reasons for this are multiple and while some are complex and need further exploration the reality is that there are a number of simple steps that settings and providers could take that would enable a broader range of families to access their services.

By | October 22, 2019

Every Child Should be Resilient

Resilience is currently a bit of a toxic word currently. The idea that we need to build young people’s resilience to ‘survive’ some of society’s contemporary challenges has hints of ‘victim’ blaming. Living in poverty – toughen up. Experienced trauma – develop grit. Mental illness – not strong enough. This is not where Every Child Should is coming from.

By | July 27, 2019

Princely Manhood and Character

Following the launch of Hinds’ character education consultation in this blog Anita provides 10 points to consider about character, including a historic look at a similar debate – for all you fine gentlemen!

By | May 30, 2019

Pin the tail on the blame donkey

It’s been a series of rapid releases in education. I have had a lot of requests to write a response and to date I have struggled. And it’s taken me a while to figure out why. I have realised it’s because the general response from the education system has been – well – broadly ‘pin the tail on the blame donkey’.

By | May 13, 2019

Creating the ABacc – saving humanity

With the debate on the purpose of education very much alive Anita presents, in this blog, an alternative view based on the skills future generations will need to overcome global challenges facing humanity.

By | May 5, 2019

Blog: School Exclusion – the story so far

Blog: School Exclusion – the story so far
As the DfE announce a review of school exclusions Anita Kerwin-Nye reflects on the evidence and prevailing thoughts surrounding the issue of informal exclusions. This blog provides a good leap off point for anyone wanting to get an overview.

By | March 14, 2019

Freelancers – education’s gig economy

There’s one group of people who are likely to provoke a lively response in a teacher led pub debate. No not HMIs. Not even Education Ministers. Consultants. For some on social media it has become the ultimate ad hominin. To read articles you’d think contractors and consultants were single handedly bringing down education.

By | February 8, 2019

My personal journey as a disability campaigner

My personal journey as a disability campaigner has been informed by many things – not least my children – but the relighting of my campaigning fire was sparked by a speech by Stephen Unwin at the 2018 Cultural Inclusion Conference.

By | January 22, 2019

Why the Outdoors

A blog on EveryChildShould on the importance of the outdoors. In the blog Anita reflects on her personal reasons for believing in the benefits of the outdoors, and invites you to reflect on what the outdoors means to you.

By | October 8, 2018

Supporting Teachers to Lead Practice

Last week I attended the last session of this year’s A New Direction Advocates. This programme supports teachers of the arts to lead learning in both their own schools and across the system. As this group of Advocates – some of whom I had the privilege to have worked with for 3 years – presented their work I was struck by quality, passion and impact of their projects.

By | June 26, 2018

How many men does it take to steal the credit from a difficult woman?

I thought hard about writing this blog. I really did. I’ve been warned – a lot – not to stick my head above the parapet. To keep my head down. Not to make any waves. And – honestly – I considered it. Being labelled a difficult woman – a trouble maker – is career threatening. Even more so perhaps when like me and over a million women you are self employed and reputation is what you trade on.

By | June 14, 2018

What can education learn from the Police?

This is not a new question. There is much debate around the prescriptive nature of the qualification frameworks, the impact of the EBACC on other areas of education, the expansion of exclusive education and calls for teachers – not politicians – to set the education agenda.

By | May 30, 2018

Whole School SEND

The current Department for Education SEND Workforce Contract ends this week and the new contract holder is to be announced. As a consultant I am remarkably proud of the part I played in securing and delivering this work with and on behalf of both London Leadership Strategy and NASEN. £5million is a considerable consultancy fundraising win and successfully implementing something of this scale to effect such change is something I am glad to have led.

By | April 2, 2018

Is Exclusion Education’s Haiti?

“Yes we know it happens. ‘They’ choose the children who get the best results and ‘they’ find ways to lose the others. But that’s just the way it is. They are being pragmatic. It’s not something that can change and nobody will sign up to this. Besides schools are allowed to select in some ways.”

By | February 19, 2018

Teachwire – February 2018

Teachwire – February 2018
Anita Kerwin-Nye asks ‘was the Children’s Commissioner’s report on vulnerable children the most important of 2017?’ in her teachwire article: Vulnerable Children – Who are They, and How do we Best Offer Support with Scarce Resources?

By | February 13, 2018

Every child a bank account?

As part of our work on Every Child Should we have been talking to young people and those that work with them and reviewing many reports on what children and young people should have achieved and experienced by the time they leave school.

By | February 6, 2018

Turning the page for adventure

Part of my work over 2018 through Every Child Should is to look at the importance of outdoor learning and connections to nature for every child. My own personal experiences as a lover of adventurous activities, combined with the work I have done over the years with organisations that work in this field, has shown me the value of this work on well-being and happiness.

By | February 6, 2018

Young Academy

It is both a privilege and great learning to sit on the Young Academy Investment Committee. The aims of the Academy are simple: …

By | February 2, 2018

The Communication Trust – what next?

With the news in recent days of the of potential closure of The Communication Trust (TCT) – a consortium that I led the set up of in 2007 – I have been reflecting on both the challenges and successes of the Trust over the last 10 years.

By | January 30, 2018

Schools Week – January 2018

The strength of consortiums in affecting change is a core principle of Every Child Should. As is the belief that all children should be included in all aspects of education. In her recent piece for Schools Week Anita Kerwin-Nye talks about the change affected by Whole School SEND in the battle for inclusion.

By | January 2, 2018

Journal of Education in Museums – No. 38 (2017)

Enrichment or Entitlement? How can museums work with schools to ensure that all children benefit form the transformative nature of museum learning?
The Journal of Education in Museums (JEM) is published annually. The current issue is only available to members of GEM.

By | December 30, 2017

Children in Need 2017

“Anyone else watching #childreninneed & wondering why people have to fundraise for things that our most vulnerable children should get from the state?”
Turns out from this throwaway Friday night tweet that – yes – quite a lot of people.

By | November 20, 2017

The outdoors – an entitlement

Ecotherapy. I confess I rolled my eyes at the title. An attempt to medicalise the language attached to something many of us just know to be true – being outside makes us feel better. But, if the word further embeds outdoor experiences into approaches to mental health the title works for me.
Anita Kerwin-Nye leads the Every Child Should Campaign and is a key note speaker at the CLOtC conference on 16 November 2017.

By | November 14, 2017

Is Inclusion Over? six months on

‘Inclusion’ seems like an easy idea to quantify when placed next to ‘exclusion’. Trying to explain the term without doing so is a little harder but, as Anita Kerwin-Nye said in her introduction to the Is Inclusion Over? Conference, if they don’t, education sector specialists end up just talking to themselves

By | October 7, 2016

Is Inclusion Over?

I’ve worked with young people with SEND my entire life. From volunteering to take young people with Muscular Dystrophy climbing when I was a teenager; through specialising in SEN in my teacher training;  to working on literacy in prisons and… Read More »

By | April 19, 2016

Collaborative working: building a consortium

Anita’s paper, on why and how the charity sector should communicate, looks back on ICAN’s initiative to establish greater collaboration in the field of communication disability. This paper led to the DCSF funding the establishment of The Communication Trust – a not for profit coalition of over 40 traditionally competing charities – which Anita founded and led as Director until 2012. The Trust was recognised by the Cabinet Office and Third Sector as an example of best practice in effective collaborative working.

By | October 30, 2007