Manchester Institute of Education hosted an event on the 2nd February, designed to ‘get research into schools’ through engaging academics with educators. Steven Baker, Learnus Advisory Board member and Principal of Kilgarth and Gilbrook Schools, agreed to speak at the workshop along with Professor Derek Bell, Director of Learnus. Other speakers included: Professor Jonathan Sharples, Senior Researcher at the Education Endowment Foundation; Dr Jen O’Brien, Director of Social Responsibility for SEED and Dr Carl Emery, Research Associate for the Disadvantage and Poverty Group.
This was a very well attended event, which resulted in standing room only on the day. Steven spent time raising delegates’ understanding of how researchers can make their work accessible to schools and how schools might use this information practically. He spoke of his personal experience of conducting research within his federation of schools and how he has used these opportunities to create collaborative links nationally. Derek reinforced the message that Learnus is able to facilitate a dialogue between different professional communities and that this communication should be a two-way process; future developments in this field will rely on effective collaboration between all stakeholders. The workshop finished with the speakers attending a question and answer session and networking lunch, which also proved to be very popular.
This was a very successful event with excellent delegate feedback from the workshop; it has led to Steven being invited to participate in a landmark two-day conference entitled, ‘Mental health and education: building relationships’ - in Manchester on the 28th and 29th June. It is hoped that this conference will bring together leading researchers, policy-makers, educators and allied professionals to explore the intersection between education and mental health, enabling all stakeholders to set the future agenda for the field. This aligns itself perfectly with Learnus’ ongoing aim of ‘bringing educators and those who specialise in the study of the brain, mind and behaviour together… in order to use the insights gained from high quality research to improve and enrich learning for all.’