Call for Papers
FORUM: for comprehensive education

Contributions are invited for the Summer 2021 issue of FORUM, for which the copy-date is Monday 12 April.

The prolonged impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented demands on providers of education at every level.  Time and again maintained schools and colleges have had to respond to abrupt changes or reversals of government policy, while Early Years provision has been required to stay open since June 2020 in the most taxing circumstances.  The role education workers play in supporting and sustaining a community has been brought to the fore: through the provision of food for schoolchildren, the distribution of learning materials and equipment to families, the daily coming to terms with the demands of teaching and learning ‘remotely’ as well as face-to-face, and the heightened concern about children’s physical and mental well-being.

We invite writing which addresses the issue of the place of school in relation to community.  How has the pandemic revealed, or changed, the ways in which school and community interact?  How has the role of teaching expanded, or altered, or been constrained by the re-configuration of schooling occasioned by the pandemic?  How has learning been re-conceived?  Great inequalities have been revealed across the education system: how have these been responded to, and what does this tell us about the relationship between school and community and the state?  As communities begin to emerge from the pandemic, what distinctively does the comprehensive ideal offer which can help?

One idea becoming widespread is that certain cohorts of children are ‘behind’ in their learning.  Such a view appears reasonable where teaching is framed as delivery and learning as recipience, where testing replaces assessment, and where the content and organization of the curriculum are made non-negotiable.  To counter and correct such misconceptions, what needs to be re-stated in the debate about education, its assessment and its purposes?  And how can we best address the disparities in educational development so starkly laid bare in recent months?

Contributors are welcome to contact Patrick Yarker in the first instance to discuss any aspect of their article.  Please include with your article a short Abstract outlining it—between 70 and 120 words is plenty–and a sentence or three of autobiographical information, as well as a publishable contact email address.  The copy-date for this issue of FORUM is Monday 12 April.  You are welcome to send in your article sooner.

Articles for FORUM weigh in at about 3500 words, but there’s no hard and fast word limit.  We offer a platform for writing which is heartfelt as well as thought-through. Contributors are encouraged to say what they think needs saying in the way they feel it needs to be said.  FORUM is not peer-reviewed, though the Editor and/or members of the Editorial Board will read and respond to all contributions.

Stay well, and best regards,

Patrick Yarker

Editor, FORUM: for comprehensive education