Review by Penny Rabiger

Director of engagement, Lyfta Education

25 Sep 2021, 5:00


Penny’s Podcasts, 20 September 2021

Team Early Childhood podcast 


This series of podcasts focuses on practice and research within early years education, child development and health, including social aspects of childhood too. In the episode I have chosen, host Aaron Bradbury explores key questions about the new guidance for early years practice with Birth to Five Matters project lead Nancy Stewart.  

But despite its focus on how the guidance will support early years practitioners, the discussion is useful and relevant well beyond that. Anyone with an interest in young people and their development will find plenty to reflect on. 

The SENDcast 


The SENDcast is a weekly podcast that bills itself as a new way to keep up to date with policy changes in the UK with regard to special educational needs and disability. It invites listeners to discover suggested best practice and sets out to improve their knowledge around SEND at the same time.  

I have chosen an episode with the brilliant Lorraine Petersen, who talks about transition to the next phase of education for children and young people with SEND. Petersen draws on her 25 years’ experience in mainstream schools and as former CEO of nasen, a charitable organisation supporting all those who work with SEND children and young people.  

Humorous, straight-talking, deeply practical and eye-opening thoughts and advice in this episode make it a compelling listen. 

The Forest School podcast 


The hosts of this podcast series are two teachers turned forest school practitioners who run Children of the Forest in Devon. They are constantly reading, reflecting and learning more to develop their own practice, and began the Forest School Podcast to share their explorations with a wide audience of outdoor educators, teachers and early years workers, parents and anyone who works with children.  

The episode I have chosen is a discussion of the book The Play Cycle: Theory, Research and Application by Pete King and Gordon Sturrock. We often forget how important play is to children’s time at school, and to their development socially and intellectually. This episode reminds us forcefully that play is in fact a sophisticated and complex process. 

Inside Education 


This podcast series is a real gem with a wide range of guests, topics and discussions. I have chosen part one of a two-part recording with the brilliant Gert Biesta. The Brunel University professor of education is always challenging and inspiring, and this half-hour podcast contains more philosophy of education than most fit into a lifelong career.  

Biesta and host Sean Delaney discuss the international emergence of a competitive mindset in education, what good education might mean in our age of measurement, how to balance the three purposes of education, the place of equity, diversity and social justice in education, and the gradual disappearance of teaching in favour of a focus on learning over the past 25 years. You won’t think the same about teaching again! 

Key Voices podcast 


In an age of fragmentation, marketisation and the erosion of local education authorities, one might assume that MATs are the only future for schools that want to work together effectively. To provide an alternative view, this episode is about Haringey Education Partnership (HEP), which provides the glue that helps the London borough’s schools “work together in a high-challenge, high-support, high-trust environment for the good of all pupils”.  

Here, HEP’s CEO, James Page, discusses some of its recent work on school improvement, curriculum and Black, Asian and minority ethnic achievement. In particular, the focus is on how the HEP steering group for equity in achievement is helping schools to recognise and understand the systemic issues preventing all pupils achieving their potential and to find concrete ways to make meaningful change.  

It’s inspiring and transformative work, and if I sound biased, it’s because I am. I live here and I’m part of it. But don’t take my word for it, have a listen. And while you’re at it, Key Voices is a solid provider of good content from a range of perspectives, so have a browse for more.

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