Penny Rabiger takes over our ‘blogs of the week’ slot once every half-term to point to the best of the education podcasts

Over the Bridge

Bilal, Kwaku, Patrick and Tom are four black and mixed-heritage young men who became friends while studying at Cambridge University. Apart from the joy of being able to listen in to what feels like a fireside chat with a lovely group of insightful and articulate people, this is a useful podcast for teachers who are involved in the work of preparing students for higher education. Especially if you want to think critically about what you are preparing students for at Russell Group universities. Series 2 Episode 5 is a personal favourite for me, ‘What is in a name?’ Here they discuss what our names say about us and how they allow us to navigate certain spaces differently. As teachers, remembering names is important – and pronouncing them correctly is vital.

Hijabi Half Hour

Teacher Anjum Peerbacos and human rights activist Heena Khaled discuss news, education, politics and more from their perspective as hijabi Muslim women educators. The episode ‘Knife Crime, the UK, Youth Crime, the Scottish Way and Tory Cuts’ unpacks some of the statistics, assumptions and tried remedies to the issues behind the problems of youth and knife crime. While we may feel the pressure is on schools and youth services to solve this, evidence shows that looking at the root causes and treating it as a public health matter has been useful in finding a durable solution – and one that could be applied in England.

The Centre for Education and Youth podcast

The ‘think-and-action-tank’ LKMco has had a podcast for some time. It launched its newest episode under its rebranded name, the Centre for Education and Youth (CfEY), with a handy round-up of the changes that CfEY, and the education sector as a whole, have been through over the past ten years. It’s been a choppy decade, as you will probably be able to lay testament to from your own experience in the sector. The link between education and social justice is clearly explored, as well as the importance of including young people’s voices in any research or policy proposals that concern them. Well worth a listen for anyone working with young people.

Startup: Success Academy

This podcast is a fascinating in-depth look into New York City’s Charter School movement and has potentially some resonance with the direction of our own education system. With over a million young people in New York City’s public schools, many of whom are not adequately literate or numerate, it’s largely poor, non-white children who are stuck in the lowest-performing schools. The first episode sets out the challenge, and the founder and CEO of Success Academy is the subject of the second episode of this seven-episode special from the StartUp podcast series. Success Academy has a bold vision and is actually making progress, but at what cost and to whom? I would recommend starting at the beginning, but if you want to jump in at random then episode 5, ‘Expectations’ is gripping listening, with many parallels to challenges on this side of the pond.

The PE Umbrella podcast

This podcast digs deep into the world of PE, shares resources and speaks to PE practitioners from across the globe. Despite being prone to a little netball playing myself, I am straying from my area of expertise here. There are over 100 episodes, including ones that are not only useful to PE practitioners, but also to teachers that want to use their discipline to stimulate innovation, build character and self-esteem in their young charges. I found it interesting to listen to the episode with Richard Shorter (episode 134) about exactly these topics. Richard talks through his eclectic mix of professional occupations and how he supports schools to think about physical education in a different way. Keep a pen and paper handy, you’ll want to take notes!