Exclusive Articles


Sid Madge is a transformation and change specialist and founder of Meee.

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Did you have a favourite teacher at school? Was there someone who stood out and took the extra time and effort to encourage you? Perhaps a teacher helped you appreciate a natural gift or inspired you to pursue further studies in an area that is now your career.

Most of us have a story about a great teacher who changed our thinking or made us look at the world slightly differently. Isn’t it interesting that with a great teacher learning was fun, it was also a little easier and it was always those classes we most looked forward to?

I recently watched an amazing online session called 'What does it take to be the world's best teacher’ hosted by Learning Possibilities. The hour-long program featured Andria Zafirakou MBE, Global Teacher Prize Winner 2018.

It was hard not to warm to her honesty and humility about how she won the award and what it took to achieve it. Her commitment, perseverance, creativity and ability to adapt, especially in lockdown demonstrated why she won the award and the $1 million prize money.

It struck me as I listened to her that she seems to have mastered the 3is – Inspire, Include and Involve.

Astonishingly she learned the basics of many of the 35 languages represented in her school’s pupil population, including Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Nigerian and Ghanaian (inspire). As such she was able to reach out to her once marginalised students to earn their trust and, crucially, establish relationships with their parents, many of whom do not speak English (include). She went against the grain, taking the time to understand her pupils’ lives beyond school by visiting their homes, riding with them on the bus and standing at the school gates with police officers to welcome pupils as they arrive at the start of the school day (involve).

Thanks to her efforts, her school Alperton Community School in Brent is now in the top 1 to 5 percent of the country in terms of qualifications and accreditations. This is a colossal achievement given how low the students’ starting points were and how rapidly they progressed during their five to seven years at the school – a point recognised by the national inspection team.

So how can we emulate that as parents, schoolteachers and FE educators?

One thing that is central to the work we do at Meee is a fundamental belief that there is magic inside everyone. We all have gifts that we can share with the world. We just need to discover ways to find and use them. Of course, this is easy to know and often hard to remember, especially with increasing class sizes or busy parental schedules so let’s take a closer look at each.


As Andria said, teaching is a way of life, it’s a privilege and to inspire a love of learning has to be at the top of the priority list. Too often in life, learning is seen as something for children or young people only. Then as soon as we hit 18 or leave FE, or university our need to learn drifts into reverse. And yet science is showing that a love of learning can keep our mind and body healthy and stave off degenerative diseases in later life.

Since 1986 University of Kentucky scientist David Snowdon has studied 678 nuns and has shown that an active intellectual life, insatiable curiosity and a love of learning can protect us from the effects of Alzheimer’s.

How can children possibly know what they are good at if they only have the opportunity to learn within a defined curriculum? Perhaps it is our job as parents and teachers to think outside the box and introduce different types of opportunities to engage with the world and learn subjects or have experiences that introduce them to more of the world and inspire this love of learning.

Surely, it’s about inspiring others to be better and we can use the arts to help us be more creative. Teaching is in everything we do, as is learning and we often limit learning to places like schools, FE facilities or universities but learning is all around us. The more we can recognise that and embrace it the more likely that inspired children will grow into inspired adults capable of changing the world for the better.


Have you seen the new Google advert with Marcus Rashford? It’s a great example of the love of learning and the power of questions. We see all sorts of different types of people witnessing other people doing things they may not understand – cultural festivals or shared traditions. But rather than dismissing them as different, they ask questions to learn and better understand. Human beings are often scared of what they don’t understand or have no experience of, asking questions, getting involved and embracing difference as a way to understand the world around us better is so essential if we are to collectively solve the problems we face. It is the children in the classrooms of the world – right now, who will be called to solve these problems and a love of learning and willingness to ask questions instead of shutting down into ignorance is a skill all of us could improve.

One of my all-time favourite documentaries was ‘No More Boys and Girls: Can Our Kids Go Gender Free’ on BBC Two. An experiment run by Dr Javid Abdelmoneim to see the impact of gender stereotypes and what happens if you purposefully remove them. Although unnecessarily titled to be provocative it was astonishing. In one segment people from different professions were brought in to meet the seven years olds. The class met a male makeup artist and male ballet dancer and a female electrician and stuntwoman. It blew their tiny little minds, and you could see the learning happen in real time.

How could we as parents and teachers help to open these discussions and demonstrate inclusivity and that anything really is possible regardless of who we are, where we come from or our gender.


There is so much more to lifelong learning than books and tests. It is simply a willingness to get involved. How can we encourage children to participate, at all levels? In a world that seems to over value results and under value effort it is our job as parents and teachers to reverse that trend. Effort is what really matters. Try, try and try again. Failure is just another step toward success, and it IS better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all. But we must also be a living expression of that willingness to try, to keep going and to use the learning, even when it’s tough to review in preparation for the next effort. Do you know why WD-40 is called WD-40? WD stands for Water Dispersal. They tried to perfect the recipe 39 times before finally succeeding on the 40th try. Today there are over 2000 registered uses for WD-40 because someone or a small team refused to give up.

Learning as a Way of Life

I’ve always loved words. I’m always curious about how they came about and how so many have clues about the meaning or potential of that word baked into the word.

In our Meee education programmes we ask attendees to write down how many words they can make using the letters in the word LEARNING. So far, the most any group has come up with is 50 words. It’s impressive but there are actually 182!

What is especially curious about LEARNING is that the second, third and fourth letters (EAR) hold the key to effective learning. As Calvin Coolidge once said, "No man ever listened himself out of a job". The more we listen the more we learn. Add the fifth letter and you get EARN. I don’t think that’s a coincidence either. It might be worth reminding our children that the more we learn the more we gain in terms of capability. Add the last letters and you get EARNING. So, the more we listen the more we earn and the more that adds to our earning potential. Words are so cool.

The love of learning is all about embracing the unknown and going all in. Jumping off the cliff of uncertainty to discover more of the world around us. That is our job as a teacher, whether we are a parent or standing in front of students.

In the work we do we look to Inspire, Include, Involve. And our essence is to Find The Magic In You, by Engaging, Energising and Enabling everyone to discover their magic. We all have it; we just need to know where to look.

Sid Madge is a transformation and change specialist and founder of Meee.

Meee draws on the best creativity and thinking from the worlds of branding, psychology, neuroscience, education and sociology, to help people embrace change and achieve extraordinary lives.

From pupils to CEOs, we’ve helped thousands find their magic to transform themselves, their communities and their organisations. From leaders of PLCs and SMEs to parents, teachers, students, carers, the unemployed and prison inmates we help people excel.

Sid Madge is also author of the ‘Meee in Minute’ series of books which each offer 60 ways to change your life, work-, or family-life in 60 seconds.

End to end learner journeys – from initial to end-point assessments - #FutureOfAssessment Episode 4

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page