First Competition, Published 1969

The School We'd Like

What would the kids say if we asked them what kind of school they'd like? That's what England's Guardian newspaper did in June when they reprised a public competition first conducted in 1967, in which kids across England wrote essays about "The school that I'd like" (edited by Edward Blishen, Penguin Education Special, England, 1969). One 15-year old girl summed up school at that time as "institutions of today run on the principles of yesterday". Has anything changed?

In the summer of 2000, the Guardian conducted a six-month competition, now extracted in a new book by Catherine Burke and Ian Grosvenor,"The School I'd Like: Children and Young People's Reflections on an Education for the 21st Century". Here's what the kids in England wrote:

The school we'd like is:

The English kids are not alone in their thinking. The International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE) also asked the kids at a special Student Technology Leadership Symposium, June 23-24, 2001, held in conjunction with NECC. As reported by student Pooja Agarwal in "If I Could Make a School" (Learning and Leading with Technology, November 2001), the U.S. student leaders want schools that :

2011 update: The Guardian recently launched a 2011 School I'd Like campaign: "In 2001 we launched a competition asking children to dream up their perfect school. In 2011, we are once again asking pupils for their views, which we will compile into a Children's Manifesto", writes the Guardian." The 2011 campaign is a consultation seeking student input instead of a competition.