Sixth Form News

The changing face of education according to Sir Anthony Seldon at our annual Networking Dinner

As we continue to celebrate 130 years of girls’ education, 130 guests, made up of Sixth Formers, staff, governors and alumnae attended our annual networking dinner with political historian and commentator, Sir Anthony Seldon.

Part of The Abbey’s Aspire programme, the evening provided a fantastic opportunity for the girls to hone their networking skills. The evening began with a drinks reception, followed by a delicious 3 course meal, prepared by The Abbey catering staff. Set in the Richards Hall, each alumna hosted a table where a range of topics of conversation could be heard: from comparing Abbey stories to advice on life at University.

To round off the dinner, Sir Anthony gave a fascinating talk on the changes he envisaged occurring within the education sector over the coming decades. An advocate of two-year degree courses, he first proposed a shift in the way we conceive of timescales in education away from a rigid, linear progression from school, to three years of university, to a full-time career towards something far more flexible, efficient and dynamic. Secondly, and building on the premise of multiple intelligences, Sir Anthony suggested that the curriculum of the future will move away from a focus on content based intelligence toward one which emphasises the following eight forms: personal and social, creative and physical, moral and spiritual, logical and linguistic. Happiness too, he argued, will further cement its place as a central goal of forward-looking educational establishments. Finally, in what he terms the ‘Fourth Education Revolution’, Sir Anthony made a compelling case for how Artificial Intelligence will allow us to personalise education beyond belief, with software capable of reading the face of a student, listening to the tone of their voice and comprehending the difficulties a student may be facing; AI, in other words, has the potential to provide all students with inspirational teaching.

After coffee and a further opportunity for networking it was time to head home. A huge thank you to all our guests for contributing to an incredibly insightful and inspiring evening.

Please click here for more photos from the evening.

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