18th May 2000






Schools as we know them could be unrecognisable within 20 years, according to an education expert at the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside.


Professor Trevor Kerry, visiting professor at the university’s International Educational Leadership Centre, will make the prediction in his inaugural lecture tonight (Thursday).


He will question whether within two decades education will be delivered in ‘schools’ as we currently recognise them and pointed to the challenges for educators when education is delivered at a distance using Internet and Intranet systems.


“We are moving into an age when e-mail manners will become more important than table manners,” he will say. “But much experience that youngsters of the future may have will be second-hand rather than first, gained through computer programmes rather than through real life and social relationships.”


The audience will hear of the many and varied trends that are likely to change the face of British education during the next two decades:  the emphasis on learning not teaching, the anytime/anywhere culture of learning promoted by the availability of lap-tops, the changing role of the teacher to learning manager and the growing influence of support staff on the learning that happens in schools.


Of the teaching profession itself, Prof Kerry will suggest that traditional conditions of service are becoming redundant. Distance learning and the use of video-conferencing mean that teachers might play very different roles from one another.


He will also draw attention to what he regards as a failures of government understanding, in particular challenging David Blunkett’s recently expressed view that the social context of a school should not be allowed to affect its performance.


“Children in the most deprived areas often go hungry, and research tells us this impairs performance,” he will argue. “The links between poverty, poor housing, poor health, criminality and low education attainment are proven beyond doubt. Poor self-image is


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Prof Trevor Kerry, contd


known to be a factor in deprived areas as well as in educational under-performance. Aspirations are a step too far for children already living on the edge.”


Prof Kerry will conclude that those who genuinely look to the future might not find all the answers to educational problems, but they will be acknowledging the accuracy of President Clinton’s judgement:


“A critical issue before us, and especially before young people here, is whether you will grow up in a world where change is your friend or your enemy.”


The lecture - ‘Surviving the future: changing education in a changing world’ - will be given to an international audience tonight as part of the first alumni programme put on by the International Educational Leadership Centre at ULH.


As well as higher degree students from the university the audience will also be made up of officers from Lincolnshire LEA led by the newly appointed Director of Education, Cheryle Berry. Officers of the College of Teachers will also be present, including the President, Professor John Turner, and the Chief Executive Officer, Professor Ray Page.



Note to news editors:


Prof Trevor Kerry taught in secondary schools in London, then at Bishop Grosseteste College, Lincoln. He was co-ordinator of a major teacher education project at Nottingham University before moving into Further Education in Doncaster.


He has also worked for Norfolk LEA and the Open University and is now Vice President and Professor in Education of the College of Teachers. He joined the staff of IELC in the university in 1998, where he is visiting professor.


A copy of Working Paper no 40 - ‘Surviving the future: changing education in a changing world’ - will follow by post with the hard copy of this press release.




Prof Trevor Kerry (01522 886349) or

Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincolnshire & Humberside (01522 886042)