Henry Morris Centenary Conference
This year marks 100 years since Henry Morris became Director of Education for Cambridgeshire, a post that he held for 32 years. He was one of the greatest educational thinkers of the 20th century, inventor of the Village Colleges, and community education, an idea that has spread all over the world.
A conference was held on 30 June 2022 to celebrate his achievements and to show the inspirational work that is still going on in many Cambridgeshire schools, supporting local communities with adult education, mental health, shared sports facilities and much more.
The event brought together a wide group of people: Headteachers and school staff; politicians; council officers; academics and people who have benefited from Henry’s legacy in different ways.
The conference looked at practical issues such as how adult education is funded in the schools that provide it and considered the relevance of Henry’s philosophy and values today as well as how schools can work at the heart of their communities and contribute to a future with ‘education from the cradle to the grave’.
Jenny Rankine, Principal of Bottisham Village College said: “There are 14 Village Colleges as originally envisaged by Henry Morris, and a large number of community schools in Cambridge and further afield. Many of these schools are still serving their communities in ways which would have made Henry Morris proud, opening up their facilities outside school hours. A good example is Sawston Village College, providing a community cinema to local residents.
Jenny continued: “At Bottisham Village College we still provide a programme of adult education classes in the evenings and at weekends and our sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool are open to the public. Red2Green, which is a charity for adults with learning needs operates from the Village College grounds and the public are able to visit to buy plants from the greenhouse or to have a cup of coffee.
Anglian Learning is a strong proponent of the philosophy and values of Henry Morris, and speakers at the conference will share how Henry’s ideas are still important and relevant to education today.”
Speakers at the conference included Neil Hopkins from Bedford University; Jonathan lewis of Cambridgeshire County Council; Tom Woodin from the University of London’s Institute of Education; John Morgan, Trustee of Anglian Learning and Sarah Jackson, Head of History at Sawston Village College.
Photographs of Henry Morris, Jenny Rankine, Principal of Bottisham Village College, John Morgan, Trustee of Anglian Learning, Tom Woodin, University of London’s Institute of Education and Sarah Jackson, Head of History at Sawston Village College