The 2011 Festival of Learning is the culmination of several months of work in the East Midlands and beyond. It is an event that brings together a wide range of educational organisations and practitioners as well teachers and leaders of learning.
The motive for the festival has been the fast changing educational landscape that we are all working in at the moment. This has led to dramatic changes in focus and support for schools and providers and though we know more change is to come it as yet unclear what that might be.
Supported by Lifeworlds Learning, several educational networks, individual practitioners and partner organisations have come together during 2011 to form a new learning community known as MELA - a Sanskrit word that means 'coming together'. MELA has provided a space for continued dialogue, for the sharing of resources, ideas, inspiration and opportunities. It has filled a void for networks that lost their funding, but more importantly it has enabled a new and exciting dialogue to emerge across once seperate networks and agendas. They are brought together through a sense of solidarity, shared purpose and common vision.
The 2011 Festival of Learning is an opportunity to host a wider dialogue and engage educationalists in a vital debate about how we adapt to the transformations now taking place in education. In the spirit of the positive energy captured by MELA, the festival will focus on the bright spots in this debate, on the inspirational spaces that exist for learning and change and on how we can build upon these to take greater ownership of our own transformation.
We are grateful to the many individuals and organisations that have embraced the idea of MELA and encouraged the creation of the festival. We look forward to this being a celebration of their conviction, determination and inspiration.