Last week saw the first ESERO-UK conference for organisations in the UK promoting space as an inspirational context for education, hosted at the National Science Learning Centre, York.  Naturally representatives from the National Space Academy were in attendance, including some of the Academy's Lead Educators.


The event was kicked off with a charming and enlightening talk by former ESA Director for Science Professor David Southwood on the Thursday evening.  The Friday saw presentations from the National STEM Centre, the Institute of Physics, and the Royal Astronomical Society, followed by 3 minute soapbox presentations from 24 different organisations - demonstrating the variety of space-related organisations looking to provide links with education.

A talk by the Department for Education's Matthew White discussed changes to the curriculum, however it fell short of discussing the Education Secretary's plans to abolish GCSEs, replacing them with an English Baccalaureate in 2017, as the news had not yet formally been announced.

Discussions with a panel of teachers from across the UK highlighted preferences in teacher training and student support.  One of the key issues for Department Heads on sending teachers for professional development courses was value for money and justifying expenditure.  In terms of provision for students hands-on activities were highly sought after, with an emphasis on relevance to the curriculum.