250th anniversary event commemorates Robert Owen

The Robert Owen Centre’s Professors Chris Chapman, Bob Davis and Mel Ainscow were among the speakers at an event on Tuesday [1 March 2022] commemorating the anniversary of the birth of educational reformer and philanthropist Robert Owen.

From Robert Owen to World Heritage and beyond: legacies of social reform and heritage-led regeneration, celebrates New Lanark’s remarkable journey and also marks the 20th anniversary of the former mill buildings and housing’s award of the UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription.

The School of Education’s Robert Owen Centre (ROC) for Educational Change was named in honour of Robert Owen, and Professors Mel Ainscow and Chris Chapman will deliver a presentation on the Robert Owen Centre’s work at the event.

The presentation takes Robert Owen’s beliefs in educational equity as its inspiration. ROC’s work over the past eight years aims to promote more equitable education through theory-driven, applied research, underpinned by a commitment to the principles of social justice and lifelong learning.

In meeting these aims, ROC is committed to working with partners in the field to develop approaches that make a difference to the life chances of learners from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Researchers from the centre have worked alongside a range of partners to explore how greater equity can be achieved in schools. Despite a serious national commitment, the evidence is that the most vulnerable children and young people still lose out.

ROC’s analysis through its work with schools in the West Partnership Regional Improvement Collaborative (which covers 35 percent of the school population in Scotland), Dundee, North and South Lanarkshire leads the team to believe that there is massive untapped potential within Scottish schools and their communities that can be mobilised to address the challenge of equity.

The presentation will also covered agendas for reform of the Scottish educational system, emphasising the importance of local pathways to success.


First published: 1 March 2022

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