How can we equip young people for the future?

There’s no greater goal in our society than to help young people to realise their potential. 

Welcome to The Educators, a new podcast series brought to you by Capita in partnership with BecomingX.

In this series we’re joined by some of the biggest names in education as they explore the educational opportunities for the future, unpack solutions for greater learning and demystify how education can support and equip young people for the future.

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Andria Zafirakou MBE: Inspiring creativity in learning

“Creativity helps a young person feel that they’ve got something unique, something special that they can do themselves and feel proud of. There are no mistakes in an art or music room. It's a journey of learning that creativity brings.”

In this episode, Global Teacher Prize winner Andria Zafirakou MBE reveals why creativity holds such a special place not only in the classroom, but the education system as a whole. 

How should we be reframing our approach to skills to inspire our young people to take control of their destiny? Andria shares why developing skills within creativity, problem-solving and technology is vital for empowering young people, inspiring them to become lifelong learners and fully prepared for the world of work.


John Murphy: Leading on personal development

“Emotional support from teachers is critical - every moment, conversation, lesson counts with children. How teachers respond can shape a child for life.”

In this episode of The Educators we’re joined by John Murphy, CEO of Oasis Community Learning, the fourth biggest academy chain in the UK, who reveals how formative moments in your childhood can shape your future - and how taking a different approach can transform the experiences of the most vulnerable young people.

How can our education system ensure that everyone has the opportunity to pursue their passions and flourish? John shares how he’s focused on personal development across all Oasis’s schools to give every student a chance to succeed.

Priya Lakhani OBE: Innovating in the digital age

“Children today are learning what robots will be able to do much better in 2030. What education should be focusing on now is the curriculum needed, the skills they’re coming out with, about mental health, social media and automation. All of these issues are important because what we’re providing today is not fit for purpose.”

In this episode of The Educators, Priya Lakhani OBE, Founder and Chief Executive of Century Tech, discusses the potential for technology to transform education and allow teachers to focus on teaching. How can we ensure that young people are successfully equipped with the skills to navigate a future of technology and automation? As we look ahead to the future of work, Priya shares why a changing approach to skills can give young people the confidence to achieve anything they can dream of and reveals why we’re only seeing a very small part of what technology can help us achieve.


Lord Dr Michael Hastings CBE: Investing in the future

“Because we’re going to need all the best, amazing, imaginative people in the future, it is the right investment for education to equal up, not level down.”

In this episode we’re joined by Lord Dr Michael Hastings CBE, who shares what he believes needs to change to sufficiently prepare young people for the future. Why is it so important for society to really invest in education for all? Drawing on his impressive track record in education, Lord Hastings explores how we should be approaching education in an ever-changing world and ensure that every young person, whatever their background, has the opportunity to succeed.

Meg Zeenat Wamithi: Enhancing wellbeing in learning

Caution: This episode of The Educators is certainly inspiring – but it contains references to self-harm and suicidal thoughts from the outset. So if that sounds like it might be difficult for you to listen to please check out one of the other episodes in our series.

“I remember thinking finally, someone actually can see that I'm not okay. Finally, I'm going to get the help that I need. Finally, no-one's going to be expecting me to be perfect all the time.”

In this episode we hear from award-winning mental health campaigner and founder of My Mind Matters Too, Meg Zeenat Waminthi, who discusses the importance of supporting young people, shares why it’s crucial to recognise young people struggling with their mental health and ask the important question: “Are you okay?”. Recognised as one of the most inspiring students in the UK, Meg shares her personal experiences of mental illness and reveals how one exceptional teacher changed everything for her, demonstrating how the education system can change to support young people’s mental health and wellbeing. 


Dr Susan James Relly: Building skills for life 

“If I were to redesign the education system, I'd definitely bring in more vocational aspects to it, more play for young people and time for imaginations to run wild, try to develop a curriculum that was less assessment focused, more focused on being able to just be.”

In this episode we’re joined by Dr Susan James Relly, Director of the Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance research centre at the University of Oxford, who reveals the power of surrounding yourself with people who inspire and encourage you to ‘be better’. With a government target of half of students entering higher education, how do we prepare young people to succeed in their profession, whatever path they choose? With a clear focus on the importance of vocational skills, Susan discusses the value of practical learning and how role models can help young people reconsider what they are capable of.

Professor Craig Gaskell: Creating new models

“At University Academy 92, we had an opportunity to make an institution from scratch and from first principles. It's about learning all the time, and having that expectation of the young people, we have to practice what we preach. We have to be self-reflecting and learning as leaders.”

Professor Craig Gaskell, founding and former Principal and CEO of University Academy 92, shares his experiences from designing and building a new educational institution which has a fundamentally different approach to tertiary education where young people are given the inspiration to believe in themselves, the space to independently learn and the skills to thrive. How can a focus on character, personal development and active learning allow young people to understand the power of tenacity and hard work? Embedding core transferable skills such as resilience, teamwork and self-realisation are key. 


Brett Wigdortz OBE: Bridging the educational divide

“The children who succeed are the ones lucky enough to have family support, proper education and, to some extent, privilege. The rest are not so lucky.”

In this episode, Brett Wigdortz OBE, Founder of Teach First UK and non-executive chair of the National Citizen Service reveals why he’s passionate about ensuring the education system provides opportunities for all. What can we do to ensure that every young person receives the education they need to unleash their own excellence and be successful in life? Drawing on his experiences of visiting over hundreds of schools in the past 20 years, Brett discusses the importance of giving young people responsibility and shares why he believes we should put as much power as possible in educators.

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