Most Likely To Succeed - a contribution to the academisation debate

On Wednesday 20th April 2016, Innovation Unit and A New Direction are hosting the London Premiere Screening of ‘Most Likely to Succeed’ at Barbican Cinema 2.


Our education system was designed in 1893 - what are we going to do about it? This is the key question sparking debate around the world from America to Australia and beyond, courtesy of Most Likely to Succeed (MLTS); the Sundance nominated film that offers an intelligent critique of the status quo in schools and puts forward a powerful case for the transformation of modern schooling.

MLTS explores compelling new approaches that aim to revolutionise teaching as we know it. After seeing this film, the way you think about “school” will never be the same.

Over a century ago, education underwent a dramatic transformation as the iconic one-room schoolhouse evolved into an effective system that produced an unmatched workforce tailored for the 20th Century. As the world economy shifts and traditional white-collar jobs begin to disappear, that same system remains intact, producing potentially chronic levels of unemployment among graduates in the 21st Century.

The film follows students into the classrooms of High Tech High, an innovative new school in San Diego. There, over the course of a school year, two groups of ninth graders take on ambitious, project-based challenges that promote critical skills. Most Likely to Succeed points to a transformation in learning that may hold the key to success for millions of our youth – and our nation – as we grapple with the ramifications of rapid advances in technology, automation and growing levels of income inequality.

On 20th April 2016, this conversation comes to UK when Innovation Unit host the London Premiere screening of MLTS, in partnership with A New Direction.

Speaking ahead of the event, Louise Thomas, Programme Lead for Education at Innovation Unit said;

“With the debate about full academisation of UK schools heating up, and the pressing need for 500 new schools within the next five years, MLTS has come to the UK at potentially crucial turning point for our education system. It asks some critical questions about the future our young people will be part of: challenging the assumption that educating for access to university degrees and professional roles will secure their futures. Importantly, it also offers a look at what students and teachers are capable of — if we have the vision and courage to reinvent the purpose and design of our schools.

Our partners at High Tech High have done just this, and while theirs is not the only model, it is an important challenge to those who might say that it can’t be done. Whatever one thinks of recent reforms, the demand for more school places offers a once in a generation opportunity to rethink education in the UK and I am very much looking forward to discussing how best we can make the most of it.”

Holly Donagh, Partnerships Director at A New Direction said;

“MLTS provides a real opportunity to engage with school and system leaders, teachers, parents, students, employers, academics, arts and cultural providers and philanthropists, about the future of education in the UK. The future is nothing like we think it should be, and nothing like our education system is set up for. It is going to be all about creating, building, and innovating - and this film shows how we can empower all students to do just that.

Our goal is to help all schools move forward by re-imagining their purpose, and creating learning experiences that prepare students for life in the 21st Century. This film is our offer to the academisation debate and I am looking forward demonstrating an alternative direction that would put our education system on par with the best in the world.”

The sold out premiere will be followed up by a breakfast event inviting audience members to engage in the topic of new school design.

Watch a trailer here: https://vimeo.com/122502930 
Learn about Studio Design Lab: http://www.schooldesignlab.co.uk/


There will be a MLTS follow up breakfast will be held at Caravan, 1 Granary Building, Granary Square, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AA on Thursday 28th April 2016, 8:30am.