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Normalising the New Normal with Anton Florek: 90 Minutes

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Normalising the New Normal

Coping with the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK and beyond, has undoubtedly been challenging for those working in the public sector generally and children’s services in particular.

As individual citizens, families, communities, businesses, local and national agencies have responded to the unprecedented cycles of restrictions on social mobility we have all learnt to go about our daily lives and work in new and often novel ways.

So, over an hour or so, we’ll aim to have a conversation about how responding to COVID 19 has changed us both professionally and personally starting with this rather prophetic quotation from Yuval Noah Harari writing about the world after coronavirus very early on in the pandemic.

“Humankind is now facing a global crisis. Perhaps the biggest crisis of our generation. The decisions people and governments take in the next few weeks will probably shape the world for years to come. They will shape not just our healthcare systems but also our economy, politics and culture. We must act quickly and decisively. We should also take into account the long-term consequences of our actions. When choosing between alternatives, we should ask ourselves not only how to overcome the immediate threat, but also what kind of world we will inhabit once the storm passes. Yes, the storm will pass, humankind will survive, most of us will still be alive — but we will inhabit a different world.”

With light facilitation, some prompts to thinking and new supporting materials, this is an opportunity to take stock; to take some time out with peers and consider how we plan and manage better the human and material resources of future public sector provision for children, young people and families as the emerging new normal begins to settle into Harari’s different world.

Anton Florek

Anton’s professional experience spans periods as a teacher, lecturer, and local government Chief Officer leading to the establishment of The Staff College in 2000 and, subsequently, a 19-year commitment as its CEO.

Having stepped down from this role in 2018, he remains connected to the College as its Lead associate for Future Schooling and a significant contributor to the College’s school improvement and children’s services leadership development work.

In addition to numerous publications he has served on many national steering/advisory groups over the past 40 years including membership of the national reference group for Championing Children, which created the seminal document for the Every Child Matters initiative, and the Leadership and Management policy group of the Children’s Workforce Network through which he was instrumental in writing “Leading and Managing Children’s Services in England: A National Professional Development Framework.”

He is a life member of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI) and a passionate advocate of inclusive schooling, school-led improvement and achieving excellence in educational outcomes through equity.

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