Charles LeadbeaterInnovation consultant Charles Leadbeater (left) has advised companies, cities and countries, and was one of the key advisers on personalisation to the Blair Government. But he's not one for ivory towers: he visited some of England's most pioneering schools for his recent collaboration with the Innovation Unit, ‘What’s Next? 21 Ideas for 21st Century Learning’.

For these ideas to catch fire, where would he put the match? “I would set the fire in Years 7, 8 and 9,” he says in an online interview with Futurelab. “And I would focus on trying to develop a new approach to a capabilities-based curriculum in the areas that create a different bridge from primary into secondary. I would really develop that and establish a different ethos.

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Glow is Scotland's national education network. Among other things, it's an extremely bold attempt to provide an online entitlement for teachers and learners and even parents too. As with all centralised projects there are dangers along with the opportunities and challenges.

But at the Scottish Learning Festival in Glasgow, in a small presentation room, the first teachers to use the new network in and out of their classrooms were giving their presentations in the Glowing Lounge. There really was a glow, social as well as professional, as teacher after teacher revealed how the teaching and learning in their schools was changing as a result of the networking technologies they now had access to.

Next year the Glowing Lounge, or whatever it will then be called, will be bigger and more dynamic because there will be so much more to share, and it will be teachers like Jaye Richards (above), of South Lanarkshire's Cathkin High School, who will be bringing about the kinds of changes that will be possible through Scotland's Curriculum for Excellence. It was an exciting place to be in 2008 and it can only get better. Here is her story: