Everyone at Everton in the Community and Everton Free School is saddened to learn of the passing of Sir Ken Robinson after his short battle with cancer.
Liverpool-born educationalist Sir Ken joined Everton Free School as an Honourary Patron in 2014 and took a keen interest in how the alternative provision facility helped young people reconnect with education.
Knighted in 2003 for Services to the Arts, Sir Ken was an English author, speaker and international advisor on education in the arts to government, non-profits, education and arts’ bodies. His TED Talk on “Do schools kill creativity?” remains the most-viewed talk of all time, having been watched more than 65 million times.
Born at 45 Spellow Lane in 1950, Sir Ken was a lifelong Evertonian and was joined by his family on a visit to the Everton Free School development site in July 2014. During his visit a concrete imprint of his hands that was taken and can be found on the ground of the entrance to the school – serving as a daily inspiration to both teachers and pupils alike.
Reflecting on his visit to the school prior to its opening in September 2014, Sir Ken said: “It’s wonderful to be back here today in the area that I grew up in; it’s very nostalgic. It’s a great feeling to be back but it is also a very forward-looking moment because it is a new school and it is facing the future and I’m thrilled about it.
“For Everton Free School to be in the shadows of Goodison Park and to have this sort of intimate connection with the community with engaging local kids and giving them a chance here is fantastic and so representative of what Everton Football Club stands for.”
Paying tribute to Sir Ken Robinson, Everton Football Club CEO Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Robinson family at this sad time. Sir Ken was a wonderful man, a creative and innovative leader who has inspired so many people all across the world. I was thrilled when he accepted our invitation to become a Patron of our school in 2014 and we will be liaising with his family over a permanent tribute to him at Everton Free School to ensure that his great legacy lives on.”
Sir John Jones, Everton Free School Chair of Governors and Everton in the Community Chair of Trustees, added: “ Sir Ken was a man of great warmth, humour and wisdom and a true legend in the education world. A champion of creativity and personalised learning, he was a courageous advocate for a school system which refused to stay resolutely locked in the present but took on the challenge of preparing our young people for a world that does not yet exist. A proud scouser and a passionate Evertonian, he was a wonderful friend of Everton Free School."