The English Folk Dance and Song Society websites use cookies.
You can read more about cookies and how we use them here.
Continued use of this site implies that you agree to our use of cookies.  
At the heart of English folk

Folk Educators Group

The Folk Educators Group is a national networking group of folk arts educators from across England and beyond, facilitated by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS). Established in March 2011 the Group has become a rapidly growing network committed to promoting high quality folk arts education and supporting the practitioners who deliver it.

It exists to provide peer information and support, and to encourage dialogue with the wider worlds of culture, learning and participation. The Folk Educators Group also offers other organisations a platform through which to consult, or inform, a committed group of folk arts educators.

"I'm very impressed by the strength and breadth of knowledge shown by the many passionate, talented and dedicated folk music practitioners. It feels like, while there may be challenges ahead for traditional education, there are many great educators ready to take things on board!"

Pete Taylor, Singing Project Coordinator, Sheffield Music Hub 

When and where does it meet?

The Group meets approximately 3 times a year, for a dedicated full day’s event packed with professional development opportunities, information sharing and networking. These take place at different locations around the country to enable as many different people as possible to attend. One of the meetings every year takes the form of a folk arts education conference.


Next One-Day Practitioner Meeting

March 2017 (date tbc) hosted by Folkworks, Sage Gateshead, Northumberland


Most recent Practitioner Meeting

Monday 21 November 2016, 11am – 5pm

In partnership with DanceXchange
Birmingham Hippodrome

Co-chaired by Jan Reynolds (Folk 3D) and Pam Bishop (The Traditional Arts Team)

The action-packed day included:

Workshops, presentations and case study sessions:

  • Introduction to DanceXchange and their work with young people, including U.Dance 2017 by Natasha Massie (Programme Manager: Recreational and Pre-vocational Dance)
  • Border morris with young people - practical session with John Kirkpatrick (folk artist and educator)
  • Storytelling – presentation by Amy Douglas (Traditional Arts Team’s Young Storyteller of the Year lead tutor) and Jake Evans (2014 winner). 
  • Update on the National Youth Folk Ensemble, Sarah Jones (Programme Manager), and EFDSS Dance Development programme, Rachel Elliott (Education Director) of the English Folk Dance and Song Society
  • Challenges and joys of running a community folk arts organisation - Pam Bishop of Traditional Arts Team 
  • Report on Folk 3D’s recent project Maypoles, Mummers and Merry England, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, with Jan Reynolds, Mo Bradshaw and Sarah Matthews of Folk 3D


Panel discussion on folk ensembles with speakers:

  • Birmingham Youth Folk Band - Max Gittings
  • Moseley Village Band - Pam Bishop
  • Shropshire Youth Folk Band & Shrewsbury Folk Festival - Izzy MacLachlan
  • Stream of Sound youth choir – Caroline Price (tbc)
  • Wildfire Folk, Lichfield youth folk ensemble - David Hancock

Discussion groups:

  • Youth Dance, folk and beyond - Natasha Massie and John Kirkpatrick
  • Working with Music Education Hubs - Izzy MacLachlan
  • Working with Community Folk Arts - Maggie Hunt and Pam Bishop



Who is it for?

The Folk Educators Group is for all practitioners involved in folk arts education in any context including those working in schools, with youth groups, in adult learning or community settings.

This includes those who are freelance or employed, and at different stages in their career – from newcomers starting out, to those with years of experience.

Although aimed at folk arts educators in England, practitioners from across the UK and beyond are welcome to join.


How do I join?

Membership of the Group and attendance at its meetings is free. As a member you can access the members’ only website, which allows you to share good practice, advertise job opportunities and get in touch with other members.

To register, download a registration form and return it This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . A PDF copy is available in the Downloads section below.


For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Folk Educators Group Registration form (word doc)
Folk Educators Group Registration form (pdf)




Resource Bank

Click here to browse our comprehensive Resource Bank with freely downloadable teaching and learning materials


Donate now

Shape the Future: support Cecil Sharp House. Please consider making a contribution today. Any gift, large or small, really will make a difference.