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At the heart of English folk

Folk Educators Group

The Folk Educators Group is the national networking group for folk arts educators from across England and beyond. Established by EFDSS in March 2011, the Group is 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.

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

"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 

Folk Education Development Days

We run 3 Folk Education Development Days a year. These are dedicated full day events packed with professional development opportunities, information sharing and networking. They take place at different locations around the country to enable as many different people as possible to attend. The Folk Education Development Days are for anyone who is working in or interested in folk arts learning and participation. 


Tuesday 20 November, 10am-5pm (Registration, refreshments and networking 10–11am)

The Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading, RG1 5EX.

Hosted by Phillippa Heath, Learning and Engagement Manager, Museum of English Rural Life. Co-chaired with Kerry Fletcher, FEG Co-ordinator.

The theme for the day is Heritage and Creativity: intangible cultural heritage in action.

There will be a focus on EFDSS’ Musicians in Museums programme with speakers from all three museums along with some of the musicians in residence: Phillippa Heath, Learning and Engagement Manager, Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) with Jackie Oates, musician in residence; Jayne Young, Education Officer, National Coal Mining Museum for England; Joanna Salter, Senior Manager for Participation, National Maritime Museum with Aimée Leonard and Joe Danks, musicians in residence.

Also presenting on the day will be Ollie Douglas, Curator of MERL Collections, and Phillippa Heath talking about intangible cultural heritage in MERL’s collections and the wider museum landscape. Rhi Smith, University of Reading’s Director of UMASCS Academic Learning and Engagement, will speak about Heritage and Creativity and her perspective within the higher education sector. There will be an update from the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) with Sarah Jones, Programme Manager of the National Youth Folk Ensemble, and Rachel Elliott, Education Director, on EFDSS’ Education work across the country. Finally there will be a reflection on the place of folk music in the secondary music curriculum with Sarah and Rachel joined by local music teacher Charles Allison, who is a graduate of the University of Reading’s PGCE Secondary Education (Music).

Having been enthused by the speakers' presentations, there will be the opportunity for networking and sharing of ideas.

There will be at a lunchtime music session so bring your instruments, voices and dancing feet! 

And to finish off the day, you can stay on for the evening and see FOLK: A MERL LATE

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Read the Agenda

Make a day of it and stay on for Folk Late, part of the Being Human Festival, at MERL

Save the date!

The first Folk Education Development Day of the New Year will be on Saturday 9 February 2019 at Cecil Sharp House, London. The focus will be on Caller Training. More details in due course...


Most recent:

Thursday 21 June 2018
Liskeard Town Council, Cornwall

Read the review


Join the Folk Educators Group

Membership of the Group and attendance at the Folk Education Development Days 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, please complete the online registration form

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

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