Episode #3

Peter Hutton

Change: Student-led Learning

We asked change-maker Peter Hutton his opinion on what it’s going to take to change the course of education. His answer? Well let’s say he’s not going to be satisfied by simply changing one thing. Join Peter as he explores how he would approach putting individual students at the centre of their own learning plan.

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Guest Profile
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Peter Hutton

Founder, Future Schools Alliance
Location: Melbourne Australia

WHY PETER? As its name suggests, Change One Thing is about making change, and in this episode we speak yet another change-maker. Peter Hutton’s ongoing mission is to put the students at the centre of their learning, and he’s not stopping at changing just one thing. He wants to change everything about what he believes is a broken system that is failing students.


Peter is known for challenging assumptions and conventions, and he isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. He claims to move education forward we must stop ‘doing’ education to students – and put them in charge of their own education. He put these words into action at Templestowe College (TC) in Melbourne. As Principal, Peter transformed a ‘school of last resort’ with just 286 students in 2009, into a thriving school of over 1100 – recognised by Finland’s HundrED organisation as one of the most innovative in the world.

Drawing on the latest research and his unique experiences at TC, Peter co-founded the Future Schools Alliance (FSA) in March 2018. The FSA is committed to significantly improving the lives of young people by transforming the education system. The FSA provides guidance to school leaders on how to build unique learning communities that equip students for times of exponential change.

Peter is an experienced keynote speaker at International Conferences and has been featured on ‘60 Minutes’, ‘The Project’ and TedX. In March he co-presented a 40 minute session with Sir Ken Robinson and Dan Haesler at the Future Schools Conference.

Peter is now consulting to schools and other institutions through Hutton Consulting in the areas of Innovation and Change Management, Leadership Development, Culture Development and Futures Planning. Peter will continue his work on implementing alternative models of tertiary entrance with Swinburne and other universities as well as creating greater awareness and supports around students with dyslexia.

Video transcript

“If I was going to make a significant change in education, I would conduct a summit and invite all the leading educational academics and the key policy makers from around the world. I would bring together all the seminal research papers, include all the key books that have been written over time in education, all the thought leaders and bureaucrats. Then, I would encase them in a steel container, and put a sign on that container that says ‘do not open until 2025’. Then, I’d kick it under the desk.

Then, I would actually allow students working with responsible caring adults (including their parents), to come up with new models of education – because to change one thing in education is nowhere near enough to make the sort of impact that we need.

We need to redesign multiple complex systems of education where each individual student is at the centre of their own learning plan. That’s how I change education.”

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60 minutes Australia

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Future of Education Whitepaper

Watch time 1:01:42

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