We are launching a new Mumsnet Academy thing - please check it out and let us know your thoughts...

(273 Posts)
JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 10:20:36

Hi all,

We're very excited to be launching The Mumsnet Academy - a brand new enterprise to bring you a rolling programme of fantastic courses, aimed to fit around family commitments and busy working lives.

A while back we asked you what courses you would like and the programme of masterclasses, workshops, and events we've come up with is a reflection of your responses.

To help us deliver the programme we have enlisted some top talent (eg David Nicholls, Tom Aikens, Joanna Briscoe, Alain de Botton) as well as teaming up with some great partners with a reputation for delivering high-quality, life-changing courses (eg School of Life, The Faber Academy, School for Start Ups).

We plan to offer a programme across a range of different subjects including entrepreneurship, business, technology, social media, blogging, history of art, creative writing, publishing, gardening, philosophy, finance, fashion as well as courses concerned with self-improvement and the concept of learning to live wisely and well. Some of these courses will be skill-based, while others will explore concepts, theory and ideas.

If we've missed something you think is a must, fear not, we will be adding classes to our portfolio all the time so please drop Patrick (who's in charge of the Academy) a line at academy@mumsnet.com or post your thoughts here.

One of the things that we felt was important was to ensure our Academy courses are available across the UK and so we will be running events in Birmingham, Edinburgh and London from day one. We are also keen to develop some online courses and hope to announce the first of these later this year.

Courses have been scheduled at times which are more convenient for those with young children but they are absolutely open to everyone - so tell your DPs, your work colleagues, your grannies about it - they'd also make great gifts grin.

Ultimately, the aim of the Mumsnet Academy is to bring Mumsnetters and friends together in a thought-provoking and fulfilling environment to explore ideas, develop skills, and learn from experts as well from each other.

Anyway, take a look. We view this very much as a work in progress and will be adapting and tinkering according to your feedback and what works and what doesn't, so all comments are welcome and PatrickMumsnet will be monitoring this thread to answer any questions.

Plus, there's a discount of 15% available to Mumsnetters on all our opening courses, so feel free to book!

Merrylegs Fri 04-May-12 13:23:36

'we are launching a new Mumsnet Academy thing'

There's the crux, I think: A 'thing'.

Do you have a clear idea of what it is you are delivering?

The courses all look fab and exciting, but they already exist in and of themselves.

Is it just the MN discount that would make me want to book through you?

Do you mean the Academy is us - MN alumni?

Or is the 'Academy' the thing itself? Because the thing itself is already a thing without MN.

<waits for the Alain de B course to be available>

SarahStratton Fri 04-May-12 13:27:45

Are you going to branch out to us more provincial areas? I would love the cookery Masterclasses, but as it's only me and DD it would have to be fairly near. Any chance of some in Lincoln in the future?

zipzap Fri 04-May-12 13:30:45

Not sure that it is necessary to have 'big' names like Tom Aikens as you're going to be paying so much more for having him there rather than an excellent but not-famous teacher.

Are there no MNetters that you could use - to be taught by MNetters that have gained a good reputation through the advice they've provided on MNet (was it Mears and TikTok that always gave good pregnancy/bfeeding advice - been a couple of years since I was on those threads regularly - but if they could run a new parenting course or being pregnant course, bet that would go down well). And I'm sure there must be others on other threads/forums that would work too - organising kids parties, style and beauty etc - that could be run at very reasonable prices

Personally the courses I would like to do for something like this are taking nice pictures of my kids (and lots of other photo ones too but given this is MN, this would be a good starting point).

The other ones that would be great to do from a live wisely/well point of view would be to tie up with the Money Saving Expert site and see if they would do some on money saving in these credit crunch times...

Two other little practical things - you mention the 15% MN discount on the opening courses but it isn't mentioned on the main page or the course page, so it's not clear if the price shown includes the discount or if you need to include a special code or get the money back or if it will be done automatically or something else. So would be nice to see more info about that.

And finally - sorry, this is really nit-picking - but the logo - not sure if it is just my screen but it looks really jaggy - particularly the scrolling line under the word Academy. It looks like the logo has maybe been resized wrongly or the line needs to be a bit thicker so it's not as noticeable... Just makes it look a bit cheap and less professional than it should be. If you compare it to the one on the Book Now/Eventbrite pages linked to from the site, the Eventbrite version is much cleaner than the one used by MN (can you guess - I nitpick websites as my profession - it's a hard habit to break!)

BlueRinse Fri 04-May-12 13:42:12

It does look good.

I would like to see some courses with reference to peadiatric first aid, online excel, word, power point training etc would be brilliant.

More work related that I could use to teach myself from home.

I'm another one that wouldn't be able to spend that much money on something for my self, is the family cooking day fee per person? yikes.

Good job so far though!

strandednomore Fri 04-May-12 13:45:26

zipzap - you got in before me, I was going to say the same about being taugh by "clebs" at a much-inflated price (and I said the same thing way back when we were asked for our opinions about these courses). I personally don't give a hoot who teaches me, as long as they know their stuff - and I have a feeling most of these celeb cooks don't actually do much cooking anymore. Same with writing - there are plenty of people out there who can teach us how to construct a plot line and write something that's actually going to sell who isn't a bestselling author themselves.

TunipTheVegemal Fri 04-May-12 13:45:42

Further to what other people have said, I would rather go to a course led by an unknown but good teacher, esp if they are a MNer and get what MNers' needs are. Tom Aikens?! No thanks. And the big names just make it more expensive.

Also you need to look at the types of course. It is, as someone said, a bit Stepford. C'mon MNHQ, you can do better than this. Use your knowledge of the fact that we are NOT stereotypical yummy mummies but rounded people with a whole host of interests and dreams.

Now surfing, as JimJams said - I've wanted to do that for years (as long as it's not in Cornwall, which is too far).

Devon Turnip. I don't even charge to arrange it smile (There's a fabby local surf school I send everyone to).

Oh and agree about slebs. Especially if it's a half hour talking at from a celeb just to push the price up.

fotheringhay Fri 04-May-12 13:52:53

Online courses would be amazing for me, could do it during ds's naps! I'd most like history courses, as I feel there are huge gaps in my knowledge.

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 13:56:11

zipzap

Not sure that it is necessary to have 'big' names like Tom Aikens as you're going to be paying so much more for having him there rather than an excellent but not-famous teacher.

Are there no MNetters that you could use - to be taught by MNetters that have gained a good reputation through the advice they've provided on MNet (was it Mears and TikTok that always gave good pregnancy/bfeeding advice - been a couple of years since I was on those threads regularly - but if they could run a new parenting course or being pregnant course, bet that would go down well). And I'm sure there must be others on other threads/forums that would work too - organising kids parties, style and beauty etc - that could be run at very reasonable prices

Personally the courses I would like to do for something like this are taking nice pictures of my kids (and lots of other photo ones too but given this is MN, this would be a good starting point).

The other ones that would be great to do from a live wisely/well point of view would be to tie up with the Money Saving Expert site and see if they would do some on money saving in these credit crunch times...

Two other little practical things - you mention the 15% MN discount on the opening courses but it isn't mentioned on the main page or the course page, so it's not clear if the price shown includes the discount or if you need to include a special code or get the money back or if it will be done automatically or something else. So would be nice to see more info about that.

And finally - sorry, this is really nit-picking - but the logo - not sure if it is just my screen but it looks really jaggy - particularly the scrolling line under the word Academy. It looks like the logo has maybe been resized wrongly or the line needs to be a bit thicker so it's not as noticeable... Just makes it look a bit cheap and less professional than it should be. If you compare it to the one on the Book Now/Eventbrite pages linked to from the site, the Eventbrite version is much cleaner than the one used by MN (can you guess - I nitpick websites as my profession - it's a hard habit to break!)

Hi there zipzap and thanks for all your comments. What we are trying to do is create a range of different courses some of which will be taught by Big Names, others of which will be just great teachers with less of a profile - more of which soon.

I love your ideas for courses about parenting, style and beauty etc and hope to have something to offer in the next couple of weeks. Please do keep looking at the Academy page.

On the discount front, really sorry I thought this was clear at the bottom of the course pages. We can definitely make this more obvious and add some instructions about how to redeem it.

On the logo front, we'll get onto sorting that straight away smile.

Thanks again.

ivykaty44 Fri 04-May-12 14:03:51

could you do the cookery courses at community school? - there is a great community school in leamington Sap - central location with ample parking with fantastic brand new state of the art food tec rooms [winks]

This may lower the price and I am interested in the baking courses but the price is a little to high

Can I ask how old the child is that gets a free place? My dd is 13 is she still a child?

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 14:22:02

BlueRinse

It does look good.

I would like to see some courses with reference to peadiatric first aid, online excel, word, power point training etc would be brilliant.

More work related that I could use to teach myself from home.

I'm another one that wouldn't be able to spend that much money on something for my self, is the family cooking day fee per person? yikes.

Good job so far though!

Thanks for the message BlueRinse. We can definitely arrange these! More soon.

DaisyMaisyJessicaEmily Fri 04-May-12 14:57:47

gosh one whole course to choose from for Scotland.

DaisyMaisyJessicaEmily Fri 04-May-12 14:59:05

pressed too soon - kind of pointless launching as UK wide when let's face it, as always it's Londoners who are being favoured.

RageAgainstTheWashingMachine Fri 04-May-12 15:06:44

The course title on this page www.eventbrite.com/event/3486631609 is listed as 'Cookery course for Absolute Beginners' then under Cooking requirements 'you need to be a confident cook and understand the basics of cooking. This course is not aimed at people who are looking for an introductory cooking class.'

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 15:06:45

Merrylegs

'we are launching a new Mumsnet Academy thing'

There's the crux, I think: A 'thing'.

Do you have a clear idea of what it is you are delivering?

The courses all look fab and exciting, but they already exist in and of themselves.

Is it just the MN discount that would make me want to book through you?

Do you mean the Academy is us - MN alumni?

Or is the 'Academy' the thing itself? Because the thing itself is already a thing without MN.

<waits for the Alain de B course to be available>

Hi Merrylegs - sorry for taking a while to get back to you. I think we are quite clear about what we would like the Academy to be, but we are equally very open to all ideas and suggestions. When we asked a small but perfectly formed cross-section of Mumsnetters what courses they would like a while back, they suggested some of the topics and subjects that are on the initial programme you see before you. The idea is that this programme will keep evolving and we'll adapt to what is suggested.

The Alain de B course will hopefully be available next week, so please keep checking the Academy page.

Hullygully Fri 04-May-12 15:06:46

I just want to moan

moan moan moan

that's better

AliceHurled Fri 04-May-12 15:07:11

Why are 3/4 of the 'big names' men, on a site dominated by women? There's enough discussion of the problem of women not being recognised in prominent roles, eg recent criticisms of the BBC, and yet MN are perpetuating it. Usually the 'big names' will be paid more, for being a 'big name', meanwhile the donkey work gets done but the lower paid people, usually women. Isn't MN one place we can recognise and break those patterns?

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 15:11:52

RageAgainstTheWashingMachine

The course title on this page www.eventbrite.com/event/3486631609 is listed as 'Cookery course for Absolute Beginners' then under Cooking requirements 'you need to be a confident cook and understand the basics of cooking. This course is not aimed at people who are looking for an introductory cooking class.'

Hi RageAgainstTheWashingMachine, that was a mistake - the course you were looking at was the one with Tom Aikens. I've resolved the discrepancy now - thanks for pointing it out.

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 15:13:42

DaisyMaisyJessicaEmily

gosh one whole course to choose from for Scotland.

Hi DaisyMaisyJessicaEmily, more courses to come in Scotland, we promise!

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 15:15:18

Hullygully

I just want to moan

moan moan moan

that's better

grin

PetiteRaleuse Fri 04-May-12 15:23:27

This is a good idea in theory, but looking at that five day creative writing course in London at £550 for 20 hours' group tuition I think they will be well out of most people's league.

Plus it woul dbe more useful for those of us who are abroad or stuck out in the sticks to have distance learning. So many distance learning providers are a) rubbish and b) overpriced. It would be nice to see something a little more inclusive.

Nice idea though, will keep an eye on the site as new things come out.

Hullygully Fri 04-May-12 15:24:27

They are realistic prices for the writing courses.

WipsGlitter Fri 04-May-12 15:37:40

Gosh absolutely no courses in northern ireland...

ginmakesitallok Fri 04-May-12 15:43:47

It would be good to see some courses on simple car maintenance/DIY/simple plumbing/electrics - all those little things which we tend to pay folk £££ for which we could do ourselves.

Agree that big names aren't needed - better to keep things affordable.

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