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!

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 25-May-12 12:12:33

JustineMumsnet

Gincognito

Have you thought (yes probably you have) of working with your family friendly companies to offer discounts to their staff?

PS, I would be very interested in an online novel-writing course, perhaps over a few weeks, with a cohort for online discussions and critiquing.

Actually we haven't as yet and that's a genius idea Gincognito - thanks we will try it.

Hi Gincognito, Thought you should know that O2 have just contacted us to say they are putting our Academy offer to their staff up on their intranet smile - thanks so much for the thought thanks.

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 08-May-12 11:58:36

MmeLindor

Merrylegs
Was thinking more about this. I guess that I would be more inclined to go on a MN Academy course, because I trust the "brand" of MN and assume the courses and schools have been checked for suitability.

So, instead of coming on MN and saying, "Hey, I fancy doing a xx course, can anyone recommend a good school?", I would sign up for a MN course.

Thanks, Patrick. That sounds good. <points to Scotland> Would love some more courses up here.

Hi again, exactly right - we are only working with partners that we think are really great and know will deliver high-quality courses. I hope there's one that catches your eye at some stage and you decide to sign up.

Also, I think it's worth mentioning (as quite a few have posted about the current offering / spread of courses) that there will be a huge range of courses with different price points as the programme develops - this is literally week 1. And I promise to schedule more outside of London.

Thanks all for the comments - really, really helpful.

wordfactory Tue 08-May-12 11:36:46

So MN finds another way to make their business pay.Not blaming you guys at The Towers in any way wink.

But cupcakes and writing courses...PMSL. Tapping into the middle class ymmu mummy market so outrageously is quite daring.

Then again every SAHM v WOHM thread is full of the former announcing that they are absolutley not boring or unstimulated and love baking and they're writing a novel doncha know. No doubt they'd be happy to throw some money your way in the hopes of setting up the cupcake version of Party Pieces and become a millionaire whilst still being able to do the school run. Or they'll write the next Time Traveller's Wife (if only they go on a course and er...actually write it).

LynnCSchreiber Tue 08-May-12 11:26:32

Merrylegs
Was thinking more about this. I guess that I would be more inclined to go on a MN Academy course, because I trust the "brand" of MN and assume the courses and schools have been checked for suitability.

So, instead of coming on MN and saying, "Hey, I fancy doing a xx course, can anyone recommend a good school?", I would sign up for a MN course.

Thanks, Patrick. That sounds good. <points to Scotland> Would love some more courses up here.

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 08-May-12 11:05:58

MmeLindor

That is true, Merrylegs, but I am assuming that the School of Life would offer something special for MNetters.

I don't think that MN has to be so clearly defined, Handmedownqueen. MN is a different site for each of its users.

Some would be surprised to find there is a feminist board, others would keel over in shock at the pram threads, or the sales boards.

We all use MN how we want to use it, and take what we wish from it. Selfish beeeeatches that we are, we then generally whinge when they make any changes.

How very DARE they make changes to this completely free and gratis website that I can use or leave as I like.

Hi MmeLindor, you are completely right - the courses that The School of Life will be offering at the Mumsnet Academy are specifically designed for MNetters and are not courses that are currently on offer as part of their existing programme. I want to point out that this is the case with the courses we are doing alongside our other partners too. We are not simply promoting existing courses.

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 08-May-12 10:12:57

rubyrubyruby

The courses are open to males and females are they not?

YES! Open to everyone

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 08-May-12 10:12:02

ChangingForTheBetter

I liked the look of the cooking courses and clicked through to the Cookery School website.

The MN academy offers a five day absolute beginners course for £600, or £510 with the MN discount. Looks tempting. However on the Cookery school website, the same course, with the same modules, if offered over three days (morning and afternoon, as opposed to morning only) for only £510... hmm

www.cookeryschool.co.uk/courses (in fact this also has more as it includes bread)

www.mumsnet.com/academy/course/7-cookery-course-for-absolute-beginners

Hi there ChangingForTheBetter, this is a good point you raise and we should have been clearer in the copy. Firstly, the course that you refer to on the Cookery School website is shorter than our course (it comprises 2.25 hours per day of teaching time per day, whereas our course is 3 hours per day). Also our course will incorporate more recipes/techniques than the one offered solely through the Cookery School as well as including a lovely working breakfast each morning. Sorry for the confusion - promise to be clearer in future.

snappysnappy Tue 08-May-12 09:52:49

I think the concept is good but as other posters have mentioned, its disheartening that it is so focused on cooking and gardening. There are so many similar courses out there and I never really understood the whole cookery course thing - why not read a cookbook or go online.

Its disappointing that MN cant feature courses on philosophy, economics etc
But then judging by the tone of many MN posts MN have probably judged their audience correctly and there will be a strong uptake.

Merrylegs Tue 08-May-12 09:04:01

Are we still going with this? Excellent grin

The confusion is that there are two different things being offered. The cupcakes aren't actually a 'course' are they? It's a lovely treat day - rather like going to a spa. I can well see me buying something like that for me and DD as a special birthday treat. Similarly the Tom Aiken 'course'. It's not a course. It's a bit of celebrity pan-frying with a lovely lunch. What's not to like?

And then there are the courses proper - the writing and the gardening for eg.

And Mme Lindor raises my main point 'I'm assuming the School of Life would offer something special for MNetters'

Would it?
Does it?

That's what I've been asking all along really but no one has answered properly!

rubyrubyruby Tue 08-May-12 08:30:29

The courses are open to males and females are they not?

Xenia Tue 08-May-12 08:18:24

I was not knocking gardening. I was knocking cupcakes (as they are not healthy and sugar is almost a poison). I was also knocking woman as homemake thing. Creativity might well be gardening but if we major on cooking them we send out a message - women cook and serve and are servants at home. The being locked to the kitchen idea etc.. The suggestion that women expand their horizons and develop an interesting hinterland of hobbies and that that is.. wait for it,.. baking cupcakes sort of undermines the whole purpose of seeking interesting new hobbies surely. Anyway cup cakes is a tiny part of this. The rest are not necessarily objectionable on feminist grounds or health gruonds in the same way.

NannyPlumIsMyMum Mon 07-May-12 23:18:10

I think Xenia misses the point that some of us a) are intelligent b) hold down professional jobs and c) are financially independent . But that we also like creative interests such as a) cooking and baking b) gardening etc etc.

Life is not all black and White Xenia there are shade of grey !

LynnCSchreiber Mon 07-May-12 23:17:21

That is true, Merrylegs, but I am assuming that the School of Life would offer something special for MNetters.

I don't think that MN has to be so clearly defined, Handmedownqueen. MN is a different site for each of its users.

Some would be surprised to find there is a feminist board, others would keel over in shock at the pram threads, or the sales boards.

We all use MN how we want to use it, and take what we wish from it. Selfish beeeeatches that we are, we then generally whinge when they make any changes.

How very DARE they make changes to this completely free and gratis website that I can use or leave as I like.

handmedownqueen Mon 07-May-12 23:03:21

depends what your aims are as a site
if its to remain as a meeting of all classes of mum, who can truly offer representative views and offer opinion to politicians, campaign on rape well running a high cost, high profit thing like this aint going to help
none of these courses appeal to me on grounds of cost and I have a good income
would like to see a more social entrepreneurial approach to these courses
how about a less middle/upper class slant and a few free places being offered to the less well off?
or a 'grow your own veg in a small city garden' feed a family of four for fifty quid a week' type thing?

scottishmummy Mon 07-May-12 22:43:23

course it's home made
made at home from the packet
my pancakes are packet mix and I consider them homemade

EchoBitch Mon 07-May-12 22:40:01

If it was out of a packet then it was not home made.

Nowt wrong with fairy cakes.

Or any cakes for that matter.

But not everyone knows how to make them.

I learned at school and at home.

Some people never get taught so maybe they want to learn now.

scottishmummy Mon 07-May-12 22:30:00

I agree with you a cupcake is ghastly
when I was wean was home made from a packet fairy cake

EchoBitch Mon 07-May-12 22:28:08

grin

Suppose so.

Good fairycakes though eh?

scottishmummy Mon 07-May-12 22:21:10

is that your best come back?

EchoBitch Mon 07-May-12 22:13:25

Ooooh errr Missus

sorry

your my mishtake.

Here,have a fairycake cupcake.

scottishmummy Mon 07-May-12 21:56:36

keep up
less time showing off bold
more time reading thread

EchoBitch Mon 07-May-12 21:55:01

scottishmummy

What on Earth are you on about?

Merrylegs Mon 07-May-12 21:44:22

But ML - that's my point. You CAN do one of the School of Life courses. Now. You don't have to wait for the 'MN Academy'.

scottishmummy Mon 07-May-12 21:37:55

4posts,2 about cupcakes=running about insulting others
Gosh that is a low tolerance for ire
or the mn laydees are v genteel if 4 posts,2 cupcakes constitutes running around

EchoBitch Mon 07-May-12 21:22:05

Reference Roger's profanisaurus for cupcakes...

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