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!

Fabulous idea but most of the prices look too much for me sad

Indith Fri 04-May-12 10:31:21

Some fun looking courses, I'd love some of the cooking ones, especially the family ones, near me!

Would it be possible to put location as part of the title of the course so you don't have to click on "more" for each one in the list? A couple have it but the rest don't.

Indith Fri 04-May-12 10:32:56

Yes cost is a bit much. Lookig at the family baking for example, there is a lady who does cupcake decorating with children around here. I could pretty mcuh get her to come and do a morning with the whole school for that price!

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 10:33:10

YouveCatToBeKittenMe

Fabulous idea but most of the prices look too much for me sad

Hi YouveCatToBeKittenMe - thanks for the great feedback. There will be some less expensive courses available (we've tried hard to create a good range of different price points) - some of which will start at £35. Keep looking at the Academy page for news of the latest stuff.

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 10:34:11

Indith

Some fun looking courses, I'd love some of the cooking ones, especially the family ones, near me!

Would it be possible to put location as part of the title of the course so you don't have to click on "more" for each one in the list? A couple have it but the rest don't.

Thanks, that's a great suggestion - will look into doing that.

Good idea, but some outside London? Or online?

I'll arrange you a surfing course grin

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 11:41:53

saintlyjimjams

Good idea, but some outside London? Or online?

I'll arrange you a surfing course grin

Hi there saintlyjimjams, thanks for the message. There are already a couple of courses available outside of London (Birmingham and Edinburgh) and more coming soon. Also, we'll be piloting an online course in the next few months, so keep an eye on the Academy page.

BumptiousandBustly Fri 04-May-12 11:48:03

i would LOVE to do some of those cookery courses - but what gets me is the price. sad

What annoys me is that they throw in lots of extras (breakfast, pastrys, organic wines, lunch etc) - can't you leave all that out, and charge a lot less for the course - thats actually what we are there for!

realhousewifeofdevoncounty Fri 04-May-12 11:51:36

Some in the south west please! And by that I don't mean Bristol. Exeter would've good for me, or even Plymouth for those who live at the Cornwall end of the peninsula. I'd like a course on how to make my own changing bag!grin

coppertop Fri 04-May-12 12:04:23

The courses look good but are too expensive for me.

£100 to spend a day making pasta?

<faints>

nickiminja Fri 04-May-12 12:07:05

I can't believe the prices. Our family holiday was a £100 chalet for a wet week in Yarmouth, there is no way I could afford these.
Sorry but it all seems a bit elitist

Hey MNHQ I need to see 'you will get a certificate to say you can cook a bun' or at least a sticker. A lot of the people you'll get going to these are people hoping to return to work soon, surely something which they could add to their CV without looking like yummy mummies would be worthwhile. smile

BIWItheBold Fri 04-May-12 12:18:25

There's not much notice of the start times, is there?! My work diary is already booked up further than some of those courses.

Can you give us some idea of when the next ones might be - to give us a chance to plan for them/save up for them?

(Agree, they look a bit pricey as well - the Tom Aikens one is £199 for what is actually only 2.5 hours of teaching)

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 12:21:55

nickiminja

I can't believe the prices. Our family holiday was a £100 chalet for a wet week in Yarmouth, there is no way I could afford these.
Sorry but it all seems a bit elitist

Hi nickiminja, thanks for the comment. Some of the courses are going to be far less expensive and details of these should be up on the Academy page next week so don't write us off just yet. Some will invariably be a bit more pricey and compared to similar offerings we are pretty much in line. Also, we want our courses to be really good which means getting great people and that sometimes comes at a price. Take the point on board though.

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 12:26:29

whomovedmychocolate

Hey MNHQ I need to see 'you will get a certificate to say you can cook a bun' or at least a sticker. A lot of the people you'll get going to these are people hoping to return to work soon, surely something which they could add to their CV without looking like yummy mummies would be worthwhile. smile

Thanks whomovedmychocolate for the message about receiving a certificate. It's an interesting point and we'll look into it.

Attn Justine - if you suggest a course instead of submitting it it reloads the search page - are you aware of this. Either that or you just got my (very slightly tongue in cheek) suggestion and then it reloaded the search, I don't blinking know.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 12:36:59

whomovedmychocolate

Attn Justine - if you suggest a course instead of submitting it it reloads the search page - are you aware of this. Either that or you just got my (very slightly tongue in cheek) suggestion and then it reloaded the search, I don't blinking know.

Hello whomoved. Yep, we've seen that - we're going to add in a "thanks for submitting your suggestion" pop-up or summat.

We did get your suggestion - thank you.

I really think some reasonably priced online courses would be welcome. It's not just the cost of the course, but taking days off work, finding someone to watch kids, accommodation if necessary, transport will probably double those prices more most people!

coppertop Fri 04-May-12 12:56:50

Small typo I know, but on the Suggest A Course section it asks if there's a course you'd "live" to try. grin

HeathRobinson Fri 04-May-12 13:00:13

I've looked at your course page several times now and I just can't get past 'Upcoming Courses'. Sounds so American.

Sorry.

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 13:15:18

coppertop

Small typo I know, but on the Suggest A Course section it asks if there's a course you'd "live" to try. grin

Nice spot, thakn you! grin

EauRouge Fri 04-May-12 13:15:41

I think this is a fab idea, I have some constructive criticism for you:

Yes, they are very expensive. I will have to email some suggestions for courses because I'm not really interested in any of those- the choice at the moment is a bit Stepford limited, I'd love to see other practical skills like woodwork and metalwork, car maintenance and some self-sufficiency type courses.

More choice of locations would be good too, I realise that this will improve with time though.

And a certificate would be nice, especially if you pay several hundred pounds for a course.

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 13:18:08

HeathRobinson

I've looked at your course page several times now and I just can't get past 'Upcoming Courses'. Sounds so American.

Sorry.

You are right, it doesn't sound right. We are going to change it. Thank you for posting.

I looked at the beginner's writing course. It is £299 shock
I do think that is a bit much for a 'beginner's' course, what if I am crap at it grin
Also is that particular course only half a day long? As you won't learn much in that space of time really. confused
I could eat afternoon tea at the Ritz cheaper than that and have spare money to buy a book hmm grin

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.

DaisyMaisyJessicaEmily Fri 04-May-12 15:49:56

Also agree with previous poster, use the fantastically skilled Mners you have right under your nose - TikTok is a fabulous example.

Indith Fri 04-May-12 16:01:31

"use the fantastically skilled Mners you have right under your nose - TikTok is a fabulous example."

Nice idea in theory but 1) they would have to want to do it, many have jobs etc so might not want to/be able to use their spare time or holiday days to run a course. Plus running it for the first time takes a LOT of prep time and 2) just because someone is fantastic in their area does not mean they are a good teacher.

And I'd like to stick up a leetle bit for MN with the lack of courses in other places, these are only the ones on offer now, you can't have every course running within striking distance of every part of the country all of the time. I'd like to think that MN would remember that we are not all in London and run courses ina wide variety of areas over the course of the year. Maybe the same/similar course could travel around MN? Obviously this might involve different teachers in different areas but might be nice to take ones that prove particulaly popular around the country a bit so we all get a look in. If you had a good set up for that you'd be able to use a good variety of venues.

Hullygully Fri 04-May-12 16:01:56

It seems to me that everything you have done is wrong.

I suggest you take yourselves outside and shoot each other.

After you have set up daisy chain making for beginners for 50p in the Outer Hebs.

Tee2072 Fri 04-May-12 16:02:27

I confess I haven't even looked yet, but I hope MN remembers that Northern Ireland is also part of the UK....

Hullygully Fri 04-May-12 16:02:41

And now I've stuck up for you I want a free go with ol Alain. Don't mind what he goes on about.

DaisyMaisyJessicaEmily Fri 04-May-12 16:03:14

Well they did ask for feedback and say all comments were welcome wink

Hullygully Fri 04-May-12 16:04:06

Yes, but perhaps such a barage of malcontent was a little unexpected...

Hullygully Fri 04-May-12 16:04:16

barrage?

Tee2072 Fri 04-May-12 16:04:57

Oh please Hully, MNHQ is well aware what we're like. grin

That Entrepreneur one sounds good...if it wasn't in London.

Hullygully Fri 04-May-12 16:06:55

Oh please Hully, MNHQ is well aware what we're like

what? moany ol gits..?!

Good idea but for me it wouldn't fit around my family & work committments if it meant travelling to one of three places in the UK - the closest is three hours away for me and travel costs would add £££ to the cost of the course, however good value it is.

On that basis I don't really see how it can compete with going to a local college or Adult Ed centre for whatever training you want. That's without considering the alternate option of online training.

Sorry to sound so negative BTW!

Tee2072 Fri 04-May-12 16:20:59

Yes, Hully! Exactly that. Have you ever seen the boards when they make one small change? Even if the font size goes up or down 1 point, the boards explode!

Hullygully Fri 04-May-12 16:24:07

oh yes Tee, there is that.

SilverMachine Fri 04-May-12 16:38:07

I'm looking forward to the online courses, as again distance and price would put me off the existing courses (as lovely as they all sound)

I'd be interested in self improvement courses, style and beauty and maybe creative writing. Practical courses such as cooking or interior design on a budget would be useful as well.

I'd love to go on a plumbing course.

Will you be seeking ILA accreditation?

<ILA in place here>

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 16:51:56

Tee2072

Oh please Hully, MNHQ is well aware what we're like. grin

That Entrepreneur one sounds good...if it wasn't in London.

Hi Tee, I'm pleased you like the look of the Entrepreneur course. The plan is to do this around the country so please do keep an eye on the Academy page.

BIWItheBold Fri 04-May-12 17:02:01

But Hully - you're moaning at us moaning. So you're a moany old scroat as well.

grin

I think this is a brilliant idea - and look forward to seeing the full range of courses ultimately available. Presumably with a full range of prices too!

Some of these would make great gifts too. My DH bought me a lesson at the Mosimann's school, which was very similar to the Tom Aiken day - culminated in lunch at his restaurant which was fab. (Although I think you need to make it really clear what the buyer will get out of it. I would pay for the writing course, if I felt it was really giving me proper, one-to-one tuition, or similar for a cookery course. But if the Tom Aiken course is anything like the one I went on, it was really just an elaborate cookery demonstration, with the odd request to chop an onion or break an egg, followed by a lovely lunch.)

Whilst some courses could be provided by the lesser known, actually I think there is a lot of merit in being taught by someone with a name for their skill/craft.

SpiritOfTheSite Fri 04-May-12 17:02:48

Agree with AliceHurled. Very much so.

Hullygully Fri 04-May-12 17:11:34

It's completely different BIWI
Completely

Tsk

BIWItheBold Fri 04-May-12 17:14:16

Acksherly - how do you spell scroat? Is it scroat or is it scrote? I realise I don't actually know what one of them is.

A scroat sounds like some kind of furry, aquatic mammal; a scrote sounds like something testicular.

LadyWithEDS Fri 04-May-12 17:17:09

I like the choice of courses, I think that the price you are charging for the courses you are offering are very pricey. I did a weekly course for a whole academic term at my local college for three hours a week and got a minor RHS qualification for far less than the price of your gardening design course, I am in shock at the price shock you are charging, and you charge the same in London and outside London.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 17:19:17

BIWItheBold

Acksherly - how do you spell scroat? Is it scroat or is it scrote? I realise I don't actually know what one of them is.

A scroat sounds like some kind of furry, aquatic mammal; a scrote sounds like something testicular.

Maybe we should have a spelling course?

GentleOtter Fri 04-May-12 17:21:40

<throws in sheep clipping and making moonshine. poaching at night > Perthshire
Certificate in Rural Pursuits.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Fri 04-May-12 17:25:33

Crikey at the prices.

Isn't this just MN being an agency for existing courses?

So you take 10% for each booking which comes through MN? Which is fine, I don't mind you running a business...

But they're not for me.

PatrickMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 17:36:53

MaryMotherOfCheeses

Crikey at the prices.

Isn't this just MN being an agency for existing courses?

So you take 10% for each booking which comes through MN? Which is fine, I don't mind you running a business...

But they're not for me.

Hi MaryMotherOfCheeses and thanks for posting. We don't see our selves as an agency, these are courses that have crafted specifically for the Mumsnet Academy, and we are working in equal partnership with some great organisations to make sure we offer courses that are high quality.

NormaStanleyFletcher Fri 04-May-12 17:39:44

BIWI. It is a derivative of scrotum so scrote is correct I think.

BIWItheBold Fri 04-May-12 18:02:05

Ooooh Helen - you could run courses in Pedantry!

LeBOF Fri 04-May-12 18:06:48

Aww, I thought this was going to be about Troll School sad

BIWItheBold Fri 04-May-12 18:07:45

grin

OldBagWantsNewBag Fri 04-May-12 18:13:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 18:19:28

OldBagWantsNewBag

Ah well, I like the courses available so far - and the 15% discount. I've just booked a place on the baking course and will possibly book a place for DP on the two day garden design course once I've checked he's free that weekend.

'It's a bit Stepford' - It is a little isn't it. I don't mind but I can see how what's on offer so far probably doesn't cater to everyone. Still, it's a new venture and MN have asked for suggestions. Not a lot more they could have done really.

Thank you, OldBagWantsNewBag. And yes, plenty more we could offer – Stepford or not – in the weeks to come.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 18:20:33

BIWItheBold

Ooooh Helen - you could run courses in Pedantry!

Wot, me personally? <clutches Fowler's in excitement>

MegBusset Fri 04-May-12 18:37:45

I agree that it's really expensive. Our local council runs loads of courses similar to these, they are dirt cheap and in many cases free. I don't see what MNers would get out of this rather than going to their local college/adult ed centre. I do see what MN get out of it (commission!) but I wouldn't expect a huge uptake.

MegBusset Fri 04-May-12 18:39:32

Agree that online courses would be MUCH more useful and actually in line with being flexible for parents so look forward to seeing what you come up with smile

I really like the idea actually, and the gardening course sounds very interesting may need to sweet talk dh into booking for me
I do have to agree about the price though. I am struggling to justify spending so much on a gardening course when money is so tight for everyone.
I would be very interested in a vegetable gardening course at a good price grin so will be keeping my eye out for that one wink

also agree with the poster who mentioned first aid courses, electrical and diy courses.

OOooh maybe a wine making course?

Too pricey. City Lit offers ten week creative writing courses for just over £100.

everythingtodo Fri 04-May-12 19:59:09

Gosh - I must be really dense but I just can't see how you get the 15% off - do you enter a promotional code? Is it already taken off?

ChippingInLovesEasterEggs Fri 04-May-12 20:03:48

In the nicest possible way... I'm failing to see the point of it really. There are already so many courses out there (already established, less costly, IRL & online) and these aren't 'tailored' to MN... so, why?

Hully grin

Forthcoming courses and it's SCROTE if we want to be pedantic about it.

northernmonkey really wants a wine drinking course wink

massively pricey. honestly it looks like tinkering for rich bored housewives thus far (so clearly i'm not your target audience so don't mind me wink ).

the £300 for 11hrs of writing workshops over two days at a ratio of 18 students to one tutor was the one i looked at.

also if this is an mn academy what's with the ooh 15% discount for mn'ers?? it's all a bit... well it basically just means the prices have been marked up by 15% so that you can use the word discount and make it seem like you're giving something. anyone who was booking a course would be a member or take the 2minutes it takes to become a member. who would be paying full price? people who are using the mumsnet academy yet not being members of mumsnet? confused

probably just me but i hate feeling like i'm being taken for an idiot - that sort of oooooh look a sparkly discount just for you spin.

popg - yes to the comparison of writing price courses - and that 10 week course will actually include the reading of and feedback on your work. rather than cheery babble - now do a little exercise - now chat about it in your group - now feed back with felt pens and oh look it's lunchtime.

seabuckthorn Fri 04-May-12 21:06:05

I'm looking forward to seeing what online courses you will be offering.
Brilliant idea MNHQ!

Merrylegs Fri 04-May-12 21:13:14

'These are courses specially crafted for the MN academy'

But they're not though? That's the point. I mean the Faber writing school is there already and the baking courses run anyway.

They are lovely courses and all but what IS the Mumsnet Academy?

Actually from the responses on this thread it sounds like many would be up for an MN academy - local, affordable, practical courses.

TunipTheVegemal Fri 04-May-12 21:23:10

absolutely Merrylegs.

Local or online, affordable, practical courses.

Cooking, creative writing and garden design are all stuff people would think to try and sell to rich mums. Most of us are actually not rich mums (though I can well believe there are enough in the demographic to make it worthwhile to put on a few of these things). But many of us would like to learn things that would help us or ultimately save us money. Plumbing for mums, actually getting your bloody veg to grow, restarting your career again/entrepreneurship, basic cooking for kids not ponce cuisine.... Oh yeah, and surfing smile. Seems to me there is a great opportunity here to do something unique and well-targeted, which would step outside those bloody cake decorating cliches and build on the wonderful diversity of Mumsnet.
And we ARE geographically diverse, so it is a touch frustrating to hear about all this London stuff, so the idea someone came up with below of running the same courses in different locations is good.

I think this is a great idea but what I can see here is not yet as good as it could be.

yeah i have to say that equating 'all over the country' to london, birmingham and edinburgh did make me chuckle.

membrillo Fri 04-May-12 22:03:50

on the list of all courses, there should be a way to naviget to the next page of results at the bottom of each page, not just the top Patrick!

Also- there is a broken href link in Justine's OP

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 22:24:50

swallowedAfly

also if this is an mn academy what's with the ooh 15% discount for mn'ers?? it's all a bit... well it basically just means the prices have been marked up by 15% so that you can use the word discount and make it seem like you're giving something. anyone who was booking a course would be a member or take the 2minutes it takes to become a member. who would be paying full price? people who are using the mumsnet academy yet not being members of mumsnet? confused

probably just me but i hate feeling like i'm being taken for an idiot - that sort of oooooh look a sparkly discount just for you spin.

Hi SAF, it's a 15% discount for those who sign up to any of the opening courses; if those courses run again (on other dates, in other cities), they will cost the full price.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 22:27:00

membrillo

on the list of all courses, there should be a way to naviget to the next page of results at the bottom of each page, not just the top Patrick!

Also- there is a broken href link in Justine's OP

Thanks membrillo - will pass that one.

And blush at the broken link - will try to fix

legoballoon Fri 04-May-12 22:28:20

Whilst the idea is nice, there are already course providers who provide this type of thing (a) more widely geographically and (b) at more competitive prices.

OK, so my local college's 'Creative writing for beginners' course is not hosted by Jo Briscoe at Faber & Faber - but it's about £200 cheaper, delivered locally, and scheduled to fit in around my childcare commitments (i.e. when the kids are in bed). Ditto cookery courses - very reputable ones around the country run day courses which start around £80 for evening sessions including a meal (e.g. www.fooodsafari.co.uk, www.caldesi.com).

Add to that a full range of PT and distance taught, accredited courses run by universities and colleges ... and what exactly is the Mumsnet Academy doing other than acting as a portal for courses run by third parties. Where do you draw from the wealth of experience and wisdom amongst the contributors to MN? A cynical voice tells me it's a bit of a branding exercise for existing training providers...

legoballoon Fri 04-May-12 22:28:50

That should have been www.foodsafari.co.uk - an extra 'o' slipped in smile

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 22:32:52

TunipTheVegemal

absolutely Merrylegs.

Local or online, affordable, practical courses.

Cooking, creative writing and garden design are all stuff people would think to try and sell to rich mums. Most of us are actually not rich mums (though I can well believe there are enough in the demographic to make it worthwhile to put on a few of these things). But many of us would like to learn things that would help us or ultimately save us money. Plumbing for mums, actually getting your bloody veg to grow, restarting your career again/entrepreneurship, basic cooking for kids not ponce cuisine.... Oh yeah, and surfing smile. Seems to me there is a great opportunity here to do something unique and well-targeted, which would step outside those bloody cake decorating cliches and build on the wonderful diversity of Mumsnet.
And we ARE geographically diverse, so it is a touch frustrating to hear about all this London stuff, so the idea someone came up with below of running the same courses in different locations is good.

I think this is a great idea but what I can see here is not yet as good as it could be.

As PatrickMumsnet has said earlier on this thread, TunipTheVegemal, there are lots of courses in the pipeline that aren't of the cake-decorating ilk. And there's a Start Your Own Business course in the current line-up.

We do get the London-centric thing and there are courses in Birmingham and Edinburgh on offer right now, with plenty more regional courses planned.

That said, we do very much want your feedback: there is a Suggest A Course box on the Academy Home page that we hope you'll all use to tell us what kind of courses you'd like to see.

so essentially just a discount for londoners then and just on these very expensive ones (as apparently the cheaper ones, the ones in more varied locations, the online ones etc are all coming later)?

to be clear then how long are we going to be able to use the 15% off for?

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 22:37:48

swallowedAfly

so essentially just a discount for londoners then and just on these very expensive ones (as apparently the cheaper ones, the ones in more varied locations, the online ones etc are all coming later)?

to be clear then how long are we going to be able to use the 15% off for?

Don't know the answer to that one, SAF, but we'll get back to you on it as soon as we can.

LeBOF Fri 04-May-12 22:38:14

I would suggest "Hone Your Twat Radar- Mumsnet 101"; "Troll-Hunting For Beginners", "Insulting With Aplomb While Staying Just This Side Of Deletion", and "Did You Mean To Sound So Rude- A Mumsnet Guide To Assertiveness For Women".

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 22:41:00

LeBOF

I would suggest "Hone Your Twat Radar- Mumsnet 101"; "Troll-Hunting For Beginners", "Insulting With Aplomb While Staying Just This Side Of Deletion", and "Did You Mean To Sound So Rude- A Mumsnet Guide To Assertiveness For Women".

But none of you would need to go on those courses, would you? Cos you know all that already... <cheeky>

membrillo Fri 04-May-12 22:44:24

"*naviget*"?

oops!

BIWItheBold Fri 04-May-12 22:44:58

The Talk Guidelines: How Well Do You Know Them?

BIWItheBold Fri 04-May-12 22:45:18

What, Exactly, Should You Post In AIBU? A Practical Guide

LeBOF Fri 04-May-12 22:52:59

Yes Helen, perhaps those courses should only be available to Gransnet members on a programme called Egg-sucking.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-May-12 22:54:38

grin

BIWItheBold Fri 04-May-12 22:57:12

LeBOF! grin

Zhx3 Fri 04-May-12 23:16:15

Some suggestions for courses from me would be: paediatric first aid, food hygiene and finance/budgeting. Distance learning would be great, given the spread of Mumsnetters across the country. Do you have good e-learning providers lined up?

r3dh3d Sat 05-May-12 00:03:38

Another vote for a plumbing course.

Everything loaded so far looks very lovely. In a sort of Cath Kidston Fake Perfect Life sort of a way. So there's nothing up there I have any interest in whatsoever, as my life is not remotely perfect and rather too real for comfort.

But meantime my taps are leaking. And plumbing can't be that damn hard, surely?

Gincognito Sat 05-May-12 05:59:52

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.

NannyPlumIsMyMum Sat 05-May-12 06:06:07

I think it's a great idea smile and I'm excited by it < even though I'm in the midlands >.
I will definitely be keeping an eye on the course page.
Thankyou MNHQ !

Whomovedmychocolate, I wasn't ignoring your comment btw, it's just that I had consumed far too much wine I had a migraine wink
But yes maybe a wine drinking tasting course would be good alongside a wine making course, with taxis home after? grin

Plumbing is not hard - I went on a local authority Saturday course to learn the basics. Cost me £30 and we had to take our own sandwiches. The teacher had halitosis but did know his pipes. grin

janx Sat 05-May-12 08:14:16

Why do your links never work on thr Mumsnet iPhone app? ...tis most annoying

Xenia Sat 05-May-12 08:42:42

Today's Times, page 14 with phoogrpah of Juistine Roberts (behind the Times firewall).

I do endorse the need for a hinterland. I suspect it is hard when children are small and whether you are male or female to do much but work and children but I do want women in particular to avoid being "martyrmother" - giving up everything else. What I was posting in feminism this morning included the need in a sense to be selfish sometimes to ensure you are a happy person and then your children are happy. (My example was knowing I need 2 hours alone on holiday to read in total silence - very very easy now my youngest are almost leaving prep school but pretty hard when your children are little)

Your hobbies (hinterland just means hobbies) could be running, walking, going to the library but have some. Also think about the time when the children are gone. Many of us want to work into our 80s and are in very succdessful careers when we can indeed to that but in addition having hobbies does help make people more rounded.

(i) I sing. At home or in choirs wen I like the music they are doing and I adore playing the piano to the children's music practice now they are on higher grades, every day.

(ii) I have my island (I am not suggesting all posters should seek to buy an island but I think it is very very important women realise that if they make the right career choices there is nothing tos top them buying island on the equator rather than jsut relying on male earnings for their wealth or more likely lack of it).

(iii) I like bikram yoga.

(iv) As I have been lucky enough to be single in my 40s (don't knock it, it's wonderful) I like to go out and meet peopel well men as I'm not lesbian.

(v) I read.

At various times of your life there is more or less time for hobbies. Some women will not want to be with others when they have time off. I adore being alone although I am not anti social and can be perfectly good in company but not everyone will want their time off to be with other people.

I certainly endorse the feminist comments above that women are going to want plumbing courses not flower arranging. Can I put in a plea for financial aspects as someone who has since late teens loved tax law/financial issues as a hobby? Far too many women know where to get their breasts cut open and enlarged but do not know one end of a pension from another. They will often say on here they do not know what their husband earns, have no interest in pensions and then on divorce they get in a load of financial trouble. How to start a business etc is on the list and good luck with it. If women want to learn how to make cup cakes we need to take them by the ankles and dunk them in the village pond or send them on the Xenia feminist transformation programme until hey see sense.

Smellslikeweenspirits Sat 05-May-12 08:54:39

I'd like to see more practical stuff

How to put up shelves / basic plumbing / car stuff / basic sewing / knitting so we can all help with blankets

Maybe straight forward stuff like that might be less poncy cheaper too?

Things that some of us could do ourselves but being feeble ladees don't know how and have to pay other people to do

LondonKitty Sat 05-May-12 09:14:01

So, I read this whole thread and felt very sympathetic to the points people were making. Thought, hmm, sounds a bit of a racket... Pointless courses that cost the earth... hmm

I was about to move on and see what else was happening across MN <glancing at clock wondering if too early for bunfight to have started on AIBU yet>, then thought I'd just have a quick look at the Academy pages myself.

Now, admittedly I may possibly live close to a major hub for this sort of activity... Obviously I will protect my anonymity and not say where wink, but I thought the courses looked great! I found myself wondering if I was free that weekend etc. The prices, by big city standards, seem reasonable for what is being offered - people do need to meet overheads and get paid!

But I do get the point about greater choice and cheaper prices. Perhaps larger group events could be arranged to bring down prices, as an option for those who would prefer?

Or MN Academy could go on tour? grin To give courses on pre arranged dates to people who don't live near the major course hubs?

Anyway, I just wanted to say I really like this Academy thing. <puts apple on teachers desk and gives smarmy suck up smile>

Merrylegs Sat 05-May-12 10:06:27

Actually, forget from the MN Academy. I want Xenia's to-do list.

So far I can tick off (v)

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 05-May-12 10:15:07

swallowedAfly

massively pricey. honestly it looks like tinkering for rich bored housewives thus far (so clearly i'm not your target audience so don't mind me wink ).

the £300 for 11hrs of writing workshops over two days at a ratio of 18 students to one tutor was the one i looked at.

also if this is an mn academy what's with the ooh 15% discount for mn'ers?? it's all a bit... well it basically just means the prices have been marked up by 15% so that you can use the word discount and make it seem like you're giving something. anyone who was booking a course would be a member or take the 2minutes it takes to become a member. who would be paying full price? people who are using the mumsnet academy yet not being members of mumsnet? confused

probably just me but i hate feeling like i'm being taken for an idiot - that sort of oooooh look a sparkly discount just for you spin.

No it's not just a mark-up - it's an attempt to get people to try it with an enticing offer! (We learned that off the Apprentice wink). We're very aware that with anything new what will really matter is what people think of their experience. So we want to get people going on them and (hopefully) enjoying them and feeding back because as we all know you're much more likely to trust Mumsnetters' word for it than MNHQ's!

On a broader note - yes this is ultimately a commercial enterprise, but as with Mumsnet in general, what really matters to us is that we produce something worthwhile, useful and of good quality. If we can make a buck great - but right now we are focused on not losing too many and producing something good.

I know that they won't be within everyone's price range or everyone's cup of tea but we will work on the range to include a wider variety of prices - we've launched with some big names that inevitably aren't going to be cheap but we don't intend for them all to be big-name led. Plus we will expand the locations as Patrick has said - this is only the opening taster. And of course, for those who would rather chew off their own arm than attend a cooking class, they are not compulsory!

We plan to adapt according to feedback/demand etc. - as said we view this as a learning exercise - personally I think the car maintenance/plumbing/diy stuff is a brilliant idea. (I'd also like to have a crash course in barbecuing so I can overturn that particular male hegemony and banish my dh to salad-making and washing up while I twizzle a few kebabs).

Thanks for feedback so far - good and bad it's all useful - do keep it coming.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 05-May-12 10:16:10

LondonKitty

So, I read this whole thread and felt very sympathetic to the points people were making. Thought, hmm, sounds a bit of a racket... Pointless courses that cost the earth... hmm

I was about to move on and see what else was happening across MN <glancing at clock wondering if too early for bunfight to have started on AIBU yet>, then thought I'd just have a quick look at the Academy pages myself.

Now, admittedly I may possibly live close to a major hub for this sort of activity... Obviously I will protect my anonymity and not say where wink, but I thought the courses looked great! I found myself wondering if I was free that weekend etc. The prices, by big city standards, seem reasonable for what is being offered - people do need to meet overheads and get paid!

But I do get the point about greater choice and cheaper prices. Perhaps larger group events could be arranged to bring down prices, as an option for those who would prefer?

Or MN Academy could go on tour? grin To give courses on pre arranged dates to people who don't live near the major course hubs?

Anyway, I just wanted to say I really like this Academy thing. <puts apple on teachers desk and gives smarmy suck up smile>

[Awards LondnKitty gold star and merit certificate]

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 05-May-12 10:17:19

Smellslikeweenspirits

I'd like to see more practical stuff

How to put up shelves / basic plumbing / car stuff / basic sewing / knitting so we can all help with blankets

Maybe straight forward stuff like that might be less poncy cheaper too?

Things that some of us could do ourselves but being feeble ladees don't know how and have to pay other people to do

Shelves, yes! - I really need to know how to use a drill.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 05-May-12 10:18:08

janx

Why do your links never work on thr Mumsnet iPhone app? ...tis most annoying

Apologies - updated iphone app is nearly with us - shout at DarrenMumsnet if it's not here by June!

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 05-May-12 10:20:18

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.

Gincognito Sat 05-May-12 10:26:24

[ridiculously proud emoticon]

Any strategy/policy jobs going? grin

LondonKitty Sat 05-May-12 10:37:29

grin

<holds up merit certificate for all to envy and puts gold star on forehead>

NannyPlumIsMyMum Sat 05-May-12 10:40:26

I like the idea of the food and wine bits included- I look after my DC and am carer for my parents so it's ideal that I get to learn and be ' treated ' at the same time .

Smellslikeweenspirits Sat 05-May-12 10:53:46

And maths

I'm shit at maths

See stuff like that you can do online so us in the provinces can join in

And I know you can do courses in other places but I wouldn't know where to start

People say your local college. But we don't have one
Or your local authority. I had no idea they do courses, not sure ours does

So a mn course , I'd sort of trust it to be a good un. The way if I need a dishwasher or pushchair or meal I ask the hive so rather than schelping through 100 'school of maths online' type sites I can just come here. Sane as for everything else

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Sat 05-May-12 10:55:28

If you are skint, tight, or not interested in knitting kittens, have a
look at coursera.org. It offers free online courses from top US universities. I'm currently doing 'computer science 101'. It is fab.

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Sat 05-May-12 10:58:32

Sorry posted too early. I think that online courses are the way to go (apart from practical stuff, and even most of that can be taught by video lectures). I also think that a lot of excellent materials are available online for free already. What is your USP?

Smellslikeweenspirits - there are free maths courses for adults all over the country - contact the adult learning service at your local authority. smile

Xenia Sat 05-May-12 11:43:44

With apologies for my tyhpos above my list of i - v hobbies, the hinterland mentioned in today's Times article about Justine Roberts, is just an example.
"Merrylegs Sat 05-May-12 10:06:27
Actually, forget from the MN Academy. I want Xenia's to-do list.
So far I can tick off (v)"

One thing most of us probably want for our children from school is not just good exam results but exposure to a range of hobbies they can adore for life. I went skiing once as a child on a school trip. Had I not done that I would not have taken it up again when I had three children. I am sure I can explain the buying an island idea back to Robinson Crusue in books and television. Music proficiency tends to come from hobbies as a child etc etc. So just as it is important our children see and experience a wide range of hobbies so it can also be nice for adults to learn new skills or do something which is not just children and work.

I tell you what I could take a groups of 5 musmnetters needing a break to Panama, strand them on thei sland with me and only healthy food and they get the break, learn survival skills and lose weight. If you can work weight loss into anything you make money at it.... I gave my youngest child my fire making kit recently and had to buy another one. He has it by his bed - a flint thing. I have not used the fishing rod yet but that is another skill to acquire. Lots of women like to shoot these days. A lady writes in the Weekend FT Magazine - Mrs MoneyPenny about her shooting very regularly.

Anyway my list was not exhaustive by any means and like most people I spend most time workign and being with the children but I do think the point about having element sfo you which is not just those things is good and we need to get rid of martyr mothers who just moan but take no action. If you don't like something change it. If you cannot change it shut up about it.

latrucha Sat 05-May-12 12:40:37

Give me basic home plumbing, DIY or carpentry and maybe I'd fork out £100 if I thought it might be useful and save me money in the long run.

£100 for making cupcakes? I can read about recipes and techniqus online for free and I now make great cupcakes.

Thanks for the online link halfspamhalfbrisket.

pixiestix Sat 05-May-12 12:59:55

Yeee-ouch, pricey!

Get yourselves to City Lit London people!

MegBusset Sat 05-May-12 13:14:33

"If women want to learn how to make cup cakes we need to take them by the ankles and dunk them in the village pond or send them on the Xenia feminist transformation programme until hey see sense."

actually made me snort Diet Coke out of my nose

Merrylegs Sat 05-May-12 14:24:47

Xenia, you had me at Robinson Crusoe. Take me to Panama. Please. (Except I don't need to lose weight. Just the flint and the rod for me.)

PuzzleRocks Sat 05-May-12 14:43:10

Yes, thanks HalfSpamHalfBrisket, I have signed up too.

LeBOF Sat 05-May-12 15:16:20

I'm up for Panama <puts cake down>

Merrylegs Sat 05-May-12 15:24:18

(careful BOf. The last person who said that didn't bring the canoe back).

LeBOF Sat 05-May-12 16:31:48

grin

That is quite appealing some days.

Xenia Sat 05-May-12 16:44:50

Well I am sure the courses via mumsnet wil be fun. One of the things psychologists have found is that people who mix with others tend to be happier. This applies as much to gransnet and mumnet. Mothers most of whom work probably have enough social stuff. I suppose it's about preparing for when your children may not need you and having areas of yourself which are your hobbies. The aspect is to keep doing new things and not get too stuck in a rut as you get older. A new mumsnet course could just be the making of some people.

The island (they don't cost much different from a Spanish flat) has brought me so many different aspects from learning about boats, survival, trees, transport of materials by helicopter, just a whole raft (no pun intended) of new things. So could any project. I had an allotment for a year and that was fun too. Then we did rabbit breeding - last ones left this week (now pet free which is a bit of a relief).

It is a fine line to draw between the security routine gives us - you do not need to think and you are comforted by it (prisoners and those in the army understand this very well) and never doing anything different. I suspect camping primitively on an island in Panama is not going be something most people would want to pay for... actually the hardest thing to explain to people is that it can in part be about no one being there. Cultures where they constantly seek company or personalities find it almost impossible to appreciate and attraction of solitude. My older daughter never likes to be alone, will even call on the way home from work so that walk is not "alone". Not that I am a hermit. I have never lived alone and this house is full 365 days a year. Actually most women end up alone as they marry older men and men often die first so I'll get my chance then I expect if I really want it.

LineRunner Sat 05-May-12 17:26:44

I have made the decision to take the risk this year to try to go back into my old career. This is after a year and a bit on MN. So thanks to all who had that effect on me by osmosis!

I would like to see a course on Going Back To Your Career. No-one can pick up exactly where they left off, and it takes some courage and skills to go back there. For me, it's reading ten years of periodicals first.

My point is, sometimes Different is a Changed Same.

Sorry, I'm knee-deep in laundry and wine and am not making sense I expect.

BIWItheBold Sat 05-May-12 21:34:01

Xenia - sign me up to a week on your island. I would love to be there, and alone!

ICutMyFootOnOccamsRazor Sat 05-May-12 22:15:12

Wait - these are Mumsnet-run courses and there's no creche service on offer?

Come on MNHQ - pull yourselves together.

In the nicest possible way grin.

MrsArchieTheInventor Sun 06-May-12 00:43:38

I read the article re Justine in today's Times and on first glance it looks like courses in yummy mummy-ness for yummy mummies with too much time on their hands once their brood have flown the nest. Plus it's prohibitively expensive. Plus the courses are nowhere near me, and living in Chester-le-Street it's not like I've a shortage of major cities within an hour's train/bus ride (Newcastle, Durham, Sunderland, Darlington, York...)

How about teaming up with the OU and working with them to offer life courses that actually work, not just academically but also geographically?! Sorry to be so negative on this but tempting me with Alain de Botton or Tom Aiken will not persuade me to part with £100 plus expenses for a course on how to cook pasta, cupcakes or otherwise.

Gauchita Sun 06-May-12 08:17:26

I'm not sure whether it's been mentioned before, but for example I tried searching for "Manchester" "weekend" and the result was a blank page, which I could understand as the page telling me "there are no results matching your search criteria" but could also be taken as saying the page is not working.

Maybe something could appear to let you know there are no courses available for that search and also that some will be available soon?

Xenia Sun 06-May-12 08:24:40

Everyone providing courses has to decide their best target market and price. It would be impossible to cater to everyone. £100 is not a huge amount for a lot of women. In fact I don't know any courses in my area of work which cost anytnig like as low as that so far from being prohibitively expensive it can seem quite reasonable to a lot of people.

[As to a week on my island, it's more Robinson Crusoe than Branson's Necker so I doubt anyone would seriously want to go. In fact if people did there are about 100 islands in that group in Panama, most uninhabited and without paying there is nothing to stop people getting a boat and then just camping. If I build a one room building on it this summer (there is a tentative plan) it might be a little more comfortable there. Not quite sure how we got sidetracked to this - I had just been agreeing with the Times article about Ms Roberts in saying women and men need interests as well as children and work and taking up new challenges is good for people]

gazzalw Sun 06-May-12 08:28:30

Like the idea in theory but is there really any need to have top class chefs etc...running the cookery ones? It does make it seem a bit like a Finishing School!

However, having said that the Alain de Boton one would be spot on but just not sure whether I would be able to afford it hmm at the moment.

Merrylegs Sun 06-May-12 09:02:43

I am seeing Alain De Boton speak next week as part of the Norfolk and Norwich festival. Ticket was a fiver. I shall collar him afterwards for quick chat about aethiest religion and extentialism, offer him a pom bear, enquire as to his favourite biscuit and award myself an MN Academy accreditation. grin

Think question Xenia - how do you get to an uninhabited island in Panama? Do you charted a boat and ask them to drop you off at the nearest empty one?
<dreams wistfully>

Bonsoir Sun 06-May-12 10:36:18

Justine - your prices are mad! £100 for one parent and one child to do three hours of standard baking shock shock shock. Take a look at Paris prices with Guy Martin in Paris...

Xenia Sun 06-May-12 11:04:27

[I suspect Ms Roberts will not be happy with the thread deflection and I was doing my best to say the MN courses sound like a good thing.... BUT...
In my island group you can get a commercial flight for about £40 to the group of 100+ islands - there are hotels on that one. Then local fishermen would take you out. I tend to get a boat from the mainland direct to mine and then get collected on a particular day. The longest the children have camped there a few times has been one night. One said she woudl not stay again until there was something more comfortable than a tent no it. Another of them was on the end of her gap year out there and I bet if your parents meet you on a gap year they take you to a 5 star hotel for a bath after your days backpacking.. instead I take her off to much rougher conditions than back packing.. laughing as I type.
I might go by helicopter next time - we can land on my beach. It is not too different in price and much quicker. The only reason I used a boat last time was they were supposedly going to help me take some rubbish off and then that failed as a plan. There is a certain irony in someone who earns a reasonable amount of money and owns an island choosing to pick litter (plastic from the beach) on a holiday.. what did you do on your holiday.. I indulged in refuse collection...]

I am sure the baking courses would be great (obviously only for men as I am a real feminist who bought three new saws last year. We certainly do not want to suggest women cook. Life is far too short to stuff a mushroom etc. I haven't used the fishing rod or net yet on the island. I have laminated charts of edible and poisonous fish but not taken the risk yet. Saw whales last time out there and I was surrounded by my driver's family on the boat who were tlaking and chatting and I just wanted total silence to hear them, their whale noise, amazing... so do not bake cakes, go and earn money and then buy islands.

Merrylegs Sun 06-May-12 11:13:29

Do Not Bake Cakes.
Earn Money.
Buy Islands.

I am actually having that tatooed on my forearm tomorrow.

Bonsoir Sun 06-May-12 11:20:05

I must say that it escapes me entirely, Xenia, why you would spend your holidays in cavewoman conditions.

I would adore a holiday in cave woman conditions - if it was warm.

Xenia Sun 06-May-12 12:06:40

[This must be the worst thread deflection in history although I suppose it is about the "hinterland"/hobbies of women so not inappropriate...
I can see Bonsoir doesn't like the sound of it. I suppose it's the contrast between normal life and that. I do not want to live no it. I am very happy just going for a few days. We also go skiing. We're going away with Sunsail this summer too. So it is not as if every spare minute I want to spend on the island BUT first of all it is extremely beautiful, 28 acres, covered with massive very very old trees, the Pacfic Ocean is wonderful, the contrast between being in your own rainforest and then on the beach is good; being able to fend for yourself is quite exciting; (I have not found the reputed treasure yet, probably not there but last time I was there with all 5 children I remember thinking - there, there is my real treasure, the relationships with the children,..amazingly ,my possible ancestor a Pirate was in the same waters in the 1600s... so I have had the fun of metal detectors and correspondence with treasurehunters.. all kinds of things we might not normally do in normal life).

I suspect if we really got into the psychology of it the idea you can be away from others is attractive. It is perhaps an English characteristic that we will want to find a beach whether in Scotland or wherever where no one is; our special places are isolated, whereas so many other cultures find that hard to understand - they want other people, they want to talk along a promenade socialising every night, they want loud music and company. A lot of the English are not really made like that - we like nature, isolation, time to think and feel and be without others about us]

Anyway we can link it to the MN courses... because if you take the one on starting your own business you can buy your own island.

Bonsoir Sun 06-May-12 12:40:50

I hate ski-ing and as for sailing... my wildest nightmare. I like holidays where I can discover and explore parts of higher human civilisation that are as yet unknown to me. I also adore nature and gorgeous warm empty beaches (but think that European nature takes quite some beating).

Oh well, it takes all sorts.

MarySA Sun 06-May-12 12:56:24

I thought the prices were extortionate. Also they were all in London. But it is a good idea. I think the on-line courses somebody suggested would be a good idea. Or even some type of correspondence course.

Xenia Sun 06-May-12 12:57:13

(Ah, higher... interesting term. I like primitive. We took the children to the Kuna Indians. It felt a bit fake - rich Westerns gawp at native islanders... until it became mutual gawping, as they had a huge nubmer of albinos but had never seen a little white blonde boy (mine) who wasn't albino.
Our civilisation how can be how people interact with each other. I think a successful holiday with other people is as much about how people get on as the place where you happen to be. We can probably agree on warm empty beaches although I do not think the world's best beaches are in Europe.
Last summer the children chose the Caribbean over my plan of the Amazon jungle followed by Gallapagos Islands.)

Bonsoir Sun 06-May-12 13:09:46

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Xenia Sun 06-May-12 13:21:24

Are we talking about class/IQ issues? I am sure Paris has its fair share of philistines and peasants as much as anywhere I suppose. For lots of couples they never get on as badly as on holiday actually. The reality of holidays which people look fowrard to all year and save up for are often anit climax too much to drink and too much sun and shouting and rows. I suspect if we did a survey of mumsnetters we would find holidays are being confronted with the reality of your current relationships. Divorce lawyers get a surge of enquiries every January and September so I suspect we may be better off not suggesting holidays for most are about higher things. Sometimes they mean more sex I suppose.

LynnCSchreiber Sun 06-May-12 13:21:37

I like the idea, and would be happy if there were more courses in Edinburgh or other Scottish cities.

I think that the prices need to be compared with other commercial ventures, not with local authorities courses or the like.

I bought my Dad a cookery course for his birthday one year (it was suggested in MN in fact) and it was about £100 iirc.

And other writer's workshops that I have seen are around the same price of the ones offered.

I will keep an eye on it, and perhaps try out one of the courses.

(PS Do you need anyone to do a Blogger or Twitter course?)

Bonsoir Sun 06-May-12 13:25:20

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

EmilyPollifaxInnocentTourist Sun 06-May-12 13:38:13

I think running courses with celebrities is a mistake. Local and online courses with qualified instructors interests me; not paying to learn to cook with Martin Wishart.

I also think all the offensive comments about "primitive people" should be deleted for being utterly rude, arrogant and mean-spirited. This is supposed to be a supportive community not a place for sanctimonious braggarts.

LynnCSchreiber Sun 06-May-12 13:49:09

Agree, Emily.

Perhaps Bonsoir and Xenia could take their discussion of primitive people elsewhere so that we can get back to discussing the academy.

<retires to cave>

I think it's a lovely idea.

But all it makes me want to do is scoot over to the relevant sections of MN and ask if any willing MNer could teach me for free/recommend a cheap teacher in my areas. The point being, I already know there are an awful lot of MNers with an awful lot of skills and they share them generously. And from the comfort of my own sofa. That is the attraction of MN's different sections, no?

And good point about the male/female balance, whoever pointed that out.

LineRunner Sun 06-May-12 13:58:44

To be honest I've picked up more DIY tips from MN's Good Housekeeping board than anywhere else, ever.

LRD's right - MN is already a bit of an academy.

LynnCSchreiber Sun 06-May-12 14:08:10

That is true, LRD, but there are people who would be interested in this idea and would be willing to pay for a course. And MNHQ are after all a business and have to make some money -- for biscuits--

LynnCSchreiber Sun 06-May-12 14:09:48

for biscuits

meh.

Perhaps we could have a How to Link Effectively and Strikethrough for Beginners The Clumsy

With free add-on course - Why Preview Message is Your Friend

I take your point mme. I've no issue with MN needing to make money.

What I wouldn't want to see, would be the established help and teaching that already goes on being suppressed because HQ want to promote this. I'm sure it won't happen, but when people mentioned getting MNers to run courses, that was what sprung to my mind.

LynnCSchreiber Sun 06-May-12 14:17:25

I doubt that would happen, LRD. When have MNetters ever shut up when they could be imparting their wisdom? Even when they impart that wisdom elsewhere. wink

Xenia Sun 06-May-12 14:19:00

If the site made no money it would not be here. There will be mummies who can afford the fees.

(ML, I will stop, sorry. There is a cave round the side of the island but they think it unlikely the treasure would be there as unbelievably sailors in the 1800s often could not swim so avoided burying it in caves full of water).

grin I hope so!

It just bears repeating that there is such a huge difference in terms of the level of knowledge and willingness to share that knowledge you find on MN, from what you usually find on the net.

But ignore me, MNHQ, I'm probably just wittering.

I do think the male/female ratio wants looking at though.

Xenia Sun 06-May-12 14:44:04

1. It sounds like a good list, lots of typical (sadly) stuff women supposedly like, cooking etc

2. I used to give a course on work life balance in my area of work which is another topic for full time working men and women perhaps which could be added.

3. We are in a recession so courses for women returning to work (or trying to) who have been out of their business area for a while can be popular but that tends to be profession specific.

4. I have not checked all the topics other than those listed first but somethjing on internet marketing might be useful. I have advised women taking over or setting up internet businesses and they often have great ideas but the whole thing never takes off as they have no idea how to market it.

ICutMyFootOnOccamsRazor Sun 06-May-12 15:22:57

Also agree that I can already do most of the things offered that are of interest to me.

I'd be much more interested in courses where my knowledge is deficient. As others have said I'd like to learn how to do things like:

Basic maintenance on my car: oil change, brake disc replacement etc

I'd like to improve my carpentry/plumbing/electrical skills. In fact, a general building maintenance course would be useful, with things like organising a schedule of regular maintenance and doing some of it yourself.

I want to learn how to build my own solar water heater and would like to learn more about alternative technology in general

I'd rather learn about vegetable gardening than about garden design, for instance

Dog grooming would be handy.

I think, in essence, more practical, less esoteric would be good.

Bonsoir Sun 06-May-12 19:16:21

Courses in Economics and in Management Accounting (Activity Based Costing) would clear up a lot of common MN misunderstandings.

Bonsoir Sun 06-May-12 19:55:47

And maybe people who sign up for cupcake baking at £100 a pop could have a free psychotherapy session thrown in so that they can understand why they are quite so profligate? wink

ChangingForTheBetter Sun 06-May-12 20:20:09

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

TheSecondComing Sun 06-May-12 20:35:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stubbornstains Sun 06-May-12 20:35:37

That has to be one of the most funny thread deflections I've ever seen....Signing up for the Primitive Living on a Tropical Island Course right away. I would love to build a primitive dwelling with local materials- maybe a bender?

Why not get Ohyoubadbadkitten to run a one-day course in Understanding Meteorology?

ChangingForTheBetter Sun 06-May-12 20:41:00

Sorry, I meant £500. So £10 cheaper. Not much, but if you forgot to add in the discount code?

TSC - exactly. It just doesnt look good. They look like they are loading the course fees. So people would be more likely, seeing that, to go direct to a course rather than through MN iyswim?

TheSecondComing Sun 06-May-12 20:48:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MooBaaWoofCheep Sun 06-May-12 21:07:07

you know.. hate to sound negative.. but, in a nut shell

i think its a waste of time, a waste of money and a completely useless rip-off.

i wont be partaking.

blush stubborn stains <chokes at the thought> I'd have to ermmm, perhaps get some quals in the subject myself first.

Mind you, the pay wouldn't go amiss!

EmilyPollifaxInnocentTourist Sun 06-May-12 21:14:07

TSC - I assume she meant people with manners since most adults wouldn't even contemplate using such an offensive expression considering it's origins in racist discourse.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 06-May-12 21:19:18

Would prefer courses that are more different tbh. For example, Mary Beard tallking about Roman History. Now I would pay a lot o go on a course like that. But the kind of courses you are proposing don't seem that unique tbh.

Xenia Sun 06-May-12 21:38:03

I suspec there might be demand for some therapy type courses, yes as suggested abvoe and may be they are on the list. A few trendy in the media therapists would fit with the other courses planned too.

What about

How to save your marriage.

Improve your sex life.

Living with depression

Weight loss or eating for health (one of my big topics that good food keeps you physically and mentally healthy - cup cakes definitely banned, sugar being the root of all evil).. give up cup cakes and transform your life etc etc...

(I was not really trying to deflect the thread... I was saying women should keep and have hobbies and agreeing with the MN comments in yesterday's Times and regarding the courses. "Signing up for the Primitive Living on a Tropical Island Course right away. I would love to build a primitive dwelling with local materials- maybe a bender?" I was about to export a POD there www.thepod.info/locationmap.php, got a shipper and everything but my local man says termites will eat it to pieces...(and I suspect he wants the fees to build the simple hut).. so we have been researching making concrete and salt v fresh water. I suppose my point is if you find a different hobby so many different things can come out of that.

The island is covered in lots of wood and lots of stones so in theory there is a lot building material already there. The aim would be to build something no one woudl steal or burn and perhaps leave it open like a bothy on the moors and so it does not cost too much so doesn't matter if some idiot destroys it. Could be a competition for architecture students - things to build on an island which cannot be removed hurt or stolen. I could give them a prize)

BIWItheBold Sun 06-May-12 21:50:40

How about some feminism/women's rights courses?

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 06-May-12 21:54:33

Some courses on feminism would be brilliant!

Garden design, cooking, baking, etc is fine - but it is really really easy to find good well run courses on these types of subjects

GeekLove Sun 06-May-12 22:23:12

The courses I've seen so far do seem a bit yummy mummy. Practical DIY would be good but at the risk of dismissing 'yummy mummy' courses there is an opportunity for more unusual but practical courses out there.

For example

Buying/renting a house - what to look for. How to identify structural weakness, damp - poor DIY. How to check fixtures and fittings. What you can test and check.

Getting the most out of selling your old stuff on Ebay - tips and tricks to maximise the chances of selling.

Courses based on 'thrifty' skills like how to sew, repair and make new clothes out of old, how to feed a family on £20 a week. Of course the prices should reflect this.

The danger of this Academy idea is that some of these ideas are in danger of being redundant because of Mumsnet itself. However it could be an idea to harness skills and knowlege of Mumsnetters that are prepared to share their skills.

ouryve Sun 06-May-12 23:22:21

*Birmingham, Edinburgh and London

Nowhere near here, then.

And the prices are shock to be honest. Even the "cheapest: £100 just to learn to bake sponge cakes is eyewatering.

LynnCSchreiber Sun 06-May-12 23:48:07

From the OP:

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

So presumably when we were asked, people said they wanted courses on baking/cooking/garden design etc.

TheSecondComing Mon 07-May-12 00:42:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheSecondComing Mon 07-May-12 00:43:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SkipTheLightFanjango Mon 07-May-12 00:45:32

What about "How to learn something without spending hundreds to do it"!!! Bloody hell...the prices are shocking!

ninah Mon 07-May-12 00:52:20

the academy thing makes me want to heave
how much is the uniform?

ninah Mon 07-May-12 00:55:42

I'd love xenia's island bender building though

LynnCSchreiber Mon 07-May-12 01:37:52

Tbh, I don't know why there is such shock at the prices.

Yes, they are expensive but you are asking a professional person to spend x hours teaching people how to do something, and they will expect to be paid for this.

Plus the hire of rooms etc.

MN is a business, and as such they need to offer professional services, not a "who fancies teaching some other MNetters how to bake cakes" kind of thing.

They are quite comparable to other similar courses on offer, that are arranged as a money-making venture, not as a community based project.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 07-May-12 08:55:03

I don't have a problem with the prices. I just wish there was a more interesting range of courses. I think I contributed to the thread on courses we would like and I did say garden design - and it is the only one that interests me. And I do remember people saying they wanted cookery courses, and baking with their kids, etc. So people did ask for the individual courses. But the overall impression of the courses is just kind of boring. You need some more unusual ones to hook people in.

Bonsoir Mon 07-May-12 09:14:35

The courses are seriously Bunting Cupcake - overpriced frippery. But that's the way MN is going these days...

ouryve Mon 07-May-12 09:46:59

Mme Lindor - £100 for a few hours learning to bake is outrageous, however you look at it. The local FE colleges do evening classes, in a professional kitchen, taught by professionals for £12.50 per 2 hour session. They include some in depth "field to fork" sessions on meat and game as well. All this without the travel and overnight hotel stay (And I could do a gourmet weekend at Swinton Park for £340, including accommodation if i wanted to go for the luxury experience - still a lot less travelling involved)

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 07-May-12 09:50:13

I know what you are saying ouryve. But if it was something I really wanted to do I would pay this and a lot more. But it has to be something different. I would pay a lot to go on a course where Mary Beard for example was talking about Roman History.

Merrylegs Mon 07-May-12 10:02:21

(ignores island)

I don't think there is a problem with the prices or the courses tbh - I think it's just the way it's being packaged.

If MN had said for eg 'we have teamed up with the talented bakers at the cookery school to give MNers 15% off a cupcakey-bunting course'. That I get.

I don't want to book, for eg an overpriced glamping holiday at Featherdown Farms and get a free chicken coop for the duration, but I absolutely understand the offer, (which appears in the partner offers section of this website.)

It's the Academy that's the rub.

And calling it a 'thing' in the thread title really bugs me and suggests MN aren't really sure what it is either. Rather than being disingenuous about the whole idea ('a thing/ shuffles feet/only little us') they need to present it with some authority about what MAKES it an MN Academy, or not at all.

Bonsoir Mon 07-May-12 10:13:15

I see your point, Merrylegs, but actually it does bother me that MN should be any kind of intermediary for cupcake baking courses at £100 a pop. It's fantastically frivolous and pointless to spend £100 learning to bake a cupcake. Is that what MN wants to be perceived as - frivolous?

Is that what MN wants to be perceived as - frivolous?

Well you gotta admit, its a step up from sweary nest of vipers, non? grin

Some people want to do a baking course, well good for them. Not my cup of tea, but I'm not going to peer down my nose at the people who do.

Hell, if MN was only going to offer courses that I was interested in, I'm pretty sure the rest of the forum would collapse of boredom at the finer points of SLA writing, how to argue negotiate with vendors and how to present evidence at disciplinary hearings.

....Actually, you know what? I probably could do with a break from that shit and may go and bake some cupcakes instead.

Bonsoir Mon 07-May-12 10:31:25

I've got nothing against baking per se (cooking is a nice relaxing and creative activity), it's the message that spending £100 on doing it is OK that is frivolous.

BIWItheBold Mon 07-May-12 10:38:38

But it's not just cupcake baking is it? There are all manner of less frivolous options, and Patrick and Justine have made it clear that there is more to come - some of which will be more practical in orientation.

And some people on MN, which is now a huge community, will want to go on cupbake baking courses. What's wrong with that?

Why on earth spending £100 on learning something could be construed as frivolous is beyond me. How many people on here will go out and drop that much money on a pair of shoes or a new handbag without even thinking about it? Both of which, IMVHO, are far more frivolous.

Yes, there will be people who can't afford it. There are lots of posters who are suffering financially at the moment. But that doesn't mean that MN should stop developing such offers for other posters who do have the financial wherewithal.

And as has been pointed out, MN is a business - they are doing this as a commercial enterprise.

But people pay that to do adult education courses all the time. Flower arranging, baking, pottery - they could all be considered frivolous. But if someone wants to spent £100 of their own money on doing something that interests them then its a bit off to question their choices.

I spent that much once once on an on-line auction for a really rare and extremely nerdy computer game. grin

BIWItheBold Mon 07-May-12 11:13:38

.... and no-one is saying that people have to buy these courses!

It's like complaining about Sainsbury's selling expensive extra virgin olive oil or some such. If you don't like it, can't afford it and think it's frivolous, there are plenty other cheaper other options - as well as the option to give it a miss.

Xenia Mon 07-May-12 11:53:21

You only have to look at the topics on many threads to hold your head in shame at the things in which some women are interested. They even prefer Heat to the FT, some of them. All we can do on feminism and other threads is tyr to make them see beyond kinder, kuche and kirche and ensure their lives are not the four walls of the home as in some Saudi ghetto.

The idea of the course is to have hobbies. Even better would be to broaden their minds and increase their pay. Make them interested in the finances of the household. Plenty of women divorce and have no idea about money, where P45s are, what is a pension. I suspect what would do them good would be courses on money management, investment, legal rights etc rather than how to paint dotty spots on your nails.

What MN has to do though is pick what people will buy and what people who have money will buy as those without money are not likely to buy anything - hardest recession for years.

Bonsoir Mon 07-May-12 13:36:58

"Why on earth spending £100 on learning something could be construed as frivolous is beyond me."

Do you really believe that there is going to be much (any) learning involved? I think it's frivolous because there will be next to no learning - it's a just a very expensive cupcake/sponge IMVHO.

Mumsnet - broker of the £100 cupcake. A massive commercial coup, I grant you grin

OldBagWantsNewBag Mon 07-May-12 15:19:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Xenia Mon 07-May-12 15:22:41

I am rather amused that learnign to bake withyour childre might be regarded as women getting away from hearth and home and into development of their hinteland. It sounds more like how to keep women changed to house and home if they pick that particular course (and I am very biased against foods which damage children and adults of which the cup cake is just about one of the worst in creation).

"How to poison your child, contribute to the obesity epidemic, lose £100 and help ensure the stereotype of mother chained to the ktichen all in one go".

However they do have a course on setting up businesses. I think they could add one too on philosphy perhaps and may be economics and certainly investments - you would probably find a good financial adviser who might do that one for nothing in the hope of winning commission income.

Bonsoir Mon 07-May-12 15:28:28

A course for parents and children on political systems would be good. We've spent an intensive fortnight, and a less intensive month before that, talking politics with our DCs, watching the TV debates etc, culminating in DP taking DD to the polling booth yesterday afternoon.

We've all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves but it would be good to meet other families and have some instruction too.

BIWItheBold Mon 07-May-12 15:57:52

Yes of course it's learning, if it's something you didn't know how to do beforehand! Do you think I'm stupid or something, Bonsoir?

And, Xenia, I spend most of my time working, full-time (more than, sometimes), running my own business and making my own money. (Not enough to buy my own island, sadly, but enough to keep me satisfied). I quite like the idea of developing my skills in the kitchen, because it's a place I don't spend enough time in - for my own satisfaction. OK?

minsmum Mon 07-May-12 16:08:48

The courses are too expensive for me I'm afraid.

LynnCSchreiber Mon 07-May-12 17:21:37

Jeeez, Bonsoir and Xenia. Do you have to work hard to be this worthy?

It is FUN. We and our kids are allowed to have fun. And if you think that an occasional cupcake is going to damage your childrens' lives forever (and is the cause of the obesity epidemic) then you are massively oversimplifying the problems that our society faces.

Many women on MN are professionals who deal with stuff such as P45s on a daily basis and would like to spend some time at weekends doing other things.

When we start to equate baking cupcakes with Kinder, Küche, Kirche style anti-feminism then we are doing ourselves a great disservice.

As to the point that local FE offer courses much cheaper - that is my point. Of course there are cheaper courses, but they are not commercial ventures. The classes that I have seen advertised have been around this price.

LynnCSchreiber Mon 07-May-12 17:33:00

I do agree though, that more diverse courses would be good.

I would like:

- setting up your own business
- history with Mary Beard
- psychology with Phillipa Perry

Would love to go to a lecture with people such as Ken Robinson - kind of like the TED talks - or other inspirational speakers.

Xenia Mon 07-May-12 17:36:17

I don't agree ML. I think there is something very pernicious about cupcakes. You could write a feminist essay on them. First there is the sugar is literally killing us as a nation. Secondly it is the stepford wife home baking thing woman as perfectionist - why not just leave men to bake? Why take on that stereotypes female role?

Also why reward children with in effect an addictive poison - sugar? I have a lot to say about cupcakes actually. However I was not knocking the putting on of these courses ni general. I think I have been quite supportive above.
I did rather like my line:
"How to poison your child, contribute to the obesity epidemic, lose £100 and help ensure the stereotype of mother chained to the ktichen all in one go".

scottishmummy Mon 07-May-12 17:39:27

ghastly classes for the chattering classes
at a trifling £100
yuk

scottishmummy Mon 07-May-12 17:42:38

the urban myth cupcake making=prosperity and school fees paid for imogen,Oliver,and Sophie . accompanied by fresh faced piccie if mc mum who frosted and baked her way to prosperity

I would like to point out that men surely are welcome on the baking courses too, so they are not just aimed at women.
If I did gave.money to waste, Dh and I would do one of the cooking courses together. He is a chef and I think e would enjoy it. Have fun

LynnCSchreiber Mon 07-May-12 17:44:50

Why single out cupcakes though? Or baking. I don't think that the obesity epidemic is the fault of twee hand made baked goods.

More likely it is due to over-processed factory made cardboard food. I have noticed a massive increase in ready made meals in UK in recent years.

My brother bakes, in fact he is setting up a business to sell the products he makes. And I know several very successful women who have started their own businesses baking cakes, or opening a café.

Bloody typos, am on phone.

Xenia Mon 07-May-12 17:47:15

Indeed, sm. One almost feels one could write a thesis on the rise and fall of the cupcake. I am not even sure we ever called them that 20 years ago. It sounds like an American name but I might be wrong.

You ghetto-ise women into low earning stuff in hobby careers where you know they will never make a bean rather than encouraging them to go into energy trading or whatever. ALthough I ssuppose given its addictive properties and popularity investment in a commodity like sugar is not always a bad thing. We could get mumsnetters to put up the cash to buy the world's current stocks of a particular commodity and then make money at that perhaps. There was a man who bought a huge amount of the then current stocks of cacao and he did rather well although as with tobacco people may well have ethical problems with investing in an addictive substance and profting from it. Mind you they should have the same ethical issues about the wretched cupcakes themselves.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 07-May-12 17:52:25

Thanks for all your feedback, folks. All v useful.

We appreciate that the Academy courses are never going to tickle everyone's fancy but we're pretty hopeful, from some of the more positive responses and from initial bookings smile, that they'll appeal to good number of Mumsnetters.

As both Patrick and Justine have said earlier on in this thread, there are plenty more cupcake-free courses in the pipeline. And plenty of courses to start planning, after some of the great suggestions here.

And, for those of you who say they are looking for a "start your own business" course, there is already one in the programme here.

Bonsoir Mon 07-May-12 18:34:15

I love this thread because Xenia, ScottishMummy and I all agree admittedly only about -cupcakes--

LeeCoakley Mon 07-May-12 18:49:11

The family cooking one looks good. Another one I fancied was introductory skills by Martin Wishert but reading the blurb it said confident cooks only, not for those looking for an introduction to cooking so it's not clear what the course is offering. Apologies if someone has already asked this, I'm just too lazy to check through the thread.

LeeCoakley Mon 07-May-12 18:52:12

I'm also seconding what someone said earlier. A course of basic carpentry/plumbing/drilling holes would be excellent.

Frontpaw Mon 07-May-12 19:05:34

Do they count as CPD? grin

LynnCSchreiber Mon 07-May-12 19:06:57

Xenia
You are assuming that the woman who is making cupcakes would be interested and able to make a career in energy trading, and able to arrange her life and childcare around her career.

Which is all very well, but I find it hugely insulting to anyone who had carved a living out of what you so patronisingly term a 'hobby career'.

Not all women are frustrated would be multi-millionaires. Not all women want and are able to be financially successful in a way that you would define.

Some women simply wish to assert their independence by earning their own money and are content with a lower wage if it means that they can spend time with their families.

In no way do I mean that the woman who wants a high flying career is wrong, or a bad mother. It is simply not the choice that everyone would make and we should respect that.

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Fillybuster Mon 07-May-12 20:31:18

I'm going to ignore The Cupcake Wars and submit my feedback now I've had time for a proper nosey around the microsite.

Overall, I think its a stonking idea. Yes, its a little London-centric, but that's ok (admittedly, I live here, so am biaised). And the courses should be a combination of serious and fun, so no problem with cupcakes and the like.

But I think the courses and presentation could be improved as follows:

1) More information. For example, the Tom Aikens course does not list the food that will be cooked. I'd love to attend a masterclass session, but am Pescatarian/Vegetarian so would only sign up if I knew I could enjoy most/all of the dishes. Ditto for the lunch provided. Oh, and the dodgy credit history does make me wonder if you couldn't have found an alternative 'famous chef' for your launch, if you had to have one in there?

2) (Along the same lines) Can we have a Feed Your Family for 2 Weeks for Vegetarians please?

3) Whilst the Dragons Den hook looks good, some more practical courses (Finance for Beginners, Strategic Planning, Budget Management and Forecasting, How to Use PowerPoint/Excel/MS Project) might be more useful for MNers looking to extend their business skills and experience?

4) The prices are a little....pricey...some of the courses in particular seem like a lot of money for not very many hours of tuition.

5) The School of Life titles look very promising....

6) Despite risking the 'Stepford' label, I'd like to see some more 'crafty' courses. I can bake/cook just fine, but I would love a day of jewellery making, or pottery, or candle making or.....you get the picture.....and would far rather take a day off work for something like that than to go to a spa or somesuch.

Thanks MN smile

BIWItheBold Mon 07-May-12 20:31:56

<sniggers>

BIWItheBold Mon 07-May-12 20:33:03

Sorry Filly - I wasn't sniggering at you blush

Fillybuster Mon 07-May-12 20:34:33

<phew> Thanks Biwi....I was just about to search my excellent and well constructed post in search of some embarrassing double pun....

FrankWippery Mon 07-May-12 20:39:15

<snorts>

Cupcakes anyone? My sorry lazy arsed self baked a load today.

LeBOF Mon 07-May-12 20:41:16

I don't think that's fair, Keema. Bonsour takes a great interest in the restriction of carbohydrate-based snacks and ascertaining how fat one is allowed to be in public. She could definitely do it professionally if she needed to.

scottishmummy Mon 07-May-12 20:41:56

I'm happy to be called smug for not desiring cupcake classes

EmilyPollifaxInnocentTourist Mon 07-May-12 20:44:58

Since MNHQ aren't requiring you to attend cupcake classes in order to be a member, it's a bit odd to be running about insulting others who might like it.

Words on a screen and all that.

scottishmummy Mon 07-May-12 20:47:12

well hang on mn is touting for business
£100 a pop
so actually mn is hoping we all sidpgn up en masse fir cup cake and bakery class. as the cupcake and bakery = profit and mula

Bonsoir Mon 07-May-12 20:48:11

wordfactory - no, I don't believe in the 75% tax band. Just a vote spinner for those who hate the "rich". In fact, Hollande won't be able to fulfil almost all his manifesto promises and there will soon be riots on the streets by those who voted for him.

LynnCSchreiber Mon 07-May-12 21:12:00

oooh, have just noticed the School of Life section - I would definitely be interested in that. I really fancy doing one of their courses.

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

Reference Roger's profanisaurus for cupcakes...

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

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'.

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

scottishmummy

What on Earth are you on about?

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

keep up
less time showing off bold
more time reading thread

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 22:21:10

is that your best come back?

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

grin

Suppose so.

Good fairycakes though eh?

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 22:40:01

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 22:43:23

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

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?

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.

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 !

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.

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

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

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!

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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