The Development Education Centre opened its doors in 1975 in the Gillet Centre, Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham.  A Resources Shop provided a focus for the centre that served educators from across the West Midlands.  Core support came from partnerships with Oxfam, Selly Oak Colleges and City of Birmingham Education Dept.  There was a range of activity.  Curriculum work with local teachers emerged as a strength, and also a challenge.  

In the 1980s this evolved to the network Tide~ [teachers in development education] offering ‘space’ for teacher creativity through a variety of projects.  Tide~ was also established as a charity and company managed by educators elected from the membership.  This Trustee structure continues.

In 2004 Tide~ global learning opened a new base in central Birmingham at Millennium Point. This, and a wider range of financial support including DfID’s development education fund, enabled the further development of a distinctive style of work.  Over the years thousands of local teachers, many of whom now have senior leadership positions, have contributed to the network and to the materials such as those featured in this website.  The development of learning resources led by classroom practitioners also offered CPD opportunities linked to gaining confidence in leadership roles and, for example strategies for addressing curriculum change.

The Tide~ approach received wide recognition, not least from DfID.  In particular DfID was interested in the Forward Thinking initiative.  We were commissioned to set up a consultation that led to the Enabling Effective Support [ESS] initiative with a programme in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and each of the regions in England.  

Funding for the centre in Millennium Point was secured locally but running costs were linked to DfID backing for the Tide~ initiative: 'West Midlands Coalition for global learning'.  Post election in 2010 this funding was unexpectedly terminated in a way that made it very difficult to secure alternatives, and the centre was forced to close.  Since then the main work focused on an EU funded project ‘Young people on the global stage: their education and influence’ involving work locally and in Spain, The Gambia and Kenya.  See Lenses on the world.  When that project was in its final phase it became clear that Tide~, like many other NGOs, might have been forced to cease its activities.  That led to a consultation and much debate … and proposals to the 2016 Tide~ AGM.  See '2020 Tide~ Vision' and discussion paper from the 2017 AGM.

The consultation also highlighted a synergy in style and thinking between Birmingham Education Partnership [BEP] and Tide~.    As Tim Boyce [Director BEP] put it -  

“BEP is all about  equipping colleagues at all levels to be system leaders.  We want system leadership that is informed by the global which means engaging with that complexity and thinking afresh about the implications.  I greatly value Tide’s legacy and its approach to facilitating teachers collaborating and learning.  They make a great addition to our work.”

A joint project worker was set up with BEP.  There were a range of activities, for example Young Leaders sharing Global Perspectives  The project ended due to funding.  The potential for future work with BEP is being explored.

Tide~ is seeking to revitalise the network and it's approach

by developing new roles for the website, the Elephant Times magazine, a new sustainable core structure and membership.  See Tide~ Network Hub.