The Felipe Segovia Foundation strives to project the educational thinking of the founder of SEK Education Group, not only in the classrooms of SEK International Schools and Camilo José Cela University, but also to improve the Spanish educational system overall. In order to do this, it focuses its activity on the three axes of work that are the basis for its creative action and which should be the guiding thread of all pedagogical reflection: Freedom and education, teaching dignity and leadership, and educational research and innovation.

“We aim to pay homage to Felipe Segovia and celebrate his life and work, to recover his transcendental legacy advocating for the improvement of education, to remember his ardent defence of the freedom of students, teachers and schools, his passionate commitment to the dignity of each teacher and his certainty that, for too many years, a different educational model has not only been possible but is absolutely necessary. ” (Nieves Segovia. Speech in Academic Homage to Felipe Segovia. 6 June 2013).

SEK Educational Community

A constant in the life and work of Felipe Segovia was his vocation for innovation in all aspects of education. Aspects tackled by this reformist perspective included the school space; the use of resources for the teaching process; the change in methods; the new role of teachers and students; organisation and leadership of schools and redesigning the curriculum. His illustrious vision of an educational model ahead of its time and extending beyond the limits of the conventional classroom led to innovative educational experiences such as the first technology applied to education in the 60s, the construction of cutting-edge schools, open-space classrooms, the introduction in Spain of the International Baccalaureate, the recasting of quality standards for continuous improvements at schools and the Intelligent Classroom in 1995.

The Felipe Segovia Foundation Education Research and Innovation Area aims to foster and celebrate innovation initiatives in Spain and abroad that lead to significant improvements in students’ learning experiences. The Foundation presents awards for best teaching practices and grants to applied research projects. (See the latest awards). The Foundation hosted the Global Education Forum, a space for reflection and debate on the necessary transformation of the education system, in order to encourage participation by all social agents.

Felipe Segovia’s thinking and work in education are rooted in respect for the dignity and freedom of mankind. Moreover, for over half a century he was a passionate advocate for freedom in all its forms: The freedom for each student and teacher to pursue personal perfection; freedom of parents to choose the teaching model that best suited their ideals and the freedom to create free and independent educational centres. Schools that were free from any ties to public authorities and economic or religious groups, thus leading to the creation of a unique and one-of-a-kind educational project.

The programme of activities of the Felipe Segovia Foundation featured in this chapter includes the creation of an observatory on financing models for the education sector; an analysis of education systems that favour freedom and diversity in teaching projects with the least state intervention and research into private, social and business participation in the education sector

Over his entire professional career, Felipe Segovia was above all else, a teacher. Therefore, he tackled the rethinking of teaching from an effective and applied perspective. In order to channel his concerns on the improvement of the education system, and secure in his conviction that teachers should be the main agents of this change, he developed many new initiatives aimed at the professionalisation of teaching, defining a new role for teachers in the classroom and the school management team. Other notable works included the publication of Didascalia, the first education research journal to be published in Spain, and the organisation of many conventions, symposiums and congresses on education, as well as opening the SEK Teacher Training centre, among other initiatives. The School of Education of Camilo José Cela University, as part of its Teaching and Learning Institute, represents the high-point of a long career in teaching training and innovation.

In order to contribute to the perfecting of teaching, the Felipe Segovia Foundation aspires to create professional learning community that acknowledges and recognises best practices in the classroom with the awarding of specialisation grants in Spain and abroad and the creation of university chairs devoted to the improvement of foundation teacher training courses and those of school management teams.