We chatted to Alison Kriel, Founder of Above & Beyond, to hear more about her venture and how it evolved during the pandemic.
How did you come up with the idea Above & Beyond?
Having worked in Education my whole working life, including 20 years as an inner-city Executive Head Teacher, I have always felt that one of the biggest problems in Education is that no one celebrates and shares the great stuff that happens.
That’s why I wanted to build an online platform that is an open space for those making a difference in Education. I wanted to create a community where people could come together to share ideas and have meaningful and professional conversations to make every school a great place. I believe every child deserves a great education and every teacher deserves to feel valued and know that they are part of the greater good.
How has the company evolved during the pandemic
The pandemic has impacted Education a lot, but whereas many people insist on talking about it from a negative perspective, I see the period as beautiful proof of how brave and creative our teachers are – they managed to adapt and make wonders in less than 48 hours.
This also made me realise this was the best time to focus on Above & Beyond so I have used this period to reset goals, understand every step of the process and work our way to get Above & Beyond up and running. We launched the beta version of the platform during lockdown and worked with a test group of people to get their feedback.
The feedback was unanimously positive but they all said for it to work well it would be better as an app rather than a website, so this is what we’ve spent the last few months doing and we are so excited the app is finally ready!
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What can we hope to see from Above & Beyond in the future?
Our main goal for the future is to grow our member base and ensure that the platform is welcoming, practical and useful for all. We want it to be the place everyone thinks of when they have a question, want to celebrate a recent success or just want to talk to like minded professionals. We want the site to serve the needs of all its users so we will be having regular meetings with our User Group to find out what is needed so we can continually update the site to maximize its potential for helping others. We are soon going to be launching weekly podcasts, regular webinars and events to help build our community and share topical news so expect to see lots of us! Furthermore, talking about the future of Above & Beyond is also talking about the future of education – I hope that we can, through this project, create a strong community with people dedicated to transforming the education sector and that together we can make every school a great school.