About Us

The Centre for Self Managed Learning (CSML) is a UK registered charity. The Centre was established as a non-profit organisation in 1993 and was granted charitable status in 2005

Self Managed Learning (SML), created by Dr Ian Cunningham, is a unique, research-based and practically proven approach to learning that delivers significant benefits over conventional methods.

Our aim is to develop and promote the wider use of Self Managed Learning for people of all ages, in all sectors of society. We are dedicated to increasing the effectiveness of learning in society by continuing the development of the methods and application of SML

  • Providing free access to information, research, news and articles about SML
  • Collaborating with universities and other bodies on new research and publications
  • Creating events, workshops and conferences to increase levels of understanding
  • Providing programmes for different sectors

The charity is governed by a Board of Trustees made up of people who have a deep commitment to SML, most of whom have personally experienced the approach. They meet at least 3 times a year to plan and review strategy and financial governance. CSML publishes annual financial reports which are lodged with both Companies House and the Charities Commission.

Programmes have been provided in a wide variety of contexts, including

For Organisations

In the private, public and voluntary sectors in the UK and internationally. Strategic Developments International Limited (SDI), a social enterprise consultancy which donates its net profits to the charity, has provided programmes for people at all levels from CEO’s to apprentices, both in-house and across consortia. The SML framework has been used to support businesses in a number of different contexts, including leadership development, business development and cultural change.

For Young People

Outside mainstream schooling through the Self Managed Learning College. The College is the Centre’s main project, led by its Chair of Governors, Dr Ian Cunningham, providing SML to students aged 9 – 16 in Sussex since 2002. The College also provides regular placement opportunities for university students who wish to study the approach.

In Schools

In schools and other education settings around the world including Europe, Asia and the Americas. An example case study of a programme is St Luke’s school in Portsmouth, UK.

In Other Contexts

Including higher level educational qualification programmes from HND to MSc level, parent groups, sports coaches and people nearing retirement.

Board Of Trustees


Rose Luckin is Professor of Learner Centred Design at the UCL Knowledge Lab in London. Her research involves the design and evaluation of educational technology using theories from the learning sciences and techniques from Artificial Intelligence (AI).

She has a particular interest in using AI to open up the ‘black box’ of learning to show teachers and students the detail of their progress intellectually, emotionally and socially. Rose is also Director of EDUCATE, a London hub for Educational Technology StartUps, researchers and educators to work together on the development of evidence-informed Educational Technology.

Rose was named on the Seldon List 2017 as one of the 20 most influential people in Education.

Dr Carmel Kent

Carmel became interested in Self-Managed Learning when researching evidence-based pedagogical approaches that could offer a safe and inclusive environment for young people who did not find schools as such. Carmel’s lived experience, as well as her academic research in social learning and educational technologies, led her to commit to developing opportunities for joyful and community-based educational offerings for young people who found themselves on the fringe of the mainstream educational system. After meeting Ian and diving into the practices around it, Carmel opened a new Self-Managed Learning centre in Oxford, UK.

Carmel is also a data scientist, supporting educational organisations in realising the potential of their data, and is advocating for young people’s rights to develop healthily to become autonomous and self-regulated learners.


Ian chairs the Board of Trustees of the Centre for Self Managed Learning.

He created Self Managed Learning in the late 1970’s. He was the first person to be awarded a PhD in Management Learning from the University of Lancaster. He has published nine books and over 150 articles and papers in areas such as education, learning, leadership and organisational change.

He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Utah, Middlesex University, the Technical Teacher Training Institute, Bhopal and most recently in Organisational Learning at Kodolányi János University of Applied Science, Hungary. He set up Strategic Developments International Ltd, a consultancy working across all corporate sectors. He is now its honorary President. He has acted as a learning consultant to most of the world’s largest international companies as well as to the UK National Health Service, Government departments and local authorities.

He is a dancer with the Three Score Dance Company in Brighton. His last educational qualification (2011) was to qualify as an oxy-acetylene welder.

Dr Stewart Glaspole

Stewart has been a Trustee of the Centre since 2023 and also acts as the Centre’s Company Secretary.

He has been a local resident since 2010 after moving to Brighton in 2000 where he took up a post at the local hospital as a clinical pharmacist. Shortly after, he gained a teaching position shared between the local health commissioning organisation and the University of Brighton where he has been for over 20 years.

Stewart completed his professional doctorate in education in 2008, specialising in educational psychology, and has been teaching a range of undergraduate and postgraduate students ever since. His clinical interest is rheumatology, and his research focuses on the teaching and learning of numeracy.

Stewart is partially deaf and is the disability workstream lead for the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion committee within the University of Brighton’s School of Applied Sciences.

Randall Hardy

Randall has lived in Shropshire since 2007. He and his wife moved there from the Manchester area, where their older children learned in a small school which operated as a parents’ cooperative. It was in that setting they discovered home education, which they then adopted with their younger children. All their children are now adults, with families of their own.

After first becoming aware of the political climate affecting home educators around the time the Badman Review in 2009, Randall has continued to monitor developments relevant to HE in the UK ever since.

Randall maintains an ongoing interest in home education, having witnessed its benefits in his own family. He is particularly exercised about the increasing pressures which home educators now find themselves under globally and seeks to encourage parents everywhere to value their parenthood and think creatively about their responsibility for providing their children with a suitable education.


Carol came across the work of Dr. Ian Cunningham and the Centre for Self Managed Learning through her connections in home education communities.

Working directly with young people in a multitude of ways from nannying, summer play schemes, forest school to state school classroom teacher has given Carol a diverse range of experiences and has increasingly convinced her of the need for greater freedoms in education. As her children joined organisations, she volunteered for administrative roles in Scouts and the Army Cadet Force, and jointly ran a parent led forest school.

As part of the home education community for 21 years with her own children, Carol has explored different approaches to helping young learners get the most out of their learning journey. She continues to be active in defending home educators’ rights against increasing state pressures and attempted legal changes of the status of parents as the primary decision makers in the education of their own children.

Carol lives in East Sussex with her husband and adult children enjoying the great outdoors, crafting, and gardening.