About Us2018-06-15T18:32:48+00:00

About Us

SoCE’s Founder

Jane Macdonald
Jane MacdonaldFounder and Director

School was a real struggle. My teachers said I was rebellious, distracted, disorganised, and unmotivated. ”She’s a bright student. If only she applied herself!” And, they were right.

I was one of those kids who needed her hands on things. Book to worksheet to memory didn’t work for me… I coudn’t remember. Tests and exams were aweful.

I wanted to say to my teachers, “Please, don’t give me a book or worksheet or formula. I won’t remember! Help me discover. I can test different problems and learn what solutions work and don’t work. Then I’ll remember things… they will mean something!”. I’m still afraid to say it… ‘chalk to talk’ bored me and led me into anxiety.

I didn’t have words for it then, but I needed a creative, inquiry-based approach. I wanted to question everything, to do projects, be self-directed and self-evaluating, collaborative and controversial. I yearned for time to retreat and reflect, and more than anything, to combine with others to do all sorts of interesting things in the real world.

By the time I was inspired enough to write a book, and design and build a house and a company, I had no clue how to go about them, and was plagued with self-doubt.

So, I undertook an action-research Masters in Sustainability and Social Change, focusing my research on the nature of creativity. It changed my life! Graduating 2016, I created my unique house, the creative education pedagogy, and wrote 48,000 words in my book called “SHiNE: the nature creativity” that develops creativity as a subject to be taught in schools.

The School of Creative Eduation is kind of like the pinnacle of all this research.

I’m not the first founder to build a primary or secondary school based upon her own schooling experiences, and it’s not a qualifying reason to build a school, but it does offer a personal empathy and motivation to all the children who need a creative approach to their education.

I’m now a creatologist… researching and teaching creativity.

P.S. My background includes fifteen years of specialist experiential education and educational consultancy, a photography business, co-creation of a new specialist school, and motherhood of two young adults and a preppie, my youngest child being my personal reason for building our creative school.

My qualifications include:

  • Masters of Sustainability and Social Change (creativity), Oases Graduate School
  • Post-Graduate Diploma in Educational Studies (curriculum development), Melbourne University
  • Graduate Diploma of Integrative and Transformative Studies, Oases Graduate School
  • Graduate Diploma of Education (special education), Deakin University
  • Diploma of Professional Photography, International College of Professional Photography
  • Diploma of Teaching (creative arts), Australian Catholic University
  • Certificate IV Small Business Management, Mission Australia

SoCE’s address and contact details

Address: 6 Rainy Hill Rd, Cockatoo, Victoria

Phone: 1300 11 66 54

Email: jane@schoolofcreativeeducation.org.au

Mail: P.O. Box 75, Kalorama, 3766

SoCE’s Organisation

The School of Creative Education, previously known as the School of Cultural Creativity, provides programs for children whereby they learn through the creative process rather than the academic process.

Do you know any children who want or need this way into learning? Were you one yourself?

SoCE is a not-for-profit, for-purpose social enterprise, registered as a company limited by guarantee with ASIC, and registered as a charity with the ACNC, with

Unique in the way in which we operate, SoCE is democratically governed by the whole school community.

Our organisational structure is traditional though, and includes the students, their families, educators, volunteers, a working committee, and a board of directors.

Unlike traditional companies, our board of directors work from a grass-roots position, listening to and facilitating the needs of the students, families and educators, who inform, design and shape our programs, guided of course by the best global creative and democratic education principles and practices from around the world. It’s the board’s role to ensure their learning programs are adequately resourced and managed.

Registered charity

Organisational model

Growth and projections


In 2015, Jane launched the School of Cultural Creativity by creating a Facebook business page with information about the project including why and how SoCC was being created, looking to see if there may be some interest in the local community.

In March 2016, Jane created SoCC’s website with much more information about the new school project, and expressions of interest for Farm School, The Tribe and the Maxwell primary school were invited.

Since then, our growth has been paced and awesome:
• 1450+ likes on Facebook, and
• 750+ subscribers to our newsletter.

2015: 7 children in Farm Preschool, one group a week
2016: 15 children in Farm Preschool, one group a week
2017: 32 children in Farm Preschool, two groups a week
17 children in The Tribe, one group a week
2018: 51 children in Farm Preschool, three groups a week
21 children in The Tribe, one group a week.


In April 2018, the board and committee changed the name of the organisation to the School of Creative Education.

Farm Preschool and The Tribe
2019: 54 children in Farm Preschool, three groups per week
21 children in The Tribe, one group per week
2020: 72 children in Farm Preschool, four groups per week
42 children in The Tribe, two groups per week including one after school
(new premises)
2021: 90 children in Farm Preschool, four groups per week
42 children in The Tribe, two groups per week including one after school

Maxwell primary and secondary school
Our intention is to grow up with the children who form the older cohort of the Maxwell primary school, applying to register their secondary school for years 7 and 8 to open 2020.

During 2020 we will apply to register years 9 and 10 for 2021, and during 2021 apply to register for years 11 and 12 for 2022.

2019: 25 children in the Maxwell primary school at the beginning of the year.
2020: 40 children in the Maxwell primary school
20 children in year 7 – 8 secondary school
2021: 55 children in the Maxwell primary school
40 children in year 7 – 10 of the secondary school
2022: 70 children in the Maxwell primary school
60 children in years 7 – 12 of the secondary school
2023: 85 children in the Maxwell primary school
75 children in years 7 – 12 of the secondary school

Farm Preschool projections
The Tribe projections
Maxwell primary school projections
School of Creative Education secondary school projections

SoCE’s Dedication

The primary school is dedicated to Rebecca Maxwell. Jane will write about her as she permits. These are her words…

The Creative School

We are a non-hierarchical school: students and teachers learning together. Each person has something valuable to impart to others; thus respectful relationships are the basis of all interaction. Certainly we have different revelations to impart, but we deem them all valuable- what a child reveals and what a teacher reveals, both open the mind and heart to a new perspective.

Our ideal is to look with wonder at each human being comprising our school’s population.

Learning is a respectful, mutual experience. It requires deep listening by students and teachers to each other, to the environment, to history, and to the gifts of inspiration which come from each. We cherish each person involved in the school as a human being with the potential to open the wonders of learning.

Our hope is that students, as well as everyone involved in the school, will carry the attitudes of mutual respect into society, helping support a culture of non-violence and openness to individual difference. A culture where co-operation brings out the best in each person.

The ethics of our school are like seeds of life-long education, flowering into open minds and hearts.

Of course we will follow a syllabus which covers the range of core subjects expected in the primary school. However, these subjects can be tackled from various angles, encompassing the various ways we human beings explore our thirst for knowledge. By beginning with the quest for understanding, all regular school subjects can be embraced. It certainly takes imagination to learn and teach in this way. The paramount path we will keep before us is an attitude of genuine co-operation in the search for understanding life in our world.