League Tables and their Distortion of the Purpose of Education

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This week, the secondary performance data – league tables – were released. Every year, we hear dissenting voices about the purpose of these tables. Every year, they are published without due regard for the concerns of many as to their … Continue reading

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The Headteachers’ Roundtable Conference – Refining a Manifesto for Education

On Monday this week the Headteachers’ Roundtable held a conference at Highbury Grove School to discuss its draft election manifesto.

htrt manifesto

Headteachers’ Roundtable Education Election Manifesto

The Headteachers’ Round Table has released its own election manifesto, identifying five areas with additional policy proposals that any incoming government would do well to consider carefully.

Under the title “A Great Education for All”, the Headteachers’ Roundtable’s five themes are,

  1. A World Class Teaching Profession
  2. A rigorous, inclusive and flexible curriculum and qualifications framework
  3. Intelligent accountability
  4. Coherence in a fragmented system
  5. Tackling underachievement at the source

Their ten policies are,

  • To introduce the entitlement to a professional development programme leading to QTS for all teachers after a maximum of two years induction and a masters-level professional qualification after five years.
  • To implement the blueprint for the College of Teaching with compulsory membership for all teachers.
  • To introduce a National Baccalaureate framework following the Headteachers’ Roundtable model.
  • To introduce progressive qualifications in English and Mathematics up to Level 3 to facilitate continued study to 18 for all learners.
  • To implement an intelligent inspection framework.
  • To stabilise performance measures.
  • To harmonise freedoms across maintained schools and academies.
  • To introduce Transition Standards grants to incentivise innovation towards systematic primary-secondary progression.
  • To develop a 0-5 Parent Support strategy.
  • To establish a National Recruitment fund.

The aim of the conference was to look in depth at each of these priorities and to consider what might be helpful advice for an incoming Secretary of State to act upon within the first 100 days in government.

One of the most significant things about this conference, other than the importance and viability of many of the proposals above, was the truly democratic and inclusive process.

Everyone’s contribution to the discussion was valued irrespective of their membership of the core group of the Headteachers’ Roundtable.

There was constructive discussion throughout the day which meant that the meeting was extremely productive – identifying a clear and concise set of proposals for the next Secretary of State. With permission from the Headteachers’ Roundtable, we’ll comment on these once they are published.

For the meantime, we would like to say we were delighted with the level of commitment to primary education and an agreement that investment of adequate time and funding is crucial in this phase.

We’re fully supportive of the Roundtable’s commitment to a model of CPD that would ensure that all teachers have opportunities to work towards a Master’s degree or an equivalent qualification in their first five years of teaching. We also agree that teachers should have time afforded throughout their career to the ongoing study of their subject and to the study of pedagogy.

We hope that readers will review the Headteachers’ Roundtable election manifesto and share it with colleagues in schools. The Headteachers’ Roundtable welcome comments from professional colleagues to further fine-tune this commendable document.

We conclude with these quotes from this manifesto.

“Our goals is to provide a vehicle for people working in the profession to influence national education policymakers so that education policy is centred upon what is best for the learning of all children.”

“Less is always more. If we try to change too much we often end up changing very little and damaging what we didn’t want to change in the first place.

Our ten policy proposals are a modest collection of coherent ideas which, if implemented fully, would result in a huge improvement to the education system of this country.

Implementing our proposals will take the will of politicians and a commitment to investing in education; without investment, growth is very difficult to establish.

If we are going to grow teachers and provide a great education for all, we have to invest in improving the quality of education in this country.

It’s that simple.”

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Open Letter to Ed Miliband and Tristram Hunt on Mental Health

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Dear Mr Miliband and Mr Hunt, We welcome the Labour Party Review of Mental Health support and the clear understanding that insufficient money has been spent on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. We also welcome the clear statement regarding … Continue reading

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Wellbeing: Change or Status Quo?

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Three headlines from the BBC Education website – at first glance unrelated but with a possible connection: First headline: “Children’s mental health service cut” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-30735370 Second headline: “Parents ‘ignore school league tables’” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-30731164 Third headline: “Short-term politics ‘damages schools’” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-30711726Continue reading

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“The business of the school is to make good human beings” through “Fixing the general character and direction of the school curriculum”

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“The business of the school is to make good human beings” “Fixing the general character and direction of the school curriculum” This is the 5th in our series of posts on the contribution of the Hadow Report of 1931 to … Continue reading

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