Tired Conservative ideas on schools

If you want to paint a new future for schools, can there be anything more tedious than focussing on school re-organisation.
Freedom and finance” whimpers a local Conservative parliamentary candidate. Two days on, and no-one has added a comment in the local newspaper.
Screenshot (420)c0315h NPost conservative education
My, the candidate has even approached very popular schools in West Bridgford to see if thy can’t create more spaces for city kids. (We await the result.)
How’s about some basic points to start with –
1. we want success for all our children;
2. we want education to make a huge contribution to child’s development, so they can work, rest and play well as they live their life; (No, I don’t want schools sponsored by Mars, so let’s add think);
3. there is a science to education, and we should continue to learn what works and what doesn’t;
4. that the main focus for successful schools is quality of leadership, management, teaching and learning; self-assessments and improvement plans by schools themselves, with checks on the honesty and accuracy of through inspection, and deeper inspection when the assessments aren’t right;
5. accountability for results, but firmly in the context of social and economic factors; because you don’t want staff to be failed for deigning to help the children who need most help; and because schools under-perform or exceed across the range, and taking out external factors increases the quality of analysis as to what to do next;
6. direct money in proportion to need;
7. hold schools to account at the level of principal local authority, cos schools should have to report for the use of public money; cos local education authorities can deliver partnership with all the schools, accounting to Whitehall will fail; and because place planning needs to take place in the context of what’s right for neighbourhoods.
After that an end to selection at 11.
Elsewhere, former colleague Stephen Barker has commented more widely, picking up on The Sun’s coverage of choice of school for the Prime Minister’s daughter.
Stephen makes some good points on the wider issues, but it is tricky to comment on private family choices for politicians. Brown & Blair worked hard to keep their children out of the limelight, but Blair still couldn’t avoid scrutiny over choosing a school called The Oratory.
Which is why the above emphasis on principles and expectations, and enable the parents, heads, teachers, and support to deliver success for all.


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