If I were Secretary of State for Education …
… I would hope to last longer than 2 years in post.
It will take a brave Secretary of State to make their mark on the education system. Michael Gove was the last person to make some notable notches on our schools, teachers and students.
What could any Secretary of State for Education do to help restore the respect for ‘teaching as a career’ it once had? Plus, who do we think will be in post after a cabinet reshuffle? See the latest poll with over 1,000 votes. Below, I set out my 10-point manifesto:
- Admissions: abandon plans to review any new selective schools from opening; review summer-born admissions for children entering into year 1.
- Assessment: to provide more direction on the future of key stage 3 assessment.
- Curriculum: all schools, academies and free schools – regardless of curriculum freedom, should be required to teach key issues to students related to British values: drugs, sex and relationships education, terrorism and radicalisation, eSafety and financial education – this should also include a compulsory mental health programme for all 5-18 year olds.
- Curriculum: to end the English Baccalaureate agenda and remove any target for students to be entered for EBacc subjects.
- Professional Development: to make it compulsory that all schools dedicate at least 1% of their overall school budget for staff professional development.
- Performance Appraisal: to review statutory performance management and move towards a research-informed process for appraisal; to also review national pay scales and its impact of teacher mobility, recruitment and retention.
- OfSTED: reform the school inspection framework and abolish the ‘Outstanding’ grading from the framework; to revise the framework to support challenging schools and teachers who choose to work in difficult circumstances; to penalise schools that show evidence of grading teachers or teaching in individual lessons or ‘over time’.
- Recruitment: a national job vacancy website to eradicate extortionate advertising costs for schools; to control finders-fees and buy-out % of supply agencies.
- Retention: to reduce teacher contact-ratio in the classroom to 80% and protect more time for teachers to mark, plan lessons, complete data and reports, as well as time for managing behaviour.
- Workload: to make statutory any workload recommendations following on from recommendations make from the Workload Review Groups.