A New Paradigm For Schools

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Can the public build consensus for change in our education system?

I am sharing this video because it requires a wider audience. Our education system would do better for our pupils and our teachers if we started taking action, rather than just spoke about what to do; please listen to the seasoned advice of Lord Jim Knight.


  1. According to the Institute of Fiscal Studies, schools are 8 percent short in ‘real terms’ cuts over the last 8 years.
  2. In 2024, England will be 47,000 secondary school teachers short of what it needs to maintain current pupil-teacher ratios
  3. One in five 17-19-year-old girls attempt self-harm or suicide in England
  4. 56% of teachers believe that our school system is no longer fit for purpose
  5. Schools are working with less money and having to employ younger, cheaper teachers who are less resilient
  6. More teachers are leaving the profession than joining
  7. ITT targets have been missed for the sixth consecutive year
  8. One-third of teachers in England have mental health problems. As a result, the number of sicknesses, short-term supply and behaviour increases.

Video credit: Parliament Live

“As a result, the school suffers declining teacher quality, results suffer, the high-stakes accountability system kicks in, followed by parental choice and a collapse in budgets and the end of the headteacher’s career. This is the spiral of decline, and school and local authority funding cuts are often at the heart of that story.”

A new paradigm?

  1. Reduce testing – currently £2Bn per annum – testing for formative purposes, not summative.
  2. Trust teachers more to shape the curriculum; insert more applied learning on top of core knowledge
  3. Abolish GCSEs at 16 years old, to free up a more engaging curriculum at 14-19
  4. Welcome back creative and applied teachers to develop the whole child and reconnect teachers with their vocation.
  5. All underpinned by proper resources, learning and child development.

This, my dear reader, is the reality of many schools and school leaders in our education system today. Funding schools is simply not a priority for this government. You can read Lord Knight’s speech on his blog.


In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account in which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated for '500 Most Influential People in Britain' in The Sunday Times as one of the most influential in the field of education - he remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing online as @TeacherToolkit, he rebuilt this website (c2008) into what you are now reading, as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the number one spot at the UK Blog Awards (2018). Today, he is currently a PGCE tutor and is researching 'social media and its influence on education policy' for his EdD at Cambridge University. In 1993, he started teaching and is an experienced school leader working in some of the toughest schools in London. He is also a former Teaching Awards winner for 'Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, London' (2004) and has written several books on teaching (2013-2018). Read more...

2 thoughts on “A New Paradigm For Schools

  • 28th December 2018 at 10:38 am

    I have just started work in education as a learning mentor because I’m worried about children’s mental health. Everything that has been written is the truth as I’ve seen it first hand! It’s a shambles and schools are trying so hard to manage the situation the best they can. It’s frustrating that this situation isn’t being understood or addressed the government and I feel it will get even worse before it gets better. I would like to do anything I can to support the education system and in particular our children, but am unsure what to do other than keep going but for a ridiculous salary and hope that changes will come about!


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