Sunday, 1 May 2011


We all want to improve the education, learning and skills. We all want to drive up standards and outcomes so that we can compete in an increasingly global business landscape. We all want every school to be a GREAT SCHOOL.
The real danger in the short sighted, simplistic and somewhat limited approach we appear to be taking which selectively draws on evidence from across the world. I know the arguments we hear about the system being broken; bad behaviour, poor attendance and low standards are apparently endemic! It's not the educational landscape I know and love but even if it were real system change is possible if parents, carers and communities work together with their local community schools to ensure that every school is a GREAT SCHOOL, which is after all what we all want for all our children and young people.

Schools don't sit in isolation from the communities they serve; they are the life blood and the heart of those communities and we damage that relationship at our peril. It's simple, parents in every neighborhood need to band together and decide 'If we all send our children to the local school, we can have a great school at the heart of our community.' And it will! I know of countless examples where schools written off by many people have become some of the best schools in the country. We can change schools and all of us, governors, headteachers, politicians, and local authority officers, have a particular responsibility to make sure there's a GREAT SCHOOL in every community. Handing OUR schools over to chains, business, entrepreneurs and the committed individual does not and will not, by itself, improve them. It's simply a way of avoiding OUR responsibility to provide good education and GREAT SCHOOLS for all our children and young people.

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