Tuesday, 10 July 2012
Great Schools for Everyone!
I was listening to Niall Ferguson's final Reith Lecture ‘Civil and Uncivil Societies’ which involved an attack on the standards, the quality of teaching and the outcomes we achieve in state schools.
Those colleagues who have spent their lives working in the toughest and most challenging contexts are constantly subjected to bitter attacks and sharply abusive criticisms. This sad, negative and unpleasant diatribe focused on the worst elements in a small minority of schools and by default branded everyone and everything in community schools mediocre and suggested that we are determined to keep bright working class young people in underachieving classrooms.
My experience isn't at all like Niall Ferguson's and so much of what I see is outstanding. OK, not every classroom is like that and we must continue to learn from the evidence of what works, to build on what we have learnt from years of investment in education, to reflect carefully on international examples and to create a culture of excellence. People constantly tell me that it isn't possible to make every school great and that you can't release the magic in 'children like these'... but they are wrong! Interestingly the toolkits and strategies to achieve this transformation exist in so many brilliant community schools across the country and it is simply a case of joining up the pieces to release the magic!