Monday, 4 November 2013


Whatever anyone says the performance of our primary and secondary schools has improved significantly over the last few years. 

However, despite these recent improvements, we are still not performing well enough in comparison with the best in the worldIn common with many systems across the world, provision is patchy and inconsistent... some extraordinary and some awful! Student progress and attainment varies widely between disadvantaged groups and other young people, leading to poor outcomes beyond schooling and in later life. Looking at PISA, TIMMS and PIRLS our student outcomes also appear disappointing! 

The challenge we face is to use the research the evidence and the stories of success to create new models based on what works. We need to start a new movement which aims to ensure that every school in this country is a great school. Not just a couple of hundred Free Schools, not just a couple of thousand Academies, but every one of the 24000 schools across the country must become a great school delivering brilliant outcomes, learning from what works wherever it is and being uncompromising in the relentless pursuit of excellence! The potential for education to change the world is something no-one will argue about. The only question Michael&Michael seem to be asking at the moment is which young people deserve a great education through Free Schools or Academies. Bizarre really, because we have the potential and we have the knowledge and the toolkit to give every child in this country a brilliant education; one that enables them to achieve their potential and achieve extraordinary results. 

And where is this toolkit? It is in pieces across the country and the clever thing would be to collect these pieces of magic and then make it the universal offer to every child and every young person. And of course the people who will make this happen are the countless colleagues working day-in day-out in schools across the country and not just those who are part of Teach First, Free Schools or Academy movements. What Teach First, Free Schools and Academy gives us is proof that we can do this and real evidence of what we can achieve given the passion, commitment, determination, persistence and sheer hard work. The challenge is that, since every child matters and every young person not engaged in learning represents a huge waste of talent and potential, how do we drive excellence everywhere and build world class learning as an entitlement for all.

And don't let anyone tell you that it is impossible with these children, this community, these resources and these problems. Simply get on and do it!

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