Tuesday, 14 January 2014


I visited some great schools today and I don't know about you but I find it deeply depressing that the UK education system has one of the highest levels of variation in pupil outcomes of the world's industrialised economies, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) shows that as much as 80 per cent of that variation in achievement among UK pupils comes within schools - four times more than that which occurred between different schools. Interestingly, it is largely the differences in performance within schools, rather than those between them, that are key to raising education standards.  Perhaps this explains why I meet so many outstanding colleagues in every school I visit... people doing the extraordinary and achieving brilliant outcomes often in a sea of colleagues simply achieving ordinary things. We must find the time to stand back and reflect on what works and what doesn't and we must work with colleagues in schools to share, network and learn how to take the things that work brilliantly and make these approaches commonplace.

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