Sunday, 8 October 2017


We all know that we need world class education and learning to enable our young people to thrive and succeed in the world of work and to help our companies and businesses compete on the world stage. We need brilliant provision in every school, every classroom, every workshop, every lecture theatre and wherever learning takes place... starting early and continuing throughout the college and university system. We seem to have been struggling with this all my working life and people keep telling us that schools in England are still performing poorly when compared to the best in Europe let alone the best in the world.
My visits to Helsinki, Stockholm and Singapore and to schools, academies and colleges across the country suggest that colleagues elsewhere are no cleverer, no more skilful or talented than our colleagues here in England. Their young people appear to be very much the same as our young people... I am currently working with some incredibly talented young people in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield! And their parents and carers want the same for their children... as they do the world over! We can always learn from what people are doing elsewhere, and successful school systems in other countries do have some elements which are worth considering. It's interesting that whenever the going gets tough we always seem to think that criticism, going 'back to the basics' and ratcheting up inspection and testing must be the answer. Interesting, when we already have one of the most inspected, assessed, moderated and tested education system in the world and we all know that you don't improve the pig by continually weighing it.  The answer from the best performing systems across the world and from brilliant classrooms here, seems to be to focus on supporting and developing great teaching and learning in every classroom supported by learning leadership, beautiful systems and intelligent accountability.

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