Continuous change obscures performance results for England’s schools

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

The general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), Brian Lightman, has highlighted that the continuous changes being made to schools by the government has made it impossible for people to tell how well England’s schools are performing.

Speaking at the ASCL annual conference in London he said “Hard though it is to believe, I am standing here and stating that we do not know how well our system is performing in terms of attainment in our qualifications for 16-year-olds and may not for some years to come.” Mr Lightman attributes this to the “relentless change from above” and said the union was calling for the government to put more trust in teachers allowing schools to have a greater say in the curriculum as well as requesting the curriculum to be reviewed only once every 5 years. The union has also suggested that the curriculum be decided by an independent commission comprised of parents, employers, teachers, governors, school leaders and politicians.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said the reforms were required as children “only get one chance at education. We know we have expected a lot from teachers and appreciate the huge efforts that head teachers and schools have made to implement these reforms. Together we are transforming education with one million more children now being taught in good or outstanding schools than in 2010. The important thing now is to build on this success and maintain a period of stability to allow the reforms to bed in and standards in our schools to continue to improve.”

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