School leader’s union NAHT has been campaigning for some time for politicians to accept the need for a body with some oversight of education policy, free from party political interference. A long term consensus is one of the hallmarks of highly successful education systems.
NAHT general secretary Russell Hobby said: “When it comes to results, how we change the education system can be almost as important as what is being changed. Too often change is chaotic and hasty, which limits teachers’ ability to make it work. The profession and government then become distracted by conflict over principles rather than engaged in discussion around implementation. It is entirely right that elected officials should speak on behalf of parents and pupils to set the standards and purposes of education, but too often they dive into the detail around delivery.
“In our manifesto for education, published in May this year, NAHT proposed an ‘office of educational responsibility’. This office would focus on how well democratically determined policy was being implemented as part of a stable long term programme of reform.
“This programme would be agreed in advance and subject to rolling review. New proposals for change will need to be submitted to the office for analysis against three tests: evidence of impact, value for money and capacity to implement. It needs to be difficult for ministers to depart from the programme and a high profile chief education officer, coming from the profession, could lead the office.
“Politicians would set principles, policies and outcomes. The profession would determine methods and, given representation via the office, be able to implement defined and tested policy in good faith.”
You can read the NAHT manifesto for education in full here: http://bit.ly/1BLx3cZ
Page Published: 03/11/2014