Locally grown education communities for our changing global future.

John Mountford's picture
I spent considerable time looking into Sir Ken Robinson's work on creativity again today.

I found fresh material on his blog site and other sources around the net, much of which has a direct link with current ideas about the reform of primary education in England. In one of his presentations about creativity in education, I was struck by some of his findings that resonate with my own ideas:

The rationale for reform has been made, not only in this country but across the globe. It's time to agree the precise reforms and construct an education system fit for purpose.

The energy to drive the necessary change is currently dissipated because of innovation fatigue. It has to be agreed that further change must be allowed to evolve over time.

General principles and key values are widely shared but not unanimously held in professional circles - coordinated leadership is lacking.

Constructive support for fundamental change within political circles is limited and is largely determined by ideological perspectives along historical and party political lines. Unfortunately, progress is likely to be limited if this situation is not addressed.

Change has to be owned at a local level and for this to be possible, communities need the freedom to evolve within a very broad national framework.

For local responsiveness to flourish, central oversight of education has to be re-defined, if necessary, in law. Strategic decision making about what needs to happen in local communities has to be shifted from the centre.

The primary curriculum is too constrained by the traditional subject model and blighted by a narrow testing regime.

Collaboration between families and providers of high quality early years provision helps establish the necessary foundation for all later learning, and needs to be strengthened.

Parents need greater recognition for what they do well, rather than being held responsible for all society's ills under the crude scrutiny of tabloid journalism.

Education standards will still need to be monitored. But, first it has to be agreed what we will measure, for what purpose and to what effect.

Education funding continues to be based on the age of learners. There has to be an open, informed debate about funding allocations and it has to be based on need rather than on historical patterns.

Local schools, working in partnership under strong leadership and with a commitment to seek out and adapt the most promising pedagogical tools, require time and freedom to respond to the needs of the local community of learners. One size fits all, only ever worked for a small majority at a time that has long since passed. Now it's different. We have to think and work more creatively. The future belongs to our successors, but they need us to envision that future both for them and with them.
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