The Headteachers' Roundtable
published their manifesto A Great Education For All
yesterday and I would urge everyone to read it. I am little bit biased of course. I was invited to cover their first meeting in October 2012
for the Guardian newspaper. They were unique then for two reasons; they were a group of school leaders prepared to put their heads above the parapet and say what they thought. They had also come together through Twitter at a time when the social network was less well known and less well used by teaching professionals.
Their frustrations at the time arose from anger at the direction of government policy. It was the period after the GCSE marking fiasco and during the consultation on the doomed English Baccalaureate Certificate replacement for GCSEs.They were also dismayed at the lack of a credible opposition from Labour, but rather than sitting around moaning about it they decided to take the policy process into their own hands, use their daily experience as heads and the power of the internet and social media to consult and to push their ideas out to a wider audience.
And it would seem that the wider audience was ready to listen. Since then they have had meetings with Michael Gove, Sir Michael Wilshaw, former shadow education minister Stephen Twiggg, DFE/David Laws policy adviser Tim Leunig and they are about to see the Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt.
They have organised a series of conferences in their schools, to which a wider group of heads have contributed. Their first detailed policy proposal, for a real English Baccalaureate qualifications framework, helped to inform Professor Chris Husbands review of skills and the 14-19 curriculum "Qualifications Matter - improving the curriculum and assessment for all"
for the Labour Party. I am convinced that their ideas will attract widespread support from parents, professionals and from young people themselves. Their ten key points below should be at the heart of next year's General Election education debate. Do read the entire document, circulate and give them all the support you can.