What's Next For Education?

Melissa Benn's picture
After what feels like years of domination of the education debate by the Gove-ites - sorry, it's still a useful shorthand - it finally feels like the mood is shifting. So many of the Coalition's policies have proved inadequate or plain worrying - from failed free schools to the growth in non-qualified teachers to the damaging diminishment of local authorities to unacceptable levels of teacher workload; despite encouraging noises on this latter issue, there has been little more than a token response from the government. Cheeringly, Labour seems to be growing in confidence in putting forward alternative approaches to many of the problems and possibilities in, and of, our schools.

So now is a good time to think a little more deeply about the issues facing the next government and join in the conversation about what should happen now; at the National Forum on education, being held tonight at 6.00 pm to 8.30 pm at the Logan Hall, UCL institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1.

The Forum has been organised by the New Visions for Education Group, a large and loose network of educational experts who have put together a document ( also called 'What's Next for Education?'- available at the door) on what a future government should do.

There are some great speakers lined up, including David Bell, Tim Brighouse, Owen Jones, Helena Kennedy, Estelle Morris and David Puttnam.

Please come down to the Logan Hall and join us.

Admission is free, doors open at 5.15 pm.
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Michele -Lowe's picture
Mon, 23/03/2015 - 11:00

Please report back in a blog. It's a bit far for me

Roger Titcombe's picture
Mon, 23/03/2015 - 11:41

A post would be most welcome, as Michele suggests. Its a bit far for me too.

John Mountford's picture
Mon, 23/03/2015 - 22:32

Melissa, this all looks very interesting and I note your positive stance in relation to the political climate - "Cheeringly, Labour seems to be growing in confidence in putting forward alternative approaches to many of the problems and possibilities in, and of, our schools." I only wish I could believe that we stand at the threshold of a new deal for education and I do wonder why Labour needed to 'grow in confidence' over education policy.

In Roger Titcombe's latest post - http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2015/03/new-thinking-from-labour-a... - I make it clear, in my response, that the time has come for all political parties to take a long, cool look at the track record of reform under the existing system of national governance of education. It is a system that fails our society, especially the pupils. It is anti-democratic, wasteful, ideologically flawed and its time is over. It has to be changed and the sooner it is, the better.

Any politicians purporting to value education for what it potentially adds to the lives of individuals should take the time to question whether changing things every five years (and sometimes even more frequently than this) in step with the election of a new government is justifiable. The evidence from international comparisons clearly points to the need for reforms to be developed, appraised and implemented over longer time frames than our system can ever allow

I apologise for 'banging on about it' at every opportunity here on LSN, but with respect we have been here before - promises from (sometimes) well intentioned politicians in the lead up to a general election are not going to change the future in favour of young people. I urge everyone who shares this critique of the present system of governance for education to add their name to the petition currently available through -

Adrian Elliott's picture
Tue, 24/03/2015 - 16:27

Will the contributions appear on line?
David Bell struck me as the most positive of HMCI's in his approach to schools. He and Gove would not have got on!

FJM's picture
Tue, 24/03/2015 - 22:15

Owen Jones, aka Dave Spart. I don't know what he is doing amongst a group of speakers with some expertise in the field.

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