Update: 9 January 2015
Sir David Bell, Vice Chancellor of Reading University and former Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education (DfE) and Ofsted Chief Inspector, has commented that efforts to improve England’s education system are being undermined by short-term political pressures, and that strategy for schools should be set by an independent body.
He said that political “firefighting” and shaping policy around electoral cycles had a destructive impact, and that it was a “ridiculous situation” for school curriculums to be based on “ministerial whims”.
See Voice’s comments below!
27 Janaury 2014:
Voice has welcomed the recommendation, in the report Making Education Work, of a new independent body to oversee the development of the curriculum in England, made up of teachers, employers, academics and representatives from the political parties, to provide “consistency” and take a strategic view rather than concentrating on the electoral cycle.
“Education has been a political football for too long. It is time to take the party politics, the personality politics and the confrontation out of education.
“The development of education policy should be about collaboration – which makes implementation easier and more effective – rather than a ‘them and us’, ‘for us or against us’ approach, with politicians imposing their own personal vision of education, based on their own personal experience, and scoring political points by denouncing those with different views.
“The approach advocated in the report has great merit, especially if it promotes and includes contributions and participation from the whole team involved in delivering education.
“Striking the right balance is crucial for success, as is release from political interference.
“For an education system to provide the best education for pupils that benefits individuals, society, business and the economy, it must enable qualified professional teachers to contribute to curriculum design and delivery so that pupils gain not only knowledge and skills but the ability to apply them to all aspects of their lives.”