Author Archives: Daniel Carr

It is important to listen to expert opinion on primary SATs and school league tables

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I was excited when Layla Moran first spoke about setting the direction for our party’s education policy. Layla spoke about involving experts more in setting policy, about working with the Education Endowment Foundation and other bodies who do hard-hitting research, and about putting evidence above ideology.

The speech given to the NEU earlier this month was sadly not in keeping with this vision. While her comments on the need to lift teacher pay and school funding were spot on, the prescription for ending the ‘culture of accountability’ were not in keeping with expert opinion.

First, it’s worth pointing out that most do agree that the English school system has become overly stressful for school staff. The pressure head teachers are now under to deliver results is immense, with one bad Ofsted inspection or year of academic results capable of causing serious harm to careers. Inevitably this is filtering down to classroom teachers. Between this and the pay freeze endured over much of the last decade, it’s no surprise that retention in the profession is falling. That said, there are serious questions to be asked about two of the solutions to this problem which Layla is advocating.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 23 Comments
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