Testing times - TUC

Testing times - TUC

TUC Conference The future of our schools 27th November 2010 The policy context: trends towards autonomous schools Peter Mortimore Former Director of the Institute of Education, University of London and Professor of Pedagogy, University of Southern Denmark. Plan

What are autonomous schools? What is education policy and who formulates it? Short history of education policies The Conservative years The New Labour years Some data The 21st century - Academies and Free Schools The ongoing policy context.

What are autonomous schools? Autonomous can mean Independent i.e. private, receiving no state moneys and answerable only to its trustees Self-governing receiving state moneys but managing its own budget, staffing and organisation though not its pupil intake and answerable to a local authority or other body Academies and Free schools answerable to their trustees (and/or to the Secretary of State) receiving state moneys . What is education policy?

Laws & rules that govern education systems applying mainly to purposes of education its objectives its organisation and methods Its evaluation. Who formulates education policy? Aspiring political parties preparing mandates Ministers and advisers drafting legislation often following a green paper Civil servants revising regulations or responding to public consultation Lobbyists promoting causes Secretaries of State on whims.

First policies Circa 300 AD Romans create schools for native British prospective administrators Circa 600 Augustine creates schools for clergy Circa 1300 Cathedral schools for clerks Circa 1500 Grammar schools for boys Important 19 Century policies th 1862 Revised Code 1870 Forster Act [1] Important 20 century policies

th 1902 Act created some secondary schools BUT did not fit them with the elementary ones [2] 1944 Act and the tripartite system [3] 1965 Circular 10/65 encouraging LAs to go comprehensive [4] 1967 Plowden Report and 1975 Tyndale Affair 1976 Callaghans Ruskin College speech [5]. The Conservative years

1983 TVEI initiative City Technology Colleges 1988 Education Reform Act [6] Grant maintained schools 1997 A grammar school in every town. The Labour years 1997 Landslide election victory the result was education, education, education [7] Some positive policies

General Teaching Council Sure Start Every Child Matters Childrens Commissioner Rose Review Cambridge Primary Review (Alexander Report) [8]. Other models United States Charter Schools

Nordic countries Denmarks folkeskole foundation and year 10 Norways comprehensive upper secondaries Swedens interesting experiment in education/care Finlands lack of streaming, selection, inspection and universal testing programmes. Some data Maths average scores and standard deviations source PISA 2007 PISA Reading scores 2000 - 2006 2000

2003 2006 Denmark 497 492 494 Finland

546 543 547 Norway 505 500 484 Sweden

516 514 507 UK 523 507 495

US 493 493 Excluded % of working population with upper secondary education (EAG (E 2009, Table A1.2a) % of working population with tertiary education (EAG 2009, Table A1.3a) Adult literacy average scores

OECD 2000 Adult Literacy survey Unicef Report Card 7 (2007) Order COUNTRY AVERAGE RANK 1 Netherlands 4.2 2

Sweden 3 Order COUNTRY AVERAGE RANK 5 12 Canada

11.8 Denmark 7.2 13 Greece 11.8 4

Finland 7.5 14 Poland 12.3 5 Spain 8

15 Czech Republic 12.5 6 Switzerland 8.3 16

France 13 7 Norway 8.7 17 Portugal 13.7

8 Italy 10 18 Austria 13.8 9

Ireland 10.2 19 Hungary 14.5 10 Belgium Germany

10.7 11.2 20 USA 18 21 UK 18.2

11 Happiness table for Europe (Bradshaw et al, 2009) The 21 century - Academies and Free Schools st Academies can be seen as descendents of the 1988 City Technology Colleges & Grant Maintained Schools, 1998 Foundation schools, 2000 City Academies, 2002 and 2006 Trust Schools They are self-governing institutions, independent of local government control and funded directly by the

Department for Education. They have been turned into the goal for every school by the Coalition Government. But are they really autonomous? Free schools are intended to be all-ability, state-funded schools set up in response to parental demand. They will have the same freedoms as academies. But will they be autonomous? The ongoing policy context Over a period of 150 years our education system has changed from catering for an elite to universal compulsory schooling but it remains deeply segmented The last two governments have further fragmented it by enforcing the rules of the market

Are new academies and free schools an interesting but - perhaps foolish diversion or are they part of a calculated deconstruction of democratically managed public education?

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