Schools ‘should be responsible for their own teaching standards’

  Full real insomniacs only – i dread to think that, not withstanding the demands for better trained governors and head who understand performacne management, what might be next in giving schools total control / hegemony to look after our kids with little oversight and support.

click the link for the full report or see below extract from Public Finance magazine.

http://www.reform.co.uk/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=FURphHyveoQ%3d&tabid=118

8 November 2010

A council-led school improvement programme should be halted and its responsibilities given to governors, the think-tank Reform has recommended.

In a report published today, the centre-Right body makes a series of suggestions for improving teaching standards, which it argues should be included in the forthcoming education white paper.

These include scrapping the School Improvement Partner programme, whereby accredited education specialists spend time with head teachers to challenge them as they assess their school’s performance and to help them plan for the future. Legislation requires each local authority to deploy an SIP for an average of five days per year for each school it maintains.

The Reform report, Every teacher matters, says all the government’s attempts to control teacher quality should end. It argues that the best schools manage schools’ continuing professional development themselves. This creates an opportunity to hand power to schools and strip back the government’s own efforts at school and teacher improvement, saving significant sums in the process.

Other recommendations include privatising the National College for School Leadership, allowing schools to pay directly for its services, and removing the 2003 workforce agreement with teaching unions, which set out changes to teachers’ workloads.

‘Heads should have the freedom to set the right balance between pay, staff numbers and quality, and should be able to demand even greater professionalism from their staff, rewarding them as appropriate,’ the report authors state.

The report is also critical of teaching assistants, saying the rapid growth in their numbers is not justified by research evidence.

But head teachers dismissed many of the report’s recommendations. Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: ‘The National College is a world leader in providing outstanding support for school leaders in England and there is no evidence that privatisation would do anything to maintain this quality.

‘The abolition of national pay and conditions would lead to a free-for-all and the removal of a perfectly workable national framework which contains adequate flexibilities.

‘Where ASCL does agree with the report is that the most successful school leaders take personal responsibility for leading and managing their schools creatively. The removal of bureaucratic burdens to which the government is already committed will help them to do this even more effectively.’

 

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