Department for Education
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The Importance of Teaching: DfE publishes responses from various organisations

Education Secretary Michael Gove has set out a radical reform programme that puts teachers at the heart of school improvement and frees schools from central government direction.
 
The schools White Paper, The Importance of Teaching, draws heavily on the evidence learnt from the world’s best education systems and will see heads and teachers driving school improvement.
 
It explains that schools will be freed from centralised bureaucracy and endless government interference, in return for greater accountability to parents and local communities.
 
The White Paper also sets out:

  • powers for teachers to improve discipline in the classroom
  • a vision for a transformed school curriculum
  • the reform of school performance tables
  • a pupil premium to channel more money to the most deprived children and
  • plans to develop a fairer and more transparent funding system.

Responses to the schools White Paper

Andreas Schleicher, Advisor to the Secretary-General on Education Policy at the OECD, said: 

The rigorous approach towards international benchmarking can keep policy and practice focused on world class standards. In the global economy, the yardstick for success is no longer simply improvement by national standards, but the best performing education systems internationally.

Roy Blatchford, Founding Director of the National Education Trust, said:

The National Education Trust has long expressed the view that we need to improve the quality of teaching and learning in many classrooms across the country. Teachers need to have their training rooted in classrooms and learn as all the best interns do in other professions.

The National Education Trust's work over many years, nationally and internationally, has focused on improving what children and young people experience day by day in their classrooms. NET fully supports an inspection framework that focuses where it matters.

A spokesperson from Teach First said:

Teach First is delighted that this Government, like its predecessor, recognises and values the work we do to help narrow the attainment gap and ensure that every child, regardless of their background or postcode, has the opportunity to realise their full academic potential.  

We are already fortunate enough to receive applications from career-changers looking for a new challenge. The recruitment of a greater number of exceptional young professionals, via the Teach Next initiative, who can bring both their outstanding academic record and their varied life experience gained during previous jobs or careers, is an important step as we look to broaden the number and range of people committed to working in the classroom to eradicate educational disadvantage in our schools.

Steve Munby, Chief Executive of the National College, said:

School leadership has never been more important and I welcome the prominence the Coalition Government has given to it in the White Paper. The National College has been supporting outstanding heads as they support others since 2006. The expansion of our National and Local Leaders of Education programmes; the roll-out of Teaching Schools and the designation of Specialist Leaders of Education will change the face of education in this country forever. In our new status as an executive agency, we will continue to operate in a way that retains our special relationship with leaders for children and young people. With value-for-money as our key priority, we look forward to supporting the next generation of leaders. 

On scrapping FMSIS

Christian Cavanagh, Head of Debden Park High School, said:

FMSIS was a bureaucratic burden on schools and did not equate to good financial management. It was a tick box exercise and no way reflected how well-run your school was. The scrapping of it has freed up the business manager's time to actually work on the school budget rather than on a piece of paper to show how the school manages its budget.

On scrapping the requirement for schools to use the SEF

Diane Khanna, Head of Welling School, said:

I'm delighted the SEF has gone. It took hours of heads' time – or schools were paying consultants thousands of pounds. Working with the headteachers, the Kemnal Academies Trust has improved and reduced the information down to just two sides, saving time and money. The SEF did not improve teaching, learning or exam results.

On community cohesion limiting judgements

Lesley Grace, Head of Seaton Academy, Cumbria, said:

Limiting judgements were an imposed straitjacket that was difficult to understand, which wasn't transparent, and did nothing to raise standards of teaching and learning.

 

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