One Education is an organisation committed to finding answers to important questions about the future of education in England. So we are delighted to announce the launch of the latest research report we have sponsored, produced by the recently rebranded Centre for Education Economics (CfEE, formerly CMRE). The report offers an evidence-informed theory of change to stimulate debate about the progress of school reform.
In a school system where policy decisions are too often made from an anecdotal perspective, One Education feels that it is important to inform debate with research that offers different perspectives and challenges the status quo of current thinking. Talking to many of my school colleagues, and in particular at our education reform symposium in February, I get a real sense that our thinking is shared by many. We need research to inform the debate and find solutions that really work in practice.
Optimising autonomy: a blueprint for education reform
It is in this context that Rachel Foster and myself went to London to be a part of the very beginning of this debate. James Croft, founding director of CfEE, has been authoring this report since last autumn’s, now rather overshadowed, Green Paper was released in the aftermath of the referendum. What a brilliant time for it to reach a conclusion, right at the beginning of a new government with an electorate-imposed health warning that it must confer more if it wants to survive. Watch James’ opening comments at the launch event.
The summaries and narratives are fully researched, with references occupying pages 59 to 76 the practice of evidence-informed debate has certainly been well modelled. The scope of the report is wide and you will find in it sections you agree with, as well as those that you don’t. You will also find a narrative you recognise and an evaluation, based on evidence, of where we are. I can also guarantee you will find stimulating and radical ideas and solutions that you are keen to discuss and reflect on.
Whilst this might be a good time for policy makers to focus thinking on the future, for the rest of us at the chalk face in schools, the timetable is still rather packed, with young people taking exams; children preparing for transitions; teachers writing reports; and ongoing moderation of writing, the phonics check and early years profiles.
One Education has planned another symposium at the end of September for school leaders, and leaders involved in education, to join us and tackle the questions answered and posed by this paper. If you are interested in joining us fill out the form below.