Estelle Morris: Labour must take time for a fundamental rethink about education

Writing in the Guardian, Estelle Morris says the Labour party has an opportunity to look at the big questions for the future and rebuild its relationship with teachers…

…I suggest three key themes that Labour could address.

First, rethink the relationship between politics and education. Some would like to take politics out of education completely: that’s neither possible nor desirable. But the boundary between the two is certainly in the wrong place. Every school reform of the last 30 years has extended the influence of politicians further into the classroom and blurred the boundary between them and the education profession. Perhaps the most striking example is the manifesto pledges on the type of phonics teachers should use and how children should be grouped in classrooms…

Second, set out how education policy and practice can become evidence-based. This revolution has already started. Teachers are thirsty for knowledge of what works and there are some promising partnerships between researchers and practitioners. However, it needs someone to articulate the argument, lead the debate and do some serious thinking about what needs to change if evidence rather than intuition – and prejudice – is to underpin the decisions we make.

Third, rebuild the relationship between politicians and the education profession. No one can question the need to act when teachers, heads, or schools fail children, or deny the importance of constantly demanding higher ambition and standards. Most teachers share this view, but successive governments have managed to make enemies of the profession when they should be allies in this task…

More at: Labour must take time for a fundamental rethink about education

 

Estelle Morris goes on to give examples of where she thinks a change of approach would reap rewards, but do you agree with her advice for the Labour party here? 

What would you recommend their priorities should be? 

And how optimistic are you of a fundamentally different approach emerging? 

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter… 

 

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