‘My wish for the General Election 2017’ – School experts give their view

Schools Week asked: So there’s going to be a general election. But what should it mean for schools?

We asked a handful of education leaders and policy specialists: “If you could make one wish for the general election, what would it be?”

Russell Hobby, general secretary  NAHT  ” I would hope that this election would seriously address the topic of education funding and whether, as a country, we are prepared to fund a world-class education service.”

John Blake, Head of Education, right-leaning think tank Policy Exchange. “Policy Exchange wants to see all parties commit to embedding the recent curriculum and qualification reforms, and ensuring teachers are properly trained, resourced and supported to deliver this more demanding knowledge-rich curriculum.”

Kevin Courtney, General Secretary NUT  “Whichever party parents voted for in the last general election, whichever side they voted for in the referendum, I don’t believe a parent anywhere in the country voted for their child’s class size to go up or voted for their child not to have art, dance, music, drama, sports, vocational education in their school.” 

Loic Menzies, Director, think-and-action tank LKMco  “Out-of-school programmes tackling the effects of poverty and poor mental health should be the primary focus of any manifesto, taking some of the burden away from schools. A strong start would be to push through recent proposals to embed CAMHS in every school.”

Geoff Barton, General Secretary, Association of School and College Leaders “Let us see evidence-based policy that puts the rhetoric of social justice into practice through fair and sustained funding, less curriculum and qualification change, and a celebration of the existing achievements of students, teachers and school leaders.” 

Marc Rowland, Director of Policy and Research, National Education Trust “Relentlessly focus on oral language. Reading and writing come to life on the basis of this. Tackle the language deficit and we give most other education policies a better chance of success. If we truly want to tackle the attainment gap, we need to focus on its causes. 

Becky Allen, Director, Education Datalab “Manifestos are never responsive to problems facing the sector. Instead, they are wish lists of things that don’t really need to be done. With this in mind, I think I’d prefer an education manifesto that commits politicians to doing precisely nothing for the next five years.”

Read more ‘My wish for the General Election 2017’ – School experts give their view

What would be on your education election wish? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter ~ Tamsin

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