It is an exciting time to be thinking about educational reform. The last few years have witnessed important shifts in the political agenda on schools in England. First, there has been a tangible change in how policy has emphasised the different objectives of the school system. Recent reforms have returned to the idea that schools have a wider role to fulfil than simply delivering on narrow measures of attainment - in equipping young people with the skills they need to achieve a version of success more broadly defined.
There has also been a shift from the idea prevalent in the 1980s that educational reform should mainly be about curriculum, assessment and accountability. There is now a recognition that focusing on these policy levers alone seriously undervalues the role of the teacher, which educational research shows has the biggest impact on learning in schools.
This report takes these two shifts as its starting point. It looks to the future of educational reform, underpinned by an understanding of the changing needs, goals and objectives of schools and sets out short- and long-term recommendations to address the barriers that prevent our school system from being world-class.
State of the North 2024: Charting the course for a decade of renewalThe North’s communities are ambitious for a better future, but face systemic and pronounced inequalities. Gaps in power, wealth, opportunity, and health result in shorter, sicker, less fulfilling lives.
No home left behind: Funding a just transition to clean heat in ScotlandHow can we ensure that investment in clean heating in Scottish homes drives a just transition, sharing costs and benefits fairly?
The asylum backlog: Job done?This blog post sets out how the department must now grapple with a new set of backlog challenges.