The National Education Trust, a Leading Education Charity Has Called for Politicians to Stop Using Education to Score Political Points

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The Trust believes that successive governments tinker with education policy for ideological purpose and political gain making long-term education reform and planning impossible. Coupled with the issues of an increasing pupil population, putting huge demands on resources, buildings and outcomes, and the funding apartheid that exists between primary and secondary phases, and different parts of the country it is increasingly difficult for the UK to compete with the very best education systems in the world.

“Only when we take party politics out of schools, will we achieve lasting education reform and intelligent education policy making”, says Roy Blatchford

As the main political parties line up to talk about their plans for education, The National Education Trust has launched its own Election 2015 Education Manifesto calling for the creation of a National Education Service with its own chief executive, similar to the NHS.

Roy Blatchford chief executive of the NET commented, “A key tenet of our Manifesto is the appointed post of Chief Executive of the National Education Service, similar to that which exists in the NHS. This post will enable education to be less trammelled by the five-year electoral cycle. It would be focused on outcomes and improvements for pupils. And the single most important objective for this service would be a KPI around sustaining a national level of performance by pupils of all ages that places England in the top 10 of all nations.

“We also want to see a national system of fair funding based on an individual school’s needs, ending the funding apartheid which exists between primary and secondary phases, and between different parts of the country. An 11 year-old in Reading is ‘worth’ £4000. In Camden the 11 year-old is ‘worth’ £8000. That cannot be right.”

The Trust also calls for the establishment by Royal Charter, of an independent Royal College for Teaching, charged with ensuring that the profession grows in stature, ensuring teachers follow a programme of continuous professional development in order to maintain their licence to teach. And to benchmark the quality of teaching and school leadership in England against the best international practice, building on the national Teachers’ Standards (2011) and the Headteachers’ Standards (2015).

As school rolls continue to increase NET calls for education to harness the use of school buildings for year- round and day-round schooling, meeting the needs of an expanding pupil population and the learning needs of local communities. It also wants to enable the setting up of new special, primary, secondary and all-through schools by suitably qualified sponsors, where pupil places are required.

“Only when we take party politics out of schools, will we achieve lasting education reform and intelligent education policy making”, says Roy Blatchford. “The nation’s health and education services should no longer be subject to short-term political manoeuvring. Politicians must do differently with these two great public services.”

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