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NASUWT comments on Education Select Committee Report

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NASUWT Building (Photo credit: mrgarethm)

Education Committee Chair Graham Stuart MP launched the latest Education Select Committee report today, 6th November 2013. The report, School Partnerships and Cooperation, supports many of the arguments put forward by The NASUWT on academies and free schools.

Graham Stuart MP, Chair of The Education Committee, pointed out  that the Education Select Committee, “support moves to give schools more  freedom to innovate but we argue that the creation of a self-improving system needs a degree of coordination and strong incentives to encourage schools to look beyond their own school gate. Otherwise there is a danger that many schools will operate in isolation rather than in cooperation.” Many in education will agree with his warning of the danger of schools operating in isolation, something The NASUWT have said for a long time, but something the Secretary of State has ignored for an equally long time.

The Education Committee Chair then went on to note that academy chains, “raise particular questions and need specific solutions. We recommend that it should be made clear how academies can leave chains either with or without mutual consent. We also call for the Department for Education to monitor more effectively the extent to which convertor academies meet the expectation that they should support other schools.”

It’s refreshing to see the Education Select Committee highlighting concerns so often expressed by The NASUWT.

The report goes on to call for:

  • Ofsted to be given the powers to inspect academy chains.
  • Government to formalise procedures for schools to leave academy chains by mutual consent, and to set out how an outstanding school can leave a chain against the wishes of the chain management. 
  • DfE to urgently review its arrangements for monitoring the expectation that convertor academies support other schools. 
  • Government to evaluate initiatives relating to school partnerships and to collect evidence on what works.
  • Richer and more accessible data to be provided by the DfE to help schools to identify suitable potential partners.
  • Government to widen its funding for collaboration beyond academy sponsorship to assist other types of partnership.
  • Government to set out clearly the role of local authorities in a school-led improvement system 
  • Government to set out how organisations in the middle tier will be held to account for strategic oversight of partnership working in schools.
  • Greater incentives for good leaders to work in areas of greatest need.
  • Ministers to endorse  Sir Michael Wilshaw’s proposal for an ‘excellent leadership award’ to be given to headteachers who support underperforming schools in disadvantaged communities.
  • DfE to assess the quality and capacity to provide expertise within a school-led improvement system and to ensure that schools are aware of where they can access such advice.

Commenting on the Education Select Committee’s report, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The NASUWT has been pressing the Government to recognise that no provider of public education should be considered too big to challenge.

“We welcome the Select Committee’s acceptance of arguments made previously by the NASUWT on the need to ensure that sponsors of academies and free schools are held to account on all aspects of their work, both at the level of the individual school and across their span of operation.

“The public has a right to expect that all providers of publicly funded education should be subject to rigorous public scrutiny and should be held to account robustly for their use of public money and the quality of provision for children and young people.

“The best way to secure public trust and confidence is by ensuring there is a truly independent inspection body that operates in the public interest rather than in the interests of the Secretary of State.” 

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One comment on “NASUWT comments on Education Select Committee Report

  1. Pingback: Academies and Free Schools – select committee call for evidence | North Beds NASUWT

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This entry was posted on November 6, 2013 by in The NASUWT and tagged .

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