Beyond Academisation: Do we need more nuance in school improvement?
On 28 September 2015, the Young Fabians Education Network hosted a discussion on school improvement – ‘Beyond Academisation’ – at the Houses of Parliament.
Organised by Education Network Steering Committee members Jay Allan, Jun Bo (Jumbo) Chan (Secretary) and Channon Zhangazha (Vice Chair), the event sought to raise questions about the ‘one size fits all’ approach to school improvement current championed by the Conservative Government, and to seek alternate ways to ensure the best possible outcomes for students and pupils across the country,
Panellists Ian Mearns MP (Education Select Committee member), Cllr Antoinette Bramble (Children's Services at Hackney Council), Graeme Duncan (CEO of Right to Succeed) and Mari Wiliams (Vice Principal at Ark Elvin Academy) – as well as Key Stages 4 and 5 students from Ark Elvin Academy – fed into the lively member-led debate, which was chaired by Jay Allan.
While the merits of the academies system were constructively explored – with particular focus on innovation and funding – the discussion raised a number of key questions. These included the role of local government in state education; the need for more collaboration between different types of schools; and the problem of a seemingly dispirited and overworked teaching workforce.
For more information about the member-led Young Fabians Education Network, and how you can get involved, please contact Jumbo Chan via firstname.lastname@example.org.