First 100 Days Series.
Education Network: what is State Education For?
Taking office in May, the new leader of the Department of Education will have to take the lead in responding to a number of critical questions. What is the role of academies and free schools within the English state education system? How do you close the gap in educational achievement? How should you assuage a workforce which feels overworked and disgruntled? Though these issues are pressing and deserve immediate responses, they all implicitly presume that we know the answer to a more profound question: What is state education for? This critical question has rarely been on the political agenda, resulting in a state education system bloated with inadequate responses to these urgent issues. This piece seeks not to provide any answers, but rather argue that even just careful deliberation of the question could be catalytic for positive radical transformation of the English state education system.