The Education Bill currently making its way through parliament promises to create a system that delivers consistently better standards for all children, with a focus on accountability, discipline and the removal of bureaucracy. School inspectors will be instructed to concentrate on four areas: achievement, teaching, leadership and management, and behaviour and safety. In addition, the Secretary of State will be given powers to intervene in schools that are failing while “liberating” outstanding schools and colleges from routine inspection.
Notwithstanding the merit or otherwise of the changes the legislation will bring, the implications for head teachers expected to implement it are significant. In such a complex and demanding world, it is not easy to make the best choices.
Among the questions raised are: at what level should education standards be set? What is the best way to reach them? What are the benefits and challenges of collaboration with other schools? What impact will the growing number of academies have on the state system, particularly in a world of increased parental choice? The NS and the National Association of Head Teachers brought together a panel of experts to provide some of the answers.