There’s no question that school leaders will face tough challenges in the coming years. But there is also a major opportunity to reshape the school system. This blog, the second based on my London Centre for Leadership in Learning lecture on 19 May, should be read alongside this set of slides.
The nature of the challenges is such that it is not possible for schools and their leaders to manage them alone. They will have to collaborate – whether that builds on what they are doing at the moment or takes them into new territory. Collaboration at both a
local and system level provides school leaders with the opportunity to:
- remodel how we train teachers – using the outcome from the work being led by Stephen Munday there is the chance to reimagine how initial teacher training is delivered. Instead of trying to cram everything into one year with variable development support thereafter, the new model would be structured over the existing first three years of a teacher’s career (their training year, NQT year and NQT +1 year). This would provide time to deliver the new core training content, which should include necessary subject and pedagogical knowledge, classroom skills and the acquisition and practice of research/learning impact skills. Although new teachers would, as now, be ‘employed’ at the end of year 1, their placements might continue over the three years and qualified teacher status would be awarded at the end of year 3. Universities and accredited school groups would work together to organise recruitment and training in each sub-region and routes into teaching would be rationalised.
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A new government with fresh enthusiasm for pushing its policies further is not the only challenge that school leaders face over the next five years. The aging teaching population, the rise in pupil numbers and the implacable forward march of technology would have substantial impacts under any government. In this blog, the first of two based on my lecture for the London Centre for Leadership in Learning today, 19 May, I describe 10 challenges facing school leaders over the next five years. It’s a pretty formidable list.
- The rise in pupil numbers. By 2020 there will be 650,000 more pupils in the school system than there are today as the pupil bulge continues in the primary sector and starts to feed through into secondary schools. Finding (and funding) the extra forms of entry and commissioning new schools will be hard enough for local authorities but will be made harder because of the fragmented nature of the planning process. 250,000 of the new places are to come via the 500 free schools that the Conservatives have promised – although this implies that free schools would only be approved in locations where places are needed. In addition their manifesto also said that all good schools (including free schools and grammar schools) would be allowed to expand. Stitching together these elements to ensure every child has a place is going to be demanding unless local authorities are given a say in the establishment and expansion of free schools and popular schools.
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This post originally appeared in The Conversation
Sweden has experienced a dramatic decline in the international ranking of its schools. Swedish 15-year-olds’ performance on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development-led Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has declined from near the average in 2000 to significantly below average in 2012. No other country included in the PISA study has experienced a steeper decline than Sweden during this period. Read more ›
In October 2015 the doors of a major new Economic and Social Research Council-supported research centre will open at UCL IOE. It will be the largest centre in the world that is focused on research in relation to higher education.
Higher education (HE) systems are now more important in societies and economies than they have ever been. The role of professional and skilled labour in the workforce is expanding everywhere, and while graduate salaries are falling relative to average incomes, graduates maintain their advantage over non graduates. This drives the continued growth of higher education enrolments everywhere, so that one third of all people in the world now enrol in some form of tertiary education. Participation in two-year programmes and degree programmes together is increasing at a rate of 1 per cent a year. At first sight this may not seem much, but it is extraordinarily rapid by historical standards, lifting the proportion of the population with tertiary education Read more ›
No-one foresaw the scale of the Conservative victory – it exceeded even the limits of the party’s own expectations. Now, a majority Conservative government comes to power – unexpectedly and with sufficient lead over a divided and, for Labour and the Liberal Democrats, demoralised opposition. What will this newly confident government mean for education in general and schools in particular?
The Conservative education manifesto was long on aspiration. It promised that England would lead the world in mathematics and science; that there would be a place in a ‘good’ primary school for every child; that every ‘failing’ or coasting school would be turned into an academy to drive up standards; that universities would remain ‘world-leading’; and that further education would ‘improve’. But translating these – rightly aspirational – goals into policies will bring some difficult challenges. Read more ›