What Kind of Education System Are We Working Towards in Newcastle?
Policy Cabinet – Briefing Paper, 9 November 2016
- In recent years there has been much discussion nationally on school governance – should schools be academies, free schools and, more recently should selective education be expanded? Within these debates, it is all too easy to forget this is about securing the best outcomes for all young people, enabling them to fulfil their potential in life.
- All discussions about our education system and schools must be seen through the lens of what is best for young people.
- Today, there is no doubt the education system is more autonomous and fragmented and this trend is set to continue. Councils have fewer powers to intervene and significantly less funding to support school improvement. And, all this at a time when expectations on school performance and pupil attainment have arguably never been higher.
- There is strong evidence that a local education authority-type function is a feature of the best performing education systems globally. Councils are well placed to act both as a support to schools and a champion for young people and families. But, the reality is the space between Central Government and schools is now more crowded, with councils joined by multi-academy trusts, teaching school alliances, national leaders of education, diocesan academy trusts and
regional schools commissioners.
- So, in order to put young people first, it is more important than ever to think about the role of the Council in education, working with all schools and partners. This paper aims to encourage discussion on this important issue, suggesting outline principles and models for future cooperation and collaboration.