Who's afraid of the FED?

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

You can't have missed the publicity around the launch of the FED's National Education Consultation Report 2023 - Towards a long-term plan for education at the House of Lords last week.  As the FED itself modestly noted:

"What a significant week its been in thinking and discussion around the need for a long-term plan in education!"

The specific proposals highlighted in the FED's report are:

  1. A 10-year plan for education, with clear goals and processes for setting and delivering short – and long-term aims.
  2. An independent governing body to oversee the development and implementation of a long-term plan for education, responsible for advising ministers on all key policy and implementation issues, including which should be delegated by ministers to regional or local level, and for conducting formal review cycles to monitor and evaluate essential aspects of the system (e.g. curriculum).
  3. A Chief Education Officer, who would be an expert in the field, akin to the Chief Medical Officer or Chief Scientific Officer, whose role would be to ensure that advice to ministers includes the best possible evidence and insights from across the country and beyond as well as overseeing the delivery of the long-term plan in consultation with policymakers, safeguarding it from short-term political shifts.
  4. A forum for widespread stakeholder involvement and input, akin to the NHS Assembly, to help drive ongoing dialogue about our education system and how to improve it.

What on Earth must the DfE's curriculum team make of all this.

The proposals are described by the FED as evolutionary rather than revolutionary, but what is proposed above suggests a huge shift is being proposed.  Though whether it is sensible to model it on the NHS is open to question, unless huge waiting lists, massive staff shortages and a reliance of foreign-trained staff, significant delays in seeing a teacher, a drift to the private sector, and rising public dissatisfaction is what is being proposed.  Surely not.

And who's going to be the Chief Education Officer?  I think I know who wants to be.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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