At this year’s Labour Party Conference the Education Policy Institute has partnered with Tes to discuss the role of accountability in the proposed N.E.S.
The role of education in the life chances of children and young people is undeniable. It is therefore crucial that our schools are held to account and driven to get the best possible outcomes for their pupils.
In the last 20 years the sector has become increasingly autonomous, with nearly 4 million children now taught in an academy – but with this autonomy comes high levels of scrutiny. Ofsted, standardised testing, and school performance tables have all been put in place to maintain high school standards and drive improvement. However, these measures are also subject to scrutiny, as their high-stakes judgements can have unintended consequences for teachers and schools. The current accountability framework has been criticised as a reason for increasing teacher workloads, and for disincentivising teachers and leaders from working in challenging schools.
Last Labour conference the Shadow Secretary for Education announced that a Labour government would end the academy and free schools movement as part of their proposed National Education Service. Since the announcement, there has been much speculation around what this means for existing academies as well as the role of accountability – with mutterings that SATs and Ofsted could both be abolished. The accountability consultation which Labour opened earlier this year gave us some indication. The consultation promised to ‘reinstate local democratic accountability’ without returning ‘to what has been done in the past’.
Looking forward, this session will ask: ‘How will the N.E.S monitor pupils and progression without standardised testing and school inspection – and what impact will local accountability have on teacher workload?’.
The event will take place on Monday 23rd September between 17:45 – 19:00.
Speakers include: Mary Bousted (NEU); Mike Kane MP (Shadow Schools Minister); David Laws (Education Policy Institute); Mark Lehain (Parents and Teachers for Excellence); and Ann Mroz (Tes).
** Note: This event will take place in the conference secure zone. To access the secure zone you will need to obtain a pass directly from the Labour Party.**