6 big challenges facing schools today

by Stephen Tall on November 23, 2015

eef blog

What are 6 of the biggest challenges facing schools today? I’ve set out my list today, drawn from our ‘really difficult box’, in a blog-post with my Education Endowment Foundation work-hat on — together with some thoughts on how we aim to support schools in tackling them. Here’s point 2:

2. Fragmentation of the schools system

Over the past five years, what’s billed as an “autonomous school-led system” has been gradually replacing the previous local authority-run model. Almost 60% of state-funded secondary schools are academies, up from 6% at the start of 2010.

As the EEF’s chief executive Sir Kevan Collins has noted, this can be a double-edged sword. Positively, “it can drive innovation and enable schools to respond to the precise needs of its students and their families”, but, he cautions, “the dividing line between an autonomous school and an isolated one can be fine.” Where does the school which is struggling turn; where does it access the capacity to self-improve?

There’s no simple or easy solution. But we think one part of the answer is giving schools ready access to high-quality evidence of the most effective teaching and learning strategies – which is exactly what our Toolkit does, alongside its Early Years companion. If schools use evidence to inform their school improvement then autonomy can help achieve the goal of consistent excellence.

You can read my full post here.

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