England & Wales

Bottoms up for school improvement?

Chaired the [LGC] Conference today on what June’ White paper means for local government.

Greatly comforted to hear that the Government is abandoning long held beliefs that only “top down” school improvement strategies work. From now on, it will be “bottom up”: school improvement will be lead by schools, supported by their local authorities. Hurrah!!!

But what does it mean? Can you have a bottom up policy enforced top down? Can a bottom up policy maintain the progress of recent years? 

Good local developments have always been a sensitive mix of people want to make their communities better being supported by well-tuned local government structures knowing how to achieve change to make communities. The role of central government is to set the framework which promotes fairness, equity, opportunity, achievement backed with sufficient national resources.

 The Schools White Paper offers schools a much great say in how they will improve by letting them choose what is best for them. There will be no more National Strategies telling schools what to do and how to do it. The trouble is, I remain unconvinced by this apparent change of heart by central Government. Time will tell!