England & Wales

Low-mark for kitemark

Demos and their authors Sonia Sodha and Silvia Guglielmi can be commended on producing A stitch in time: tackling education disadvantage: interim report a-stitch-in-time-tackling-educational-disengagement). It is an excellent overview of the field, showing what has happened and why it is not working. The “third sector” solution is not new, and has been tried, but do we need a kitemark? Kitemarks have their limitations: they only set minimum standards and come with their own bureaucracy. We already have the Criminal Records Bureau, the General Teaching Council, and the National Social Care Council, and many of the third sector projects will be covered by OfSTED registration requirements, or the new inspection regime for independent educational institutions. And sometimes, kitemarking can be self-defeating especially in an area where we need new dynamic participants to find innovative ways of tackling educational disengagement: you have to be up and running to get a kitemark, which you cannot be if you are a new entrant. Let’s hope Demos irons out these issues before the final report is published.