September 21st, 2016

Leading education reformers are launching a new campaign to promote the principles they believe deliver the best outcomes in our country’s state schools. Parents & Teachers for Excellence aims to build a national movement, making the case in local communities across England.

The campaign believes that Free Schools and Academies have been a success and should be extended where possible, but the campaign will focus on four core principles: promoting knowledge-based curricula that emphasise extensive subject knowledge; the benefits of regular, rigorous assessment throughout pupils’ school lives; promoting enrichment through a longer school day; and the need for effective behaviour policies. It is these principles that are best able to raise standards in our schools.

Strictly non-partisan, PTE is led by an Advisory Council that will make the case for reform in the national and local media and at events across the country. PTE’s website and social media platforms will speak directly to people across the country, explaining our case for reform and building a national network of activists. These activists will make the case for change in their local schools.

The advisory council is made up of the following people:

Tom Bennett, Founder of ResearchEd & Chair of the Department for Education Behaviour Group

John Blake, History Consultant & Leading Practitioner at Harris Federation

Christine Counsell, Director of Education at Inspiration Trust

Anthony Denny, Parent & Governor at Jane Austen College

Rachel De Souza, CEO at Inspiration Trust

Toby French, History Teacher at Torquay Academy & author of Show and Tell: One Year in a Secondary School

Claire Heald, Executive Principal at Jane Austen College

Karl Hoods, Chairman of Governors at Harris Academy Beckenham

Hywel Jones, Head Teacher at West London Free School

Michaela Khatib, Executive Head at Cobham Free School

Mark Lehain, Principal at Bedford Free School

Stuart Lock, Head Teacher at Cottenham Village College

Helena Mills, CEO at Burnt Mill Academy Trust

Munira Mirza, Former Deputy Mayor of Education and Culture for London

Dan Moynihan, CEO at Harris Federation

Libby Nicholas, CEO at Reach 4 Academy Trust

Sara Noel, Parent and Governor at Cottenham Village College

Martyn Oliver, CEO at Outwood Grange Academies Trust

James O’Shaughnessy, Conservative Member of the House of Lords & Founder of Floreat Education Academies Trust

Bruno Reddy, Maths Social Entrepreneur & former Head of Maths at King Solomon Academy

Martin Robinson, Educationalist & author of Trivium21c

Mark Rose, Governor at Great Yarmouth Primary Academy

Jo Saxton, CEO at Turner Schools Multi-Academy Trust, Trustee at The New Schools Network & Former CEO at Future Academies

Tony Sewell, Founder of Generating Genius

Jonathan Simons, Head of Education at Policy Exchange & Chairman of Governors, Greenwich Free School

Luke Sparkes, Principal at Dixons Trinity Academy

Alex Wade, Parent and Chairman of Governors at Fulham Boys School

Claire Ward, Parent at Cobham Free School

Rachel Wolf, Founder of The New Schools Network & Former Special Advisor to the Prime Minister for Education

Knowledge-based learning has the prospect to significantly raise standards by improving subject knowledge and reading ability and regular, rigorous assessment will give headteachers, teachers, parents and pupils themselves the ability to measure progress. Exposing children to cultural activities not only provides them with important “cultural capital” that is traditionally owned by those that attend independent schools, but evidence suggests that, in the form of learning an instrument, it can help their academic work too.

Rachel De Souza, founder of Parents & Teachers for Excellence, and Chief Executive of the Inspiration Trust, said: “Vital structural reform freed schools from political control but only took us to the start line. We must now focus on how we teach and test children in schools so that we can raise standards – as well as exposing them to the sorts of cultural activities they might not get at home.

“For too long, the education debate has taken place amongst elites in Westminster and Whitehall. We are creating a movement that will recruit and mobilise parents and teachers from across the country to make the case for change.”