New campaign launches to promote next round of education reform in schools
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
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
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.”