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‘Teachers have to be in each other’s classrooms to see what’s going on. Schools are organised to prevent that’

Mel Ainscow thinks that teachers are the best researchers of their own roles, but, he says, their creativity is being stymied by one-size-fits-all training tied to funding streams. Adi Bloom meets the academic and Greater Manchester education tsar

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As faint praise goes, Mel Ainscow’s summary of the government’s social mobility action plan is pretty damning.

“I’m sure it’s well-intentioned,” the University of Manchester professor of education says. “I’ve no doubt that people genuinely want to address that challenge.”

He pauses. “But it does seem to me that current policy is a mix of positives and negatives. The good, the bad and the ugly, really.”

Ainscow previously held the post of chief adviser for the Greater Manchester Challenge, a £50 million Labour initiative to improve educational outcomes for pupils across the region, inspired ...

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