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National Strategies won't be missed

Ed Balls is to be congratulated on ending the National Strategies. The evidence, notably from Durham University's Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring, is that they have not raised standards, despite the money and political capital invested. Teachers and schools will be better decision makers when well informed.

It is to be hoped that government advice will come in future as authored documents, rather than as prescription. Delegating responsibility will raise standards - and you do not have to look far for the evidence. Time and again, Ofsted reports that high standards are associated with strong leadership, and such leadership can only thrive when it has real responsibility.

From a publishing perspective, the various national strategies have inhibited innovation and the workings of a competitive market. Moreover, with each of their frequent changes, they have undermined the previous investment schools have made in resources. This wider trend - to give more responsibility to communities and professionals, and for schools the ability to respond more to parents rather than to the state, is to be welcomed.

Christopher Jolly, Managing Director, Jolly Learning Ltd.

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