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New group to ‘challenge fundamentals of education system’

Layla Moran sets up commission to move education debate beyond 'party politics and tinkering'

Layla Moran has launched a new education commission

Layla Moran sets up commission to move education debate beyond 'party politics and tinkering'

A new independent commission has been launched to create a long-term vision for state education outside of party politics.

It has been set up by Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrats' education spokesperson, who told the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) annual conference that she wanted to ensure that the teaching profession helped to shape future education policy.

She said the commission would rise above party politics, but she hoped all parties would "steal" its ideas as she called for a new consensus.

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Background: Ex-teacher is Lib Dem's education spokesperson

Ms Moran said: “We all know how easily education reforms – the good and the bad – can come and go at the whims of a variably informed education secretary.

“And that’s why I think we need to challenge the fundamentals of our education system.”

The commission has many high-profile people on it including: ASCL’s general secretary Geoff Barton; former Ofsted chief inspector Christine Gilbert; joint general secretary of the NEU teaching union Kevin Courtney; expert in high-performance learning Deborah Eyre; former Commons Education Select Committee chair Neil Carmichael, and headteacher Ed Vainker.

It will be chaired by Teach First co-founder Jo Owen.

Aiming for a 'world-class' system

Ms Moran has said she does not want the commission to be party-political and she is not sitting on it herself.

She said: “Many of the children being born now will live to see the 22nd century. We cannot drive to the future by looking to the past: we need a clear vision of the future perfect and then build a road map for how we get there.

"Parts of our system are already seen as world-class: let’s make sure the entire system is world class."

The commission is expected to produce an interim report in a few months and a final report “in a bit over a year.”

Ms Moran urged the teaching profession to get involved by answering calls for evidence as the commission carries out work towards final report

She said: “That report will articulate a vision of that future-perfect end product with first steps for how we get there.

“And then, I want every political party to steal these ideas.

“So my message to Damian Hinds of the Conservative Party, Angela Rayner of the Labour Party and anyone else listening, is that we need to work together to reset the education debate in this country."

She added: "Imagine where would we be now if, over the past 30 years, we had slowly, slowly reformed towards a common, evidenced, goal? That’s what I want to do.”

Speaking to the assembled school leaders, Ms Moran said she was a school governor and former maths and physics teacher and “missed the job like hell”.

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