'Education reformers' call for more tests and stronger discipline
A group of school leaders, teachers and policymakers has launched a campaign calling for education reforms to focus on areas such as more testing and stronger behaviour policies.
The coalition of “education reformers” (see below) is heavily made up of supporters of the reforms brought in under Michael Gove and David Cameron and includes the likes of Tom Bennett, founder of ResearchEd and chair of the Department for Education Behaviour Group , Dan Moynihan, CEO of Harris Federation and Rachel Wolf, founder of the New Schools Network and former education special adviser to the prime minister.
The group, called Parents and Teachers for Excellence, will push for the government’s schools policy to “move away from structures” and focus more on what happens in the classroom.
The campaign says it will aim to promote “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”.
The launch comes just a week after the government announced its plans to dramatically expand the number of grammar schools in England.
But the group’s founder, Rachel De Souza, chief executive of the academy chain Inspiration Trust, said the PTE was not created in response to the government’s plan.
“The debate was going too far down the ‘local authority schools versus academies’ route, which we felt was missing the point of what we are trying to do in academies and free schools”, she said.
“It is really important that parents don’t get lost in this structures debate and instead we should be promoting what curriculum is being taught. What are our children learning? What are our approaches to behaviour?”
Dame De Souza added that the campaign will move the education debate away from the “elites in Westminster and Whitehall” and aim to mobilise parents and teachers across the country.
The PTE advisory council is made up of the following:
Tom Bennett, Founder of ResearchEd and Chair of the Department for Education Behaviour Group
John Blake, History Consultant & Leading Practitioner at Harris Federation
Christine Counsell, Director of Education, Inspiration Trust
Anthony Denny, Parent & Governor, Jane Austen College
Rachel De Souza, CEO, Inspiration Trust
Toby French, Lead Practitioner, Torquay Academy
Claire Heald, Executive Principal, Jane Austen College
Karl Hoods, Chairman of Governors, Harris Academy Beckenham
Hywel Jones, Head Teacher, West London Free School
Michaela Khatib, Executive Head, Cobham Free School
Mark Lehain, Principal, Bedford Free School
Stuart Lock, Head Teacher, Cottenham Village College
Helena Mills, CEO, Burnt Mills Academy Trust
Munira Mirza, Former Deputy Mayor of Education and Culture for London
Dan Moynihan, CEO, Harris Federation
Libby Nicholas, CEO, Reach 4 Academy Trust
Sara Noel, Parent and Governor, Cottenham Village College
Martyn Oliver, CEO, Outwood Grange Academies Trust
James O'Shaughnessy, 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, Great Yarmouth Primary Academy
Jo Saxton, CEO, Turner Schools Multi-Academy Trust
Tony Sewell, Founder of Generating Genius
Jonathan Simons, Head of Education at Policy Exchange & Chairman of Governors, Greenwich Free School
Luke Sparkes, Principal, Trinity Academy
Alex Wade, Parent and Chairman of Governors, Fulham Boys School
Claire Ward, Parent, Cobham Free School
Rachel Wolf, Founder of The New Schools Network & Former Special Adviser to the Prime Minister for Education