Scrap Ofsted and the national curriculum, says Green Party
The Green Party would abolish Ofsted and scrap the national curriculum in a complete overhaul of the education system, according to its leader.
While many teachers might hope for a period of calm following May’s general election, the Greens are committed to a raft of further reforms, including ditching grammar schools and dropping all national tests in primary schools.
Speaking to TES, party leader Natalie Bennett said the Greens would also raise the school starting age to 6, return academies and free schools to the control of local authorities, and remove all tax breaks currently enjoyed by private schools.
Among the party’s most eye-catching policies – at least as far as teachers are concerned – is the intention to abolish nearly every measure by which schools are held to account, including most standardised tests and Ofsted.
“[Ofsted] has become very damaging for schools and teachers and pupils. We would like to replace the idea of parachuting in inspectors every few years with a regionally based, continuous programme of assessment,” Ms Bennett said.
The national curriculum would also go, replaced by looser “base national standards” that would outline what children had the “right to know”.
The Greens are enjoying a historic leap in the opinion polls, but this has placed their policies under greater scrutiny than ever before. The party’s full election manifesto will be finalised over the coming weeks.
“We believe in an education system where every child can achieve their best, and that the best way to achieve that is where all elements of the system are cooperating and not competing with each other,” Ms Bennett added.
Natalie Bennett will be among the influential figures speaking at the London Festival of Education on Saturday 28 February. TES has teamed up with the UCL Institute of Education to host the one-day event. Among those attending will be Labour's education spokesman Tristram Hunt, Finnish educational reform expert Pasi Sahlberg and spoken word artist George the Poet. Find out more and to book tickets visit: www.londonfestivalofeducation.com