Plenty of ideas, but where's the evidence?

6th September 2013 at 01:00

Over 50 years I have corresponded with local and national policymakers and met many of them. They seem to welcome ideas and respect evidence, but when taking action they always first consider party or personal advantage, not least electoral prospects. That involves public perceptions fed by party allegiances and other ideologies that reflect prejudice and anxiety more than wisdom informed by evidence. Marriage between such superficiality and much-needed reform is difficult.

Education secretary Michael Gove deserves credit for challenging tired orthodoxy. If only he were interested in the evidence for what my grandchildren actually need: a national, equal-access, effective experience of teaching and learning fit for a life of a century or more. We need a balance between monolithic uniformity and the lottery that still disbars common-sense education. We have to work with all the pieces not just bits at a time. But today that change would be too radical to preserve electoral prospects.

Mervyn Benford, Information officer, National Association for Small Schools.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now