Who wants to be a policymaker?

15th September 2000 at 01:00
ASKING the audience to supply the answers to questions that flummox contestants on the hit TV show Who wants to be a millionaire? is always a gamble.

Yet new Labour, more used to consulting focus groups, is adopting similar tactics to judge how popular - or not - - its education reforms are.

But that is exactly what is planned in a series of ministerial roadshows next week. In London, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham and Newcastle, headteachers attending the "Learning from Success" conferences will be given electronic touch pads and asked to register their views.

Who, for example, do they feel is supporting ther efforts to raise standards - parents, the media, local authorities, Government or the unions?

They will be asked to select from a list of 10 Government policies which have had the most negative impact on their school.

Answers supplied by the audience to TV game shows can lead to cash prizes. Answers supplied to the Department for Education and Employment's own version may reap their own reward. For one other topic likely to be put to the heads who represent around 10 per cent of those running schools in England is: "Would you welcome your school getting still greater autonomy?"

Fastest fingers first!


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