John Dunford’s Election Blog, Thursday 6 May

This blog is reposted here from John’s 2010 election blog for ASCL.

At last it’s election day and the real poll takes the place of the interminable opinion polls. The time to comment on the three party manifestos is past as we begin to look to the future. So here’s ASCL’s open letter to the new secretary of state:

Dear Sir or Madam (well, anything can happen in politics, so it might not be Balls, Gove or Laws),

Congratulations on your appointment as secretary of state for education. You have just started the best job in government, with the future of the country literally in your hands and a workforce with the strongest possible commitment to maximising the life chances of every young person.

Writing on behalf of the leaders of that workforce, I ask you to work with us. We would particularly ask you to remember the following ten things:

1. Pass fewer education laws. Do not over-regulate schools and colleges. Put in place just enough regulation to ensure that one school’s success is not at the expense of another.

2. Maintain the direction of change from the culture of competition that existed in the 1980s and 1990s to the culture of collaboration and partnership between institutions that has developed strength in recent years. Create more incentives for schools to work in partnership.

3. Continue to increase in real terms the proportion of the national budget spent on schools and colleges. The next generation of young people should not have their education jeopardised as a result of an economic crisis not of their making.

4. Over time, improve the distribution of that funding so that young people are not disadvantaged by their postcode.

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