Our commitment to solutions journalism

We will keep exposing the issues facing schools, but can we provide extra value by doing a better job on reporting the solutions?

We will keep exposing the issues facing schools, but can we provide extra value by doing a better job on reporting the solutions?

Education is enveloped by crises.

Since returning in September, we’ve reported on “apocalyptic” budget pressures, woeful teacher recruitment (and it was already bad), the biggest attainment gap for a decade, a surge in staff deemed suicide risks, and impending strikes.

We will keep exposing these issues so that politicians know about the challenges you face.

But, as political help looks ever more unlikely, we want our journalism to provide even more value.

This means covering some of those big-ticket problems through the lens of potential solutions.

We will investigate and explain solutions, provide insight into how accessible they are, present the evidence (or lack of) and, importantly, look at possible limitations.

This has always been part of our journalism. Longer stories, while leading on the issues, have often suggested how to fix the problems.

But our plan now is to commit to solutions-focused stories more regularly, giving them a place alongside our usual news, investigations, analysis, explainers and opinions.

In our last edition before Christmas in 2020, we ran a series looking at the positives schools discovered during the Covid pandemic: online lessons have meant no more lost learning on snow days; attendance at parents’ evenings have risen because the option to attend online.

One of our Covid solution stories

We will provide more of this. It could be based on an interesting policy proposal, such as the suggestion by Dame Rachel de Souza this week for schools to open spare classrooms for nurseries.

Falling numbers of primary school pupils was causing big problems. Previous Schools Week investigations showed how leaders were having to make cuts to balance the books.

Our coverage also could be driven by choosing a particularly pressing problem and trying to find if there’s someone in the sector who believes they might have a solution that could help.

We want our journalism to be led by you, our readers. So if you think something you’re doing is innovative and helps you (and other schools) to deal with those big issues (including budgets, recruitment, retention, mental health), then we want to hear from you.

Please email the editor John Dickens at

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