The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) are today launching a new publication that sets out the findings of their Great Education Debate on the future of the education system in England.
The publication Leading for the Future: A summation of the Great Education Debate, brings together contributions from more than 20 education experts.
Three priority areas, or “building blocks”, will be at the forefront of system improvement; ensuring achievement for all students, building the professional skills of teachers and promoting collaboration among institutions.
ASCL director of policy Leora Cruddas, said: “Alongside the day-job of leading schools, we must also consider the future shape of the education system, not just how we add value, but how we create value and how we lead the system.
“The next phase in system leadership is to make the leap to defining what a self-improving, school-led system looks like, and then moving irrevocably towards it.”
Incoming president Peter Kent will also launch the ASCL theme “trust to transform” at the Houses of Commons event today.
Mr Kent, headteacher of Lawrence Sheriff School in Rugby, said: “I believe that we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to replace control with trust. It is a challenge, because it brings with it huge responsibility. Trust has to be earned and can never be taken for granted. However, it is also hugely exciting, since it is only through sustained trust at all levels that genuine transformation happens.”
Building on the outcomes of the Great Education Debate, ASCL will later this month be launching a consultation on creating a blueprint for a self-improving, school-led system.
UPDATE: Schools Week caught up with two attendees after the speeches.
The chair of the education select committee, Graham Stuart MP, hosted the event. Asked about the ASCL publication Mr Stuart said: “Sets of essays rarely change the world themselves but they can be a stepping stone to further debate.
“I think they have rightly identified the key issue going forward. How do we get greater collaboration? How do we make that to happen in more places, rather than sporadically? That is the big issue.”
On the topic of collaboration Lynne Sedgmore, executive director at the 157 Group of FE colleges and author of a chapter called “vocational learning for all”, said: “I think it is important that we do find ways, whatever the competition or the local context, for schools and colleges to work more closely together in the interests of pupils and learners.”