Jul 05

APPG for Education to hear from Sir David Carter, National Schools Commissioner

On 6th September at 10am, in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Room, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Education will be addressed by Sir David Carter, National Schools Commissioner. Sir David was appointed to his role in February 2016. He was previously the Regional School Commissioner for the South West, following a distinguished career as a head teacher and then CEO of the Cabot Learning Federation. He received a knighthood for services to education in the Queen’s birthday honours in 2013.

The Government’s white paper, “Educational Excellence Everywhere” has dominated the education headlines since its publication. With its goal of all schools becoming academies by 2022, the paper brought with it a sharp focus on the role of National Schools Commissioner – the official responsible for overseeing the work of all academies and free schools, through management of Regional School Commissioners (RSCs). However, a backlash from education providers, parents and politicians led the Department for Education to cancelling plans to force even high performing schools to become academies.

This meeting will be an opportunity to hear Sir David’s views on academisation, the challenges faced by multi-academy trusts and what steps he and his team of RSCs are taking to improve academic performance across the country. Sir David will also share his vision of the future of the role of the National Schools Commissioner.

Apr 22

APPG for Education Inquiry Call for Evidence: Do schools prepare young people for their future careers?

Deadline for submissions: 13th June 2016

In its 2015 Education and Skills Survey, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) found that over half of employers were concerned that in the future there would not be enough people available to fill skilled job roles. The report stated that, “The [education] system must change, with more focus on developing the aptitudes and attributes that set young people up for success in both work and life – which matter much more to employers when recruiting than academic results alone”.

Others, however, take a different approach, suggesting that the balance has swung too far towards skills in recent years, to the detriment of the transmission of knowledge in the classroom. Schools Minister Nick Gibb identified at the Education World Forum earlier this year that the government has “reformed the national curriculum in England to put in much of the subject knowledge that previous governments – under the influence of the 21st century skills movement – had taken out”. He cited Daniel Willingham, professor of cognitive science at the University of Virginia, who “explains how the ‘thinking skills’ most prized by schools and employers are dependent upon background knowledge”.

What value should we place on the need to promote other skills that prepare our children for the future, besides strictly academic ones? Is there a role for teaching skills in the classroom, or should teachers focus on imparting subject knowledge? If this is the case, how can young people acquire the attributes that the CBI and others believe are necessary for the workplace?

This APPG for Education inquiry will examine how well our schools are preparing young people for their future, with a particular focus on their readiness for the workforce.

If we are to develop a more productive workforce that will contribute to our growing economy what does this mean for our schools?  Are young people experiencing the right balance between acquiring the requisite subject knowledge and developing the skills and understanding that will make them employees who creatively enhance the productivity of companies?  Should schools be helping young people to develop soft skills, IT skills and a flair for entrepreneurship? What are the skills, knowledge and understanding that world-class employers look for in the expanding area of apprenticeships? Are we providing our schools with the correct framework and sufficient resources to prepare our young people for the world of work?

We intend to develop a clear set of practical recommendations, so that the inquiry is useful to educationalists and policymakers, parents and young people.

The APPG is keen to engage with a wide range of organisations and individuals including schools, colleges and universities; teachers, lecturers and education professionals; young people and representative bodies; employers and representative bodies; parents and carers; educational publishers and suppliers; and other stakeholder organisations.

Terms of Reference

The Inquiry seeks written evidence in response to the following questions:

 

  1. What should our schools be focusing on in order to prepare young people for the future?
  2. Should schools play a role in developing skills, or should subject knowledge be prioritised?
  3. Who should be responsible for ensuring that young people develop soft, financial and entrepreneurial skills?
  4. Do education providers have the resources to prepare young people for the workforce?
  5. To help the APPG create a practical set of approaches and recommendations:
    1. What example are there of schools and colleges preparing young people well for the workforce?
    2. What examples are there of employer-led initiatives that have had an impact?

In addition, the APPG for Education would welcome details of any relevant research carried out by your organisation which it would be willing to share with the Inquiry.

How to submit evidence

The APPG for Education welcomes evidence in response to the terms of reference from individuals and organisations.  Submissions should include a contact name, contact details and organisational details as appropriate. The deadline for submissions is Monday 13th June 2016.

We would prefer responses to be submitted by email to educationappg@ranelaghuk.com as an attachment in MS Word format, although you can send your evidence to:

APPG for Education Preparing for the Future Inquiry

c/o Ranelagh Ltd

9 Neate House

56-62 Lupus Street

London

SW1V 3EG

Inquiry timelines

Date

Activity

25th April 2016 to

13th June 2016

Terms of Reference circulated and

written evidence received

June 2016

Questionnaires for young people, educational professionals and employers distributed

July to September 2016

Panel discussion sessions

October 2016

Report drafted

November 2016

Report published

 

The final report and its recommendations will be submitted to the Secretaries of State for Education and Business, Innovation and Skills for consideration and response.

About the APPG for Education

The APPG for Education explores how maintaining a dialogue between the education sector and Parliament can support improvements in schools and colleges.  The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) provides the Secretariat of the APPG.

Any questions?

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Anna Wolffe, APPG for Education Secretariat, by emailing anna.wolffe@ranelaghuk.com or calling 020 78281603.

For updates on the progress of the inquiry please visit www.educationappg.org.uk.

Mar 23

APPG for Education Annual Lunch 2016

On 15th March 2016, the APPG for Education held its Annual Lunch, with guest speaker Neil Carmichael MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee.

The Lunch was an opportunity for members of the Group to reflect on the APPG’s work since the 2015 Election. Attendees included  Danny Kinahan MP, the Group’s Chairman,  Andrea Jenkyns MP, the Group’s Vice Chair, Flick Drummond MP, Lord Boswell of Aynho and Baroness Hooper. They were joined by education sector stakeholders who have contributed to the work of the Group over the last year.

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It was also a chance to hear from Neil Carmichael about his views on the direction of education policy during this Parliament. Mr Carmichael talked about the work of the Education Committee, and in particular the Purpose of Education Inquiry.  He stated that education is at the core of all economic challenges and strong education makes Britain capable of competing internationally. He also declared a firm belief that curriculum and assessment needed to be considered as a whole and must complement each other, and that a range of options for post 16 study must be available.

On school governance, Mr Carmichael talked about the need for strong leadership of groups of schools with the ability to produce new ideas.  The recently announced Select Committee inquiry into Multi Academy Trusts would be looking at this, 6th Form, UTCs and choices available to secondary school pupils.

Questions to Mr Carmichael ranged from the topic of skills required for good leadership, the ability to look beyond the UK for positive examples of teaching, the teaching and take up of science, teaching of maths beyond 16 and the benefits of teaching business in schools.

Danny Kinahan MP, Chair of the APPG for Education, Dominic Savage of the British Educational Suppliers Association, and Neil Carmichael MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee

Danny Kinahan MP, Chair of the APPG for Education, Dominic Savage of the British Educational Suppliers Association, and Neil Carmichael MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee

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