The first topic we want to discuss is ‘The Purpose of Education’ which we believe is fundamental in steering the future of education policy in the right direction. We have posed a series of questions to stimulate discussion on this topic however, we want you to let us have your views. Please suggest a debate on this first topic by leaving your comments in the box on the right, or go to the debate page to see the topics already being discussed.

Phase III: Structures, admissions and accountability

Spring term discussion

The government and the opposition both place great store by the concept of autonomy; school and college leaders being free to run their institutions as they consider appropriate and taking responsibility for outcomes. But how far has autonomy been an aid to improvement? And, how real is the level of autonomy? In terms of admissions, how far has this development brought welcome innovation and competition to the system? Are admissions procedures helping to promote or undermine broader social cohesion objectives? And how can we maintain rigour in the system while paying greater attention to accountability mechanisms that provide information and data relevant to teaching and learning? How can an accountability system maintain a focus on improvement in attainment with recognising progress in developing broader skills? And how could accountability be better balanced to reflect both the responsibility of individual institutions and their wider contribution to the local education system?

The third debate paper will be produced and published on this website in the New Year and it will look at all of these questions and more.

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