Setting the scene
Education policy in the UK has been steadily evolving over the last 20 years, but the trickle of new initiatives and policy changes has turned into a torrent in recent times. The education landscape in 2013 looks much different than it did even in 2010.
Evidence from other countries suggests that this constant change is counter productive to creating the worldclass education system that we all want and need. One common feature of countries that do consistently well in education comparisons is that they have a long-term development plan for the future of their education service that rises above short-term political considerations and is not driven by the electoral cycle.
There seems to be a growing consensus, amongst those people who possess expertise and knowledge, about what needs to happen for the UK to meet the global challenges facing us now and our young people in the coming years.
Therefore it seems the right time to launch a second great debate on the future of education, to begin to build on this emerging consensus. This debate aims to take stock, to look objectively and without political bias at the evidence of what is working and what is not, to clarify the areas of consensus and to set out a vision that will go beyond this and the next Parliament.
It must involve parents, policy makers, school and college leaders, governors, pupils and employers. Everyone who is serious about moving our education service is invited to join the Great Education Debate.