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.

  1. Increased diversity

    The move towards schools becoming more diverse started with the creation of city technology colleges in 1989 and picked up pace in 1992 when the first specialist schools were introduced. Higher performing secondary schools were financially incentivised to adopt a particular specialism as a way of carving out a distinct identity for their school in the belief that this would broaden parental choice.

    Phase III: Structures, admissions and accountablity
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    Reconceptualising learning

    There is a wider question about whether the structural changes currently being considered, debated and tested are radical enough to shape an education service for the 21st century.

    Phase III: Structures, admissions and accountablity
    Total replies: 3 Last comment: 05 Oct 16
  2. The impact of autonomy on school improvement

    How far has autonomy contributed to school improvement? The Academies Commission found that the autonomy linked to the introduction of academies had “provided much-needed vitality to the school system” but were more equivocal about the gains in attainment.

    Phase III: Structures, admissions and accountablity
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    Balanced accountability frameworks

    Accountability arrangements can help incentivise educational improvement but need to achieve the right balance between holding schools and school leaders to account and supporting schools to improve.

    Phase II: Improving the quality of teaching and learning and the leadership of learning
    Total replies: 1 Last comment: 19 Nov 13
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    The quality of teaching and teachers

    Improving the quality of teachers and teaching is generally recognised as being crucial to improving outcomes for students and the performance of an education system.

    Phase II: Improving the quality of teaching and learning and the leadership of learning
    Total replies: 11 Last comment: 25 Aug 14
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    High quality leadership

    The quality of leadership in a school is second only to teaching in its impact on student outcomes.

    Phase II: Improving the quality of teaching and learning and the leadership of learning
    Total replies: 2 Last comment: 05 Dec 13
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    The curriculum

    On one side of the curriculum debate are those, including the government, who believe that the curriculum should be based primarily on knowledge. Do you agree? You will need to log in to vote and comment.

    Phase I: The purpose of education
    Total replies: 22 Last comment: 19 Oct 16
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    Assessment

    The assessment debate to a degree reflects the curriculum debate, as there tends to be an affinity between knowledge-based curriculum and formal tests versus a skills-based curriculum and more flexible approaches to assessment. But are students tested too frequently, especially as the participation age rises to 18? You will need to log in to vote and comment.

    Phase I: The purpose of education
    Total replies: 20 Last comment: 05 Nov 13
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    The purpose of education

    Put a cross-section of people in a room and ask them ‘What is the purpose of education?’ and you are likely to get as many different answers as there are people. Should we adopt a national statement on the purpose of education to guide our vision? You will need to log in to vote and comment.

    Phase I: The purpose of education
    Total replies: 21 Last comment: 21 Jul 16

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