Our evidence included:
- Executive summary
- What the purpose of education fro children of all ages in England should be
- What measures should be used to evaluate the quality of evucation against this purpose
- How well the current edcuation system perfomrs against these measures
- Recomendations to the Education Select Committee
Recommendations to the Education Select Committee
Start and intervene early – the earlier the better in terms of closing the gaps in attainment between disadvantaged pupils and their better off peers. High quality early years provision is vital to the early identification of problems with communication and academic skills and to brokering the necessary interventions. We welcome the Government’s policy to open free childcare for disadvantages two-years-olds and believe that this will have a positive impact on both the development of the softer skills such as communication, working with others and building good relationships. We firmly believe that having a free two-year-old offer within school-based pre-school settings will have a particularly strong impact on those children who take up the places offered, and will also enable a good transition to primary school. High quality early years provision provides an excellent foundation for future learning.
Invest in support for parents and families – schools cannot be expected to take the full responsibility for the successful outcomes of the children and young people in their care. Parents and carers clearly have a crucial role, in particular in supporting their children to develop the softer skills they will need to succeed. However, some parents and carers struggle to support their children in this way, often due to poor experiences they had themselves as children, so it is vital that the necessary support is available for parents and carers to access. Again, this is an area of provision that has been hit by falling local authority budgets, but it is none-the-less vital if we are to engage parents and families in the work schools are doing to provide the best outcomes for their children.
“If parents want to give their children a gift – the best thing they can do is teach them to love challenge, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning"
From ‘Mindset-the new psychology of success’, Carol Dweck, 2007
Effective teachers and highest quality leaders – if schools are to provide the standard of education we outline in this submission, then it is clear that the system must ensure it is recruiting and training the most effective teachers; and that it is developing and growing the highest quality school and system leaders. We must ensure all this at a time when teachers and leaders are under increasing pressure from their workload, in particular in relation to accountability measures. At Kyra, we recognise that the well-being of our staff is key to ensuring the high quality learning and well-being of our pupils. As such, we are developing a new initiative – ‘Kyra Well-being’ – which aims to provide tiers of well-being support for Headteachers and leaders within the alliance. The programme also builds upon our promise to one another to build social capital- mindful that well-being is an essential and significant part of our community of mutual support and professional generosity. Headship and school leadership can be a lonely place, and whilst teams within schools, leadership teams, and governing bodies can offer a degree of emotional support, on occasion there is a need to talk to a colleague from outside of your own setting, in confidence, and with understanding. In addition to this, we believe that a carefully planned programme of pastoral development, welfare and professional sustenance can contribute to highly effective leadership.