Labour wants local schools commissioners

Former Education Secretary David Blunkett has published a report calling for a more coherent way of running the different types of state-funded schools in England.

In an attempt to reform a ‘Kafkaesque’ education system, with the DfE overseeing thousands of individual schools, Labour has promised to introduce a new system of local school commissioners, the BBC reports.

The new commissioners would be responsible for raising standards, deciding on proposals for new schools and handling failing schools. Former Education Secretary David Blunkett believes this would be a more ‘coherent’ way of running the different types of state-funded schools in England, including academies and free schools.

Mr. Blunkett’s blueprint proposes local ‘Directors of School Standards’ to monitor schools and  sets out a structure for how different types of state schools should be co-ordinated in local areas. The new directors could intervene in academies and free schools, which currently operate outside council education services, if there were problems with underperformance. “New local directors of school standards will monitor, support and challenge schools to improve, driving up standards in underperforming and ‘fragile’ schools – irrespective of the status of school,” Mr. Blunkett said. “This has to be an agenda of high standards and fairness for all.”

Tristram Hunt, Labour’s education spokesman, welcomed the report drawing on the lessons of the London Challenge programme, which aimed to support struggling schools and improve results in schools in the capital. “Spreading this success means an end to Michael Gove’s ‘sink or swim’ schools policy, with new and robust local oversight of all schools to root-out underperformance. That’s what directors of school standards will bring,” he said.

What do you think of David Blunkett’s plans? Would local school commissioners result in higher standards and a more coherent system?

6 thoughts on “Labour wants local schools commissioners

  1. Oh goody! More incompetent people to come and watch us teach, just what we need! It’s not good enough that we are raising standards! As a job creation scheme it sucks! On the bright side I can add to the list of people who observe me but have no idea about Early Years Foundation Stage. Just as well teachers believe that children are the most important factor and the sole reason we are in the job! I’d like to say rant over, but it won’t be!

  2. We need LESS political intervention into the classroom not MORE ! This is yet another example of Gnew Labour following in the Torie’s footsteps !
    Isn’t it time Blunkett retired ?
    Teachers should inspect teachers not politicians . Maybe , teachers should inspect politicians ?

  3. Another layer of management. What’s wrong with using the LEA for doing all of those things? That’s what they were established to do!

  4. The public sector has been used by successive governments since Thatcher was responsible for education as vote catchers ……. ALL saying it’s a mess and we will sort it with our changes …. well they are so stupid they cannot see that the whole of the public sector is in melt down as a direct consequence of govt interference …… all will be dashed on the rocks within 10yrs …. a wrecked and unable to work NHS, education system, police service, fire service and armed forces…..

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