Michael Gove has been heckled by delegates at the National Association of Head Teachers conference who are mainly opposed to the drive to turn schools into academies, SATS and difficult OFSTED inspections.
It’s right that schools should face tough OFSTED inspections. We send our kids to school for a decent education – they don’t get a second chance. The quality of their education determines their prospects in adult life, of course we should demand high standards. I don’t want my childrens’ teachers burdened with unnecessary targets but I want them to be under constant pressure to achieve because the better they are, the better my childrens’ education will be.
I do agree that SATS are a bad idea though, as are exams as a whole. Continual assessments are a much better way of assessing ability than performance under stressful exam conditions at a certain point in time. The worst thing about SATS, though, is that they’re essentially useless – SATS are taken after secondary schools have made decided which kids they’re going to offer places to which negates their only real use which is to stream children into grammar schools.
Academies are a different matter entirely – they are absolutely the right way to go. Headteachers are better at running schools than local council officers. It takes years to the right qualifications and experience to be a headteacher, a council officer doesn’t. It’s no co-incidence that the top performing schools in the country are outside of local authority control. Headteachers who don’t have the ambition or competence to run a school without administrators at the local council telling them what to do should stand aside for someone who does.