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clarity on accountability

12 June 2018

One of the areas considered at our recent roundtable on the school system was the curriculum. In particular, it considered the adverse impact of the accountability and financial pressures facing schools on the curriculum offer they provided to their children and pupils.

The twin pressures of funding and accountability measures are influencing leaders and governing boards to believe that they have no option but to cut their offer to the core. Arguably, it is the outcomes of accountability and the performance management system rather than accountability itself that causes the problems. At a system level there needs to be a broader and smarter range of accountability measures and we need to have a more mature understanding about what schools are looking at achieving.

Within governing boards, trustees and governors will want to reflect on their role in setting organisational performance measures, both to meet the financial pressures and deliver accountability on standards, to ensure that they are not inadvertently contributing to the problem.

Our report recommends that the curriculum offer should be based on a broad consensus on the needs of the whole person providing breadth and depth in order to prepare young people for the future.

The Secretary of State’s review of accountability over the coming months will mean the sands continue to shift, although hopefully with the result that clarity is given to the roles of the different bodies seeking to hold schools accountable.

Read our latest report ‘The Way Ahead’.

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