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Key recommendations

Key recommendations

Education 10 year vision

Our research, experience and discussions at the roundtable lead Browne Jacobson to make the following observations and recommendations:

  • schools and academies should be given as much autonomy as possible but this needs to be supported with robust local oversight (be that RSCs, local authorities or a combination) which is, in turn, held properly, competently and independently to account by Ofsted. In addition, both Ofsted and schools will need to have professional confidence in the ability of that local oversight body to consistently make judgements
  • there needs to be a co-ordinated inspection regime for school groups and multi-academy trusts that assesses the effectiveness of the group both educationally and organisationally. There are strong arguments in favour of considering one regulator, and for that to be an expanded and developed Ofsted, to ensure that academy trusts deliver:
    • effective governance and are operated in a manner that is financially viable regardless of size or complexity
    • value for money for the public purse
    • good or better educational outcomes.
  • the single independent regulator, whether it is Ofsted or another body (the SIR), also needs to check the effectiveness and efficacy of Government policy in the way its policies are implemented in schools
  • in order to deliver the potential of a self-improving school system, the Government should provide funding to enable the SIR to be sophisticated enough to be able to look at, understand and judge the effectiveness (both educationally and organisationally) of different approaches rather than regulate via a compliance model where there is a tendency towards a ‘one size fits all approach’. This upfront investment could well save the public purse in the longer term
  • the Government and the profession need to work together to ensure that the public see teaching as a high-quality and high-status profession. This must be evidenced through actions and policies rather than general statements
  • the Government needs to provide support to allow the sector to advance and deliver a leadership development strategy which will bring together a number of strands including formal training and mentoring of new leaders. The strategy fundamentally needs to address the size of the challenge (in terms of numbers of leaders needed) and therefore will need funding, focus and fostering. This needs to be sector led but supported by Government.

Browne Jacobson would like to thank the key education sector stakeholders who attended our latest roundtable discussion, chaired by Mark Blois, Head of Education at Browne Jacobson.

This report reflects the thoughts and views that were introduced in a white paper Browne Jacobson issued in preparation for the event and then developed at our roundtable. It puts forward a series of key recommendations for further consideration by stakeholders on delivering an effective accountability and regulatory regime and about what the sector needs to do to support the development of the next generation of leaders. In the report, where we refer to the panel, we are referring to the attendees of the roundtable as a whole.

The content of this report does not reflect the views of any one individual who attended or the organisation they represent. The information and opinions expressed in this report are no substitute for full legal advice, it is for guidance only.

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This report is also available as a PDF that can be downloaded below.

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Mark Blois

Mark Blois

Partner and Head of Education

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