Saturday, 15 May 2010

Can schools be free and accountable?

Asks the BBC. The answer is yes.

The question is about accountability - and in their bureaucratic, state-holding-schools-accountable mindset they have forgotten the accountability of the market - parents taking their child (and money) elsewhere - so the good schools will get more children and more money, the bad schools won't survive, and yes, may have to shut down.

Inspections will help the judgement, but might some more market-based solutions come about? I'm talking not only inspection bodies themselves setting up, but even chains of schools, brand names, that incredibly important issue for any firm - and even for schools. And this is where the diversity of the market comes about - teaching techniques could vary from school to school (which would certainly have been to benefit to me these last few years - groupwork and Powerpoints every lesson has never worked) and the old word of innovation could make its comeback in finding best how to educate. Just as I know Snickers has nuts, a certain 'brand' of school could, for example, educate traditionally.

To make this accountability work - not exam league tables, but people actually recognising not just the results that come out of schools, but the skills, the type of person coming out of the school, the real knowledge, how ready they are for the real world....

And on that point, let's hope the policy works.

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