What we believe
We believe that every school child should have an excellent education and great prospects - regardless of where they live or how much their parents earn. We believe it is unacceptable that top Universities and the most prestigious jobs are dominated by those that went to private schools. Addressing that issue does not mean taking action against those that have attended private schools. Instead, we must create a state education system of such quality that makes such expensive schools pointless and therefore redundant. The best schools can and should be in the state sector. The question is: how do we get there?
Looking at the best schools in the country - in the state and private sector - they tend to have a number of key characteristics in common:
- They teach a challenging curriculum that stresses the importance of knowledge and learning facts.
- Children are tested regularly so their progress can be measured and teaching amended accordingly.
- Exams are tough to ensure children are prepared for University and the workplace.
- The highest standards of behaviour are expected in the classroom and around the school.
- Parents play a role in the education of their child.
- Interesting and stretching extra-curricular activities are standard.
The best people to deliver such schools are the headteachers and teachers that run them day-to-day - and the parents that send their children each morning. Politicians in London and locally have a crucial role in setting expectations and operating a framework that ensures high quality, but we need to trust local people to deliver. We support moves to allow schools to control themselves, and some of the best schools around today have been boosted by the wave of creativity that has come with the increased autonomy many schools now enjoy. Schools have far more ability than they have had previously to bring about excellence – the challenge is to ensure that what these schools are doing are emulated and further improved across the country.
One of the depressing things about the education debate in recent times is its politicisation. Political parties seem to be deciding their policies on the basis of opposition to what others do - politics at its worst. The future of education is about our children's future and it must stand outside of petty political debate. The truth is that it was the Labour Party that first came up with the concept of Academies and it was the coalition of the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives that extended the concept and introduced even more Academies and also Free Schools. Just as within schools themselves, great ideas can come from anywhere.
Without continued major reforms of the education system, top Universities and the most prestigious and highly paid jobs will continue to be dominated by people that attended expensive private schools. Children from state schools will only overtake their private school peers by learning more in class and demonstrating their knowledge in tough exams. Suggesting otherwise to parents and children is simply denying reality.
Parents and Teachers for Excellence campaigns for greater freedom for schools and for them to be able to follow the model of the best schools in the country, and to improve that model wherever they can.
Join us and register your support
We are campaigning for excellence in the education system. By joining our campaign, you can help to persuade everyone, from the Government, all the way down to local schools to follow a model that will deliver excellence.