In the past 18 months, we have had a DfE white paper and then a green paper, most of which has not seen the light of day. Instead certain themes – such as social mobility, financial efficiencies, phonics and maths mastery, multi academy trusts – are repeated by ministers, but these do not add up to a coherent vision for state schools. There is also little clarity about where the capacity for school improvement is in the system, with new vehicles invented to fill gaps, such as the Sub-regional improvement boards. Given this deficit as to the purpose of our state schools and how that is to be fulfilled, we want with this debate to begin to take the initiative.
A vision for state schools in England: where do we want to be – and how are we going to get there?