A commission involving heads should be set up to review accountability structures in wake of pandemic, say school leaders
In 1942, the Liberal politician William Beveridge presented a report to Parliament containing a detailed plan for post-war recovery.
“Now, when the war is abolishing landmarks of every kind, is the opportunity for using experience in a clear field,” he said.
His ideas went on to significantly influence the founding of the Welfare State, promising protection for citizens “from cradle to grave”. Now, in a new report in 2021, a group of headteachers say the “opportunity and imperative are comparable” with the post-war era as they call for major shifts in policy that they say are needed to fight a “very different battle” to recover from the Covid pandemic.
The report, from the think-tank Headteachers’ Roundtable, An Alternative Education White Paper, calls for reform of the schools inspectorate Ofsted, as well as funding shifts, as the “the current situation requires a move away from catch-up culture to a long-term, sustainable commitment to provision-led funding”.
The organisation conducted three listening exercises during the spring focusing on accountability, resources and assessment, with more than 150 school leaders from across the country taking part.
The think tank describes the resulting policy paper as a “sensible, practical and necessary” set of proposals from “respected leaders in the field” that the government should listen to if it is serious about “building back better” after the national coronavirus crisis.
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