Here is an opportunity – perhaps the opportunity – for which the delivery of education in Birmingham has long waited.
At present it is a green shoot, pushing its cotyledons up into the light. It represents potential at this point in time; nothing more.
I hope that with time it will gather strength by sending out adventitious roots to tap into the fertile, nutrient rich soils represented by the experience-base of governors, parents, ward forums, local community, local business, educational staff and their representatives. This is a bold move by these headteachers – far more so than the lead shown by the local authority for many years. Extending the range of participants may also seem a bold step – but it is through the ramifying network of democratic channels that this seedling can grow into a robust and sound entity.
We welcome city-wide collaboration, but we say don’t restrict it to headteachers
This post is also available to download as a BCASE Briefing document here.
On November 6th 2013 the new Birmingham Education Partnership was launched at a conference of 265 headteachers in the new Library. Its aim is to bring together all Birmingham state-funded schools, including academies and free schools, for mutual collaboration and support, in partnership with the local authority, to raise standards. As the BEP brochure says, ‘The BEP will partner with the city council to ensure challenge and ‘school to school’ support is coordinated for all schools’. (The brochure is available on the BEP website)
A rejection of Gove’s fragmented market
For those headteachers it represents a rejection of Mr Gove’s vision of a fragmented market-place of competing schools and a commitment to the idea that Birmingham needs a coordinated system of schools…
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