I trained as a teacher in Leeds back in the 1980s. And ever since there has been nothing but ‘shake-ups in education’. Nine years as a School Governor in the city was characterised by a succession of initiatives, mostly from Whitehall, to be dealt with.
But inspite of all of this change, very little real progress. You don’t believe that rise in examination results every year for the last 29 do you?
So what happens when you float a radical idea related to education in the city? A senior public sector manager snorts loudly and says ‘That’ll never happen’.
Nice. Way to go. Innovation Central. Thank you!
The idea? Not a manifesto. Not even a proposal. Just an idea….
What if every school in the city carried the same proportion of pupils from poor homes? Instead of some schools having no ‘poor kids’ and others having a majority, why not find ways to ensure that every school has a very similar profile of wealth in its population?
What might the impact be on the quality of education right across the city?
Or how about this?
Why not take the money that we currently spend on inward investment and tourism in the city and instead use it to reduce class sizes across Leeds? We might then attract employers to our city because of the quality of the education we offer, the resulting talented workforce and providing great education to employers and employees children? Tourists might come because the citizens of Leeds are actually able to produce an experience that few can match.
- What are the other radical ideas that we could explore in relation to education in Leeds?
- How do we produce citizens who know how to make their enterprising souls sing?
- How do we overcome the disparity in achievement that is dictated more by a fate of birth than anything else?
Anyone up for an Innovation Lab on Education in Leeds?