Fantasy DfE Business Plan

12th November 2010

If you were in charge of the new Department for Education, what would go into your Business Plan?

You can get inspiration from the real on here or see what we came up with.

Please leave your ideas as a comment or Tweet to @LKMco #fantasyDfEplan
Laura McInerney
1. Each teacher to complete at least one ‘OUTSET’ training day per year, where the teacher shadows a subject-related worker. 
– A Historian might spend the day at a museum or with a lawyer; a maths teacher could shadow a banker or academic.
– Teachers could then make better real-world links with their subjects and gain useful contacts for organising student work experience or trips.
2. Change the remit of Aim Higher to become a broker between social enterprise and schools.
– Schools are often bombarded with generic ‘aspiration’ programmes unsuitable for their students.
– It would be better if schools could request specific help or resources through Aim Higher who then source the requests from social enterprises or willing businesses.
3. Keep the current National Curriculum at Secondary level.
– It is well-written and meaningful.  Every time it changes schools spend a huge amount of money changing books and training teachers.  Teacher time is spent planning rather than refining lessons and delivering them well.
Loic Menzies
1. Implement the Cambridge review at Primary level
– The review was popular with teachers, well researched and offered opportunities for a flexible high quality curriculum.
2. Reform the system for publishing school results:
a) Publish school results as % of pupils with achievement in 5 GCSE bands (BTECs would count as one single GCSE) 
– The bands would need to be set with reference to current data but could be something like 10a*-a, 7 a*-b, 5a*-c, 5a*-g, <5a*-g
– This system would make achievement for all relevant.
– At the moment pupils with little chance of achieving 5A*-C are written off by some schools and effort focused on C-D borderline pupils.
– At the other end of the spectrum pupils assured of 5A*-Cs are sometimes neglected: “they’ll do well anyway, they can be in a big class with our weakest teachers”.
b) Publish the Ofsted grades for section a, b and c
– A school might not get great results but could have “high quality provision” (including outstanding teaching and learning) or excellent provision for “economic and social well-being” and “community cohesion.”
– Many parents value these things but do not read the complete OFSTED report (in which the grades are currently available). So long as the OFSTED categories remained untouched publishing the numerical grades in these different areas would be a quick reference.
3. Reduce restrictions on pupil exclusions for 6 months in challenge schools, schools in special measures/notice to improve where behaviour is the central problem.
– When schools are in special measures or have notice to improve because of total chaos, a big shock and change can be achieved if it is clear that the worst behaviour will result in exclusion.
– Though this is obviously not desirable in the long term, if schools want to achieve a real change in the culture they often end up with high exclusion rates but as a result face criticism and pressure from the LA and costs of around £4000 per pupil (creating additional unhelpful budget pressures).
4.  Free up teacher time for CPD and planning by ending expectation that all work should be marked 
– Whilst this isn’t really a statutory or government issue heads, often fear that OFSTED will pounce on any unmarked work. This is unhelpful a few pieces of work marked and assessed in detail each half term are more useful than checking every exercise in and exercise book.
– Marking books feels like a massive workload for many teachers discouraging them from spending the time planning or improving their practice)
Don’t forget to leave your ideas and comments or tweet to @LKMco #fantasyDfEplan