«L'éducation peut changer la vie et, pour moi, est une question de justice sociale que les chances d'apprentissage est donné à chaque enfant, où qu'ils vivent et quelle que soit leur origine sociale".
"La educación puede cambiar la vida y, para mí, es una cuestión de justicia social que las posibilidades de aprendizaje se da a cada niño, dondequiera que vivan y sea cual sea su condición social".
"Bildung kann Leben verändern und, zu mir, ist eine Frage der sozialen Gerechtigkeit, dass die Chancen für das Lernen für jedes Kind gegeben wird, wo auch immer sie und unabhängig von ihrer sozialen Herkunft leben können".
“L’educazione può cambiare la vita e, per me, è questione di giustizia sociale il fatto che la possibilità di istruirsi sia data a ciascun bambino, ovunque egli viva e qualunque sia la sua provenienza sociale”.
Foreword by the Secretary of State for Education Education has the power to transform lives and, for me, is a matter of social justice – extending opportunity to every child, wherever they live and whatever their background. Good schools and a well-educated population make our country stronger, fairer, wealthier and more secure, and higher standards in the classroom mean better life chances for everyone. Investing in our education system is an investment in the future of our nation.
In 2010, we inherited an education system where 1 in 3 young people left primary school unable to read, write and add up properly; where the number of young people studying core academic subjects had halved in 13 years. Far too many schools were failing, and far too many children were left out or left behind. Recent international assessments, comparing the performance of our young people in 2011/2012 with their international peers, have shown that our education standards have remained static, at best, whilst other countries have moved ahead. Over the course of the last Parliament we put in place bold reforms to drive up standards in schools. We tackled grade inflation and restored the integrity of our qualifications, introduced a new, more ambitious national curriculum, raised the bar for entry to the teaching profession, and gave more freedom and autonomy to headteachers and leaders through the academies and free schools programme.
Thanks to the hard work of thousands of teachers, headteachers and governors, huge progress was made and schools today are better than ever before. However, there still remain too many pockets of educational nderperformance – areas where too many young people miss out on the chance to benefit from the best possible education. This is deeply unfair. So this white paper sets out our plans for the next five years, building on and extending our reforms to achieve educational excellence everywhere. Where great schools, great leaders and great teachers exist, we will let them do what they do best – helping every child to achieve their full potential.
Where they do not, we will step in to build capacity, raise standards and provide confidence for parents and children. We will put children and parents first. We will set high expectations for every child, ensuring that there are no forgotten groups or areas and we will focus on outcomes. All the policies in this white paper follow that approach. To make sure that our plans are consistent and coherent, we have followed five guiding principles, as set out in our departmental strategy overview at Annex A. 3 We believe in supported autonomy: aligning funding, control, responsibility and accountability in one place, as close to the front line as possible, and ensuring that institutions can collaborate and access the support they need to set them up for success. And we will work to build a system which is responsive to need and performance, ensuring that institutions respond to changing needs. Autonomy will be both earned and lost, with our most successful leaders extending their influence, and weaker ones doing the opposite. To put these principles into practice, we will move to a system where every school is an academy. And to harness the opportunity that greater autonomy provides, we will do more to ensure the profession has the tools it needs to succeed: improving teacher training and qualifications and ensuring a strong, diverse pipeline of leaders. In particular, we will place a sharp new focus on areas of the country where standards are unacceptably low and where chronic underperformance is compounded by a lack of capacity to improve.
It’s an ambitious programme, and an exciting one. But the prize of securing educational excellence everywhere means it is the right thing to do. I hope that teachers, leaders, governors and parents will join us in working to improve standards across the country and will make the most of the opportunities on offer. Children only get one chance at education and every child deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential. As a parent, I know only too well that childhood is short, and when it comes to a child’s education, there’s no time to waste. Access to a great education is not a luxury but a right for everyone.
Nicky Morgan MP Secretary of State for Education