Tory plans to allow groups of parents to set up and run their own schools have been called into question by the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP), as reported in the Independent (18th February).
Helena Holmlund, a Swedish academic, and Sandra McNally, a director of CEP, claim that adopting the system begun in Sweden to widen choice and improve standards in schools, ‘may not make very much difference to the UK’s educational status quo’.
Well, that may be so but one thing is for sure, in the words of Fraser Nelson in his recent ‘Winning is not enough’ (2010 Keith Joseph Memorial Lecture):
If a new government signs up to the ideas of the old one, then that’s not change. It’s more of the same.
What we want from the next government is to be liberated from the dead hand of a government bureaucracy that is stifling the life out of initiative. Swedish style reforms may not be the only answer to the ills that beset our current educational system but they would certainly wrest control out of the hands of those LEAs and literacy advisors who do everything possible to prevent any departure from what they deem fit.
As Mona McNee said recently: let the cork bob back up to the surface!