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FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH BUILDING ON SUCCESS IN LONDON SCHOOLS Saturday 8th February 2014 Institute of Education. What can schools learn from the best education systems? Peter Mortimore

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What can schools learn from the best education systems? Peter Mortimore

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What can schools learn from the best education systems peter mortimore

FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH BUILDING ON SUCCESS IN LONDON SCHOOLSSaturday 8th February 2014 Institute of Education

What can schools learn from the best education systems?

Peter Mortimore

Former Director of the Institute of Education, University of London & former Professor i pedagogik, Syddansk Universitet.


What can schools learn from the best education systems peter mortimore

Plan

  • Challenge of studying other education systems

  • The strengths of London schools

  • The underlying problems of the English system

  • Some comparative data

  • Possible ways to improve

  • What next?


Challenge of studying other education systems

Challenge of studying other education systems

  • Difficulties

    • Contexts of national history, culture and customs

    • Barriers of language and understanding

    • Limits of access

  • Benefits

    • Realisation that there are alternatives

    • Observation of how schooling and society are linked

    • Improved understanding of one’s own system.


The london tradition

The London tradition

  • Pioneers like Alex Bloom

  • The work of the London County Council

  • The ILEA

  • The London Challenge.


Strengths of the education system

Strengths of the education system

  • Reasonable aims

  • Adequate functioning

  • Generally good local government

  • Good tradition of Governing Bodies

  • High quality teacher education

  • Generally high quality of teaching

  • Generally good school leadership

  • Efficient local management of schools

  • Plus music, art sport & fun.


Ambiguous features

Ambiguous features

  • Spending on the system - a fair distribution or cash for favourite schools and projects

  • The National Curriculum

  • Assessment

  • Faith schools

  • The National Reading scheme

  • Inspection.


Weaknesses of the system

Weaknesses of the system

  • Over-dominance of Westminster

  • Lack of affordable pre-school care

  • The market model of schooling

  • Impact of private schools

  • Selection

  • Children’s stress

  • An obsession with measuring ability.


Ability

Ability

  • A national obsession with sorting people by ability

  • IQ scores or broader definition

    [intellectual, social, emotional, physical and artistic capabilities, skill in using luck, capacity for hard work, resilience and sense of strategy]

  • Need to take account of energy, curiosity, motivation, stamina, resilience etc.

  • Skill of making the most of what you have

  • Insecurity of not knowing one’s own ability

  • Power of expectations.


A lesson from history

A lesson from history

  • Education systems cope well with pupils coming from relatively advantaged backgrounds

  • Pupils from poor family backgrounds do less well everywhere (though exceptional individuals buck the trend)

  • The achievement gap is one of education’s greatest challenges

  • Some countries – like Finland - are good at reducing this gap (England did well 1950 -2000).


So how does england compare with the nordic countries in terms of data

So how does England compare with the Nordic countriesin terms of data?


Lower secondary str eag 2013 table d2 2

Lower secondary STR (EAG 2013 Table D2.2)


Pirls reading 2011 mean and achievement gap

PIRLS READING 2011Mean and achievement gap


Timss maths 2011 mean and achievement gap grade 4

TIMSS Maths 2011Mean and achievement gapGrade 4


2012 pisa reading average scores and achievement gap

2012 PISA Reading average scores and achievement gap


Percentage of poor readers below level 2 source pisa 2012 table 1 2 11 vol 1 page 320

Percentage of poor readers (below level 2) source PISA 2012 Table 1.2.11. Vol 1, page 320


Proportion of working population with tertiary education eag 2013 table a1 3a

Proportion of working populationwith tertiary education(EAG 2013, Table A1.3a)


Participation in life long learning eurostat lifelong learning 2008 of 25 64 pop

Participation in life-long learning(Eurostat – Lifelong learning 2008: % of 25-64 pop)


Adult average literacy proficiency oecd skills outlook 2013 figs 2 2b 2 3a

Adult average literacy proficiency(OECD Skills outlook 2013 Figs 2.2b & 2.3a)


Happiness table bradshaw et al 2009

Happiness table (Bradshaw et al, 2009)


Unicef 2012 index of relative poverty

Unicef 2012 index of relative poverty


So how good is england s performance

So how good is England’s performance?

  • A mixed bag for PIRLS

  • Good but with achievement gap in TIMSS

  • Average in PISA with reducing achievement gap

  • High tertiary but not lifelong learning

  • And our children are less happy.

    __________________________________

  • The obvious question is why is it not better?

  • The next question is how to improve?


So what can we learn from better systems

So what can we learn from better systems?

  • Pre-school is good and school starting age is 6 or 7

  • Much less testing and few league tables

  • Less pressure on pupils, teachers and parents

  • Trust is highly valued

  • School is seen as preparation for democratic life

  • Life-long learning is encouraged by slower pace and built in catch up points

  • Societies appear less selfish.


Possible ways forward

Possible ways forward

  • Immediately

    • Ensure all schools have common funding, powers and governance

    • Abolish league tables

    • Outlaw selection

    • Open up faith schools

  • While exploring ways

    • To ensure all schools have a balanced intake

    • And a more even spread of effective teachers

  • And working towards

    • The integration of private schools.


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • England has excellent teachers but a muddled system

  • It has strengths but also weaknesses and English school pupils appear less happy than their counterparts

  • Remedies are available but politicians will ignore them unless we can persuade the public to demand change

  • We must maintain our enthusiasm for education - its impact might be limited but it still represents the best hope of creating a better society.


What can schools learn from the best education systems peter mortimore

Education under siege: why there is a better alternativePeter MortimorePublished by Policy Press and also available as an E book[http://www.policypress.co.uk/]


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