Call for end to ‘rushed change’ in East Lancs schools

Blackburn Citizen: Call for end to ‘rushed change’ in East Lancs schools Call for end to ‘rushed change’ in East Lancs schools

EDUCATORS are calling for an end to change ‘for change’s sake’ in East Lancashire’s schools.

Headteachers and politicians welcomed a plan to focus on education, rather than policy, after wide-ranging changes.

Local educators said schools were ‘desperate’ for respite from constant education reshuffles.

Their reactions came as schools minister David Laws promised a ‘significant period of stability’ in schools should follow the coalition government’s changes.

Under the coalition, England’s schools face tougher inspections, changes to A-Levels and GCSEs, and a new curriculum.

Mr Laws said he and Education Secretary Michael Gove were now ‘very focused on delivery and implementation’.

Haslingden High School headteacher Mark Jackson said: “It would be a great relief to stop this constant change, but no-one is saying improvements can’t be made.

“A Labour government a while back promised five years with no changes and something like that would be very welcome now.

“That’s not to say there aren’t ways to make beneficial changes. There are plans in place to make AS Levels count towards A Levels and everyone is in favour of that.

“In November, Gove decided you couldn’t do both a GCSE in dance and drama with immediate effect. By January, he had changed his mind.

“Nobody is against change, just rushed policies that aren’t thought through.”

Former headteacher at St Christopher’s in Accrington, Alasdair Coates, now works as a consultant in East Lancashire schools.

He said: “This one is very difficult because every school and headteacher is longing for a period without change for very good reasons.

“However, we also want to see progress. If there’s something wrong, you will get very vocal calls for change. For example, there were plans to increase the pupil premium which would be wonderful and really help deprived children. It’s change for change’s sake or to make political points that needs addressing.”

Blackburn with Darwen schools councillor Dave Harling said: “I would agree with Mr Laws if, by stability, he means no more of what we have had the past three years. What we’ve seen has been extremely disruptive for schools. Schools are desperate for a period of stability.”

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