'If I Were Education Secretary...': Views from the frontline

'If I Were Education Secretary...': Views from the frontline

By Geoff Barton

Published 04 Nov 2022

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"Why do they have to keep on changing things?" It's a characteristic complaint from teachers and leaders in all parts of the UK, but especially in England.

Our political system means we are locked into short-term cycles. Politicians come and politicians go. In education departments it means there is a revolving door of ministers, each often eager to implement their own priorities and projects.

Civil servants jump, new directions are announced, plans are made ... and then suddenly the minister is promoted, moved to a new department, or dismissed.

It's no wonder that lurches in education policy can feel so bewilderingly frequent and uncoordinated. And it's also no wonder that teachers can become demoralised, be left feeling deskilled, and feel cynical about the role of politicians.

So how can we change this?

This book collects the views of serving school and college leaders, of policy-makers, and of former education secretaries. It asks them what they would do if they were in charge, and it asks those who were once in charge what they would do differently.

'If I Were Education Secretary ...' provides a fascinating glimpse into education policy as it is now - but also a template for how it could become more powerfully coherent in the future, moving a good education system to genuinely world class.
Geoff Barton is a former Headteacher of King Edward VI School, a large comprehensive school in Suffolk, UK. He has written and edited more than 100 books on English and school leadership and is a regular speaker on these topics. He is a Founding Fellow of the English Association and patron of the English & Media Centre. He was a longstanding member of ASCL Council, founding chair of its Pedagogy Committee, and a ‘Leading Thinker’ for the National Education Trust.
  • Author Geoff Barton
  • ISBN 9781915261083
  • No. of Pages 136
  • Format Paperback
  • Publication Date 04 Nov 2022