Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

In the news...

Just say no...

"Just say no" was John Dunford's message to ministers in the TES in September.

In an opinion article which ran on 2 September, he urged government not to resort to more "headline grabbing initiatives" this school year, but to help schools embed the initiatives announced in the last two years which are now coming into effect.

He pointed out that no school year has ever started with such a dangerously crowded policy agenda, which includes TLRs, the SEF, new data collection and calls for collaboration.

He asked: "How can each change be monitored and evaluated properly when so many are happening at once?"

While SHA supports most of the initiatives individually, it is their simultaneous introduction that is giving members sleepless nights.

...and no to Ofsted closures

SHA has sharply criticised the government's plans to close schools that remain in special measures for more than one year.

Speaking out in the Independent, Guardian, Financial Times, and on BBC Breakfast, Channel 4 News and Radio 4, SHA was quoted as saying the timescale was too short and would encourage quick-fix measures.

John Dunford said: "This is an inflexible measure that takes no account of local circumstances. There are many reasons why schools go through difficult times and not all of them are under the control of the school."

Answer to terrorism

In an opinion article in the Guardian Education on 30 August, John Dunford argued that education is the answer to terrorism.

His article said: "The long-term solution to terrorism lies not in Guantanamo Bay and its like, but in education - education about other religions, tolerance, free speech, the history of places that do not feature much in our national curriculum, and respect for human life."

"The long term solution is from the bottom up, valuing every young person, emphasising understanding and tolerance, and giving young people hope for the future."

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