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Simon Lucas, EC Harris

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Privately established schools and more parent power - the way forward?

Privately established schools and more parent power - the way forward?

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  • 1. Remodelling Education Spaces Simon Lucas Partner Head of Education and Children’s Services Privately established schools and more parent power – the way forward?
  • 2. 17 September 2010 | Remodelling Education Spaces – Simon Lucas |
    • Context
    • New Coalition agenda for education ‘reform’ / rapid response in policy and ‘new’ investment terms
    • Stated desire to develop within localism / big society agenda / perceived pressure to act, from the grass roots
    • Expression of ‘common sense’ and ‘parents and teachers know best’ / letting the market decide
    • Broad church of providers / potentially, big, independent players
    • ‘ Local’ means ‘focussed accountability’ smaller developments – delivered more efficiently
    • So, what does this all really mean?
    • Remodelling Education, Governance, Spaces, Leadreship, Management …..
    Privately established schools & more parent power – the way forward?
  • 3. 17 September 2010 | Remodelling Education Spaces – Simon Lucas |
    • The thesis
    • Arguably, difficult to refute argument for greater diversity of provision and more parental involvement against backdrop of changes and reforms over past few decades
    • Makes assumptions about:
      • Demand – and achieving an agreed definition / the ‘market’
      • Capability – in all senses / responsibility plus accountability
      • Resources – financial and infrastructural
      • Overarching strategy will ‘shake out’
      • Local = smaller = less expensive bureaucracy = lower overhead
    • Are all these assumptions robust?
    Privately established schools & more parent power – the way forward?
  • 4. 17 September 2010 | Remodelling Education Spaces – Simon Lucas |
    • Reform and rapid response
    • New Coalition Government agenda for education ‘reform’
    • Rapid response in policy and investment terms
    • Significance of the education agenda for ANY new Government – every incoming Government over past 30 years has produced Education Act first .....
    • But
    • Reform always announced as being about choice and raising standards, but always starts with focus on structures and delivery …..
    • All previous ‘localism’ agendas resulted in greater central controls – SoS has significantly more powers vested now than in 1988 ………. they’re just different!
    • So, how will this be different?
    Privately established schools & more parent power – the way forward?
  • 5. 17 September 2010 | Remodelling Education Spaces – Simon Lucas | Privately established schools & more parent power – the way forward?
  • 6. 17 September 2010 | Remodelling Education Spaces – Simon Lucas |
    • Localism / Big Society / Responding to the ‘Grass Roots’ - What NSN says:
    • Flexibility
    • New schools should use their budgets as they see fit – to create smaller class sizes, lengthen the school year, or pay teachers more. They should also be free to teach a different curriculum – giving more attention to Maths and English for the struggling, or stretching the most able.
    • Independence
    • The Network believes that new schools should not be bound by the red tape that can divert teachers’ attention and energy. They should be free to try new methods and be held accountable for their results, not their paperwork.
    • Accountability
    • The Network does not advocate a market ‘free for all’. All schools must be accountable, with fair admissions and practices. If they do not succeed, they should not stay open.
    Privately established schools & more parent power – the way forward?
  • 7. 17 September 2010 | Remodelling Education Spaces – Simon Lucas |
    • Parents and Teachers / Market Decides / Broad Church / Multiples
    • How will the ‘market’ shake out in reality?
    • How many ‘diverse’ providers will there be?
    • Why will they succeed?
    • But
    • Maintaining the focus on teaching and learning
    • Maintaining the assets which secure the environment
    • Securing the Governance and local / national accountability
    • Compliance
    • Checking it really is affordable, efficient and really provides VFM
    • And all this in a time of considerable financial constraint
    Privately established schools & more parent power – the way forward?
  • 8. 17 September 2010 | Remodelling Education Spaces – Simon Lucas |
    • Local / Smaller / Accountable / Efficient
    • Real issues about smaller developments being more efficient – overheads and viability
    • Principle for recycling other assets into schools creates opportunity – and also issues with how that gets funded
    • Planning and approvals
    • What happens when it goes wrong – the residual LA role and responsibility
    • Year one, year two, year three and beyond ‘shake out of the market’ – the ‘Directory Enquiries effect’
    • Ongoing commitment and capability of the ‘provider’
    • Robust accountability against a backdrop of local determination
    Privately established schools & more parent power – the way forward?
  • 9. 17 September 2010 | Remodelling Education Spaces – Simon Lucas | Privately established schools & more parent power – the way forward?
    • So, will it work?
    • Governance and Trusts – and all that brings in terms of accountability
    • Making it sustainable – in every sense of the word – environmental, financial, educational, physical….
    • Delivering the curriculum – viability / structure / management
    • Delivering the building – and making sure the tail does not wag the dog
    • Private provider agreements / turnkey solutions
    • Equity, investors and developers and public finance regulations
    • Revenue budgets – run in costs, ‘protection’ – pupil numbers / demand
    • Capex – cash flow, volume - £s psm etc
    • Safe / compliant / appropriate / focussed ….. and still local
  • 10. 17 September 2010 | Remodelling Education Spaces – Simon Lucas |
    • So, why would anyone do it?
    • Diversification / localism of education provision
    • Empowers communities / providers ‘ownership’
    • Meets demand / public need
    • Localism and the ‘big society’ agenda
    • The ‘how hard can it be’ syndrome
    • Creating and recycling assets
    • Regenerating communities
    Privately established schools & more parent power – the way forward?
    • … and history tells us?
    • ...potential for greater central control
    • Need to monitor dominance of specific groups
    • Defining demand
    • Focussed on the community and not the individual
    • Grey bits are what go wrong
    • Absolutely right, but not always
    • The community vs my community (SRB??)
  • 11. Remodelling Education Spaces Simon Lucas Partner Head of Education and Children’s Services Privately established schools and more parent power – the way forward?