The Schools Network was forced into administration this week, as the TES pointed out ‘ after suffering losses from shrinking school budgets and government cutbacks’.This is shorthand for- they lost their subsidies.The Schools Network and the original SSAT from which it sprung survived because they were subsidised by us taxpayers and guaranteed contracts from the government often without the need to compete , as many contracts were not put out to tender. This was the surest way to ensure that we taxpayers didnt get value for money. Nor did it encourage efficiency and accountability. Large overheads-including plush Mill Bank Offices- poor cost controls and falling income meant that the organisation had nowhere to go. Doubtless the Network did some useful work , helped with networking ,dissemination of best practice and so on. But it also unfortunately helped ensure that the market was not a level playing field and raised other providers costs and risks of entry and participation, both here and abroad. Other providers have long argued that many of the services provided by the Network, and SSAT, could be provided at lower cost by other providers, and without the need for subsidies. Their successor organisation that reverts back to the old SSAT name , should not be allowed any special privileges nor to benefit from the political top cover enjoyed by the predecessor organisations. If the (new) SSAT can compete on quality and price without preferential treatment and subsidies then fine. But its not a culture that is familiar to those who work in the organistaion. Other education service providers will be watching with interest in the months ahead.
By attacking Grammars isnt the network deflecting attention from the performance of their schools?
The Schools Network wants grammar school pupils to have to achieve five A* or A grades at GCSE to be considered as having achieved a satisfactory level of education. All other state schools would continue to be judged on students passing five GCSEs at A*-C grades. The Schools Network , formerly The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust , helped roll out the Academy and Specialist schools programmes under the last Labour government. Academies, of course, are central to this governments education reforms, although Labour claim that the new Academies are not the same as their Academies ,which were almost exclusively located in deprived areas. Just about any school ,even outstanding ones, can now convert to Academy status .
Specialist schools were criticised by some, including Professor Alan Smithers, for not being Specialist in any meaningful sense. Although claiming to be ‘ Specialist’ if you looked a bit closer at, for example, the number of specialist teachers they employed or, crucially the number of pupils taking hard (as opposed to soft)qualifications in their specialism then you might be dissappointed to find, though perhaps not surprised, that they were not much different from their neighbouring school, which claimed no specialism.(and therefore had access to fewer funds)
Professor David Jesson, an associate of the Schools Network, had created a means for measuring value added for SSAT supported schools, taking into account contextual data. Some critics suggested that this was conceived because their schools were not performing well enough under the standard government performance benchmark of five good GCSEs, including maths and English. Perish the thought. Mind you, if a pupil leaving school at 16 were to go to a job interview and argue the case that he hadnt got five good GCSEs but that his school had added great value, one might have grounds for wondering whether this was an approach that maximised the chances of a positive outcome.
Jesson is the author of a new report for The Schools Network which suggests that because grammar schools produce such excellent results, their performance should be judged differently. Indeed the clear implication was that many Grammar schools ,which are selective, are coasting.(so are quite a few comprehensive schools in leafy suburbs-which the SSAT was given funds by the last government to address- err..whatever happened to that programme?)
Robert McCartney, chairman of the National Grammar Schools Association, said: “It would be grossly unfair and nonsensical to suggest comparing schools using different criteria according to their type. To do this would be totally misleading and grammar school pupils usually take ‘harder’ GCSEs, such as chemistry, physics, foreign languages, geography or history.” He continued “Pupils in comprehensive schools often take English and maths along with ‘softer’ subjects such as media studies, psychology or information technology which may count for up to four GCSEs.”
There is certainly evidence that quite a few state schools including academies have ‘gamed’ ie entered pupils for soft options ’ to secure good league table positions, something that the introduction of the Ebacc is designed to address.
Jessons suggestion does seem slightly self-serving. If Jesson’s measurement were applied to some of the schools in the Schools Network then I think we know the level of carnage that would result, and some might then begin to ask some questions about the performance of the Schools Network itself. Food for thought.
The Network has just this week been forced into administration, as public sector cuts ensured government business and its subsidies were slashed. There has been a management buyout which ensures that the ‘SSAT’ continues to trade. Other non-subsidised education providers have long complained that the SSAT/Schools Network only survived because they were heavily subsidised and guranteed business from the government, with quite a lot of this business not put out to open tender.Some of these criticisms now seem vindicated.
CONTEXTUAL VALUE ADDED MEASUREMENT
How to measure added value in schools is problematic. Why? Because whatever the SSAT claims(it prefers to use CVA measurement rather than the five good GCSEs including maths and English to rate the schools it supports) there is no international consensus evident on the best way to measure added value. An NFER paper in 1999 when debate on added value was really beginning in earnest said ‘What value added data cannot do is prove anything. Value added evidence is only part of the story of school effectiveness. The notion of a value added measure which tells you – and everyone else – how well your school or department or class is doing, and is also simple to calculate, understand and use, is a non-starter’. The value added concept is based on the assumption that teachers and schools add ‘value’ to the achievement of their students. It is based on the idea of measuring student progress, in academic outcomes such as reading or mathematics attainment over a given period of time. It can be used as a performance measure for teachers too, although at best it is only one source of comparative information about a school’s or teachers effectiveness. Following the publication, in spring 2011, of Professor Alison Wolf’s recommendations on how vocational qualifications might be reported in performance tables, the Government will then consider which indicators of progress might be developed to demonstrate the value that schools add for all pupils. They would be wise to give it very careful consideration.
QUANGO REVIEW BOTCHED ACCORDING TO SELECT COMMITTEE REPORT
Public Administration Committee says that reform of quangos has been a lost opportunity and the Bill is poorly drafted
But reforms on-going
Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office Minister, has been driving through reforms in the delivery of public services to drive down costs, to improve efficiency, deliver value for money, streamline public procurement and to encourage greater transparency and accountability. He also wants to see, at the end of this process, a greater role for small and medium sized enterprises in public service delivery. Reforms have included a partial cull of the Quangocracy, though more barbecue, say critics. than the widely anticipated bonfire. Although the process of reform is on-going organisations such as the British Council , the TDA and NCSL (the SSAT now has less public funding to manage but is still competing unfairly with non-subsidised private and not for profit operators in the markets here and abroad) have emerged largely unscathed from the review although critics want these organisations to be cut down to size , made more transparent and accountable and for them to demonstrate, against clear performance benchmarks, that they deliver value for money for taxpayers and that the services they provide cannot be provided better and cheaper by the private and not for profit providers ,or indeed social enterprises.
The Public Administration Committee has been looking at reforms affecting quangos and has just published a report ‘ Smaller Government: Shrinking the Quango State’ . The verdict is that the Government’s “Bonfire of the Quangos” has been “poorly managed” resulting in badly drafted legislation that won’t deliver significant cost savings or improved accountability. Bernard Jenkin, the committee’s Conservative chairman, says “the whole process was rushed and poorly handled and should have been thought through a lot more”. Pre-election promises from the Conservatives about cuts to costly bureaucracy “created a false expectation that the review would deliver greater savings” than appear likely. And to make meaningful savings, the government needs to examine not just how the quangos operate, but what they exist to do. In many cases, the committee argues, functions could have been transferred to charities or mutuals. “This was a fantastic opportunity to help build the big society and save money at the same time,” Mr Jenkin says. “But it has been botched.”
The Committee report claims that the Public Bodies Reform Bill currently with the Lords aimed at delivering these reforms was badly drafted. And it promised to issue a further detailed report on the Bill once the Lords have finished their scrutiny. The report concluded “ The Government should have reassessed what function public bodies are needed to perform and transferred many more of these activities to charities and mutuals. Doing so would have helped explain more clearly its vision for a Big Society, giving these organisations the ability to provide more government services. It should also have used the review to get control of some activities of public bodies that provide questionable benefit to the taxpayer, most notably the use of public funds for lobbying and public relations campaigns.” The Committee added that ‘Deciding which bodies can be moved into the private and voluntary sector should form only part of the Government’s review. It should also reconsider what activities public bodies should continue to engage in. Some public bodies have allowed their remit to increase over the years and there is a need to refocus them on their core functions. Identifying the essential activities of these bodies will both make them more efficient and reduce cost. This principle must be embedded in future reviews. (Paragraph 114)
The Committee intends to bring forward proposals to strengthen the Select Committees’ role in scrutinising changes to public bodies in its future report on the detail of the Public Bodies Reform Bill.
The Committee though has failed to address the issue of the unfair activities of quangos in the markets both here and abroad which disadvantage non-subsidised private and not for profit providers. In short, Quangos use taxpayers money to cross subsidise their operations in order to under cut other competitors bids for contracts and quangos, such as the SSAT and British Council, are frequently awarded contracts that are not put out to open tender which apart from being unfair, cannot ensure value for money for taxpayers. Francis Maude has, though, been made aware of providers concerns and their calls for urgent reform.
Mr Maude has rejected the Committees criticism, promising to “see the reforms through”. The Committee welcomed the Minister’s comments which indicate that future reviews will include considerations about efficiency and value for money of quangos along with his assurances that he would be able to devise a more cost-effective review system than previous efforts.
Reforms are on-going driven by the Cabinet Office.
NEW SCHOOLS NETWORK
Pressure to tender for its work?
The New Schools Network is an independent charitable organisation that is funded by the Department to offer support to individuals and groups interested in setting up a new school. It is headed by Rachel Wolf, a former aide to Education Secretary Michael Gove, when he was in opposition. It was awarded a time limited £500,000 grant by the Education Department without any competitive tender. And Ministers have been under pressure from the opposition to explain why this was allowed to happen , perhaps forgetting momentarily that it was not unusual under the last government for contracts and grant support to be given by the Department without competition. The Department gave similar grants in the past, to organisations such as to the NSPCC, the Holocaust Education Trust, the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (rather too often in its case) and the Youth Sport Trust.
The Free Schools Group (FRG) within the Department also supports Free schools. It is part of the Infrastructure and Funding Directorate of the Department, and is responsible for all aspects of free schools policy and implementation. The FRG is, for example, working with groups wishing to join the first wave of free schools. Informed by its work with these early groups, supporting them through the process, the FRG is also developing policy for future free schools. (it might spend a bit more of its time working out what happens if Free schools fail or don’t meet quality benchmarks) The FRG is also working with those groups that have started the business case and plan stage and will support them through the process, up to and including the opening of the new school.
The Government might find it problematic if it grants the NSN more taxpayers money without offering the function it fulfils to open competition, the next time round. Presumably there are organisations in the profit and not for profit sectors that might wish to take on this function and could compete on price and quality. Alternatively the Department might take this function in- house. The main justification for the grant and lack of competition was that the network was already up and running and was regarded as effective. It also has an Advisory Board of big hitters drawn from across the political spectrum. Putting out the contract to tender would have led to delays at a time when the Government was keen to encourage the establishment of Free schools and to ensure that the initiative didn’t lose any momentum.
It is however good policy to place contracts out to tender and that should be the default position. That’s not to knock the NSN and what it does. It seems to be doing a reasonable job at the moment.
For those left-urgent need for reforms to ensure transparency, accountability and competitive neutrality
Maude review-a real opportunity for change
The Governments review of quangos aimed to ensure, first that their functions were deemed necessary, secondly to establish whether those functions should properly be carried out at arm’s length to government. There are of course two agendas at work. Cost- cutting and making quangos more transparent and accountable, ensuring that they deliver Public Value. If the quango carries out a highly technical activity, is required to be politically impartial or needs to act independently to establish facts, then it is right for it to remain outside direct ministerial accountability, says the Government. But it must still be accountable. And this is where the Government’s review is incomplete. Francis Maude is due to report early next year on how to make quangos more accountable. Currently many quangos do not publish accounts, and if they do they offer no clear benchmarks to measure their outputs . There is no central list of quangos and there are myriad different types, with different legal statuses. Some even escape the provisions of the Freedom of information Act, though they spend our money on our behalf, so its all a bit of a mess. Some are limited companies, others charities, others non-statutory public bodies and so on . The official list of non-departmental public bodies stands at 679 bodies but excludes a number of organisations that are clearly quangos, like the SSAT, which has for reasons presumably of political expediency , rather than consistency, been excluded from the quango list. Reassuringly though all public bodies will be subject to a rigorous triennial review, to ensure that the previous pattern of public bodies often outliving the purpose for which they were established is not repeated. They will be expected to become more open, accountable and efficient.
There has been a long standing but unmet need for publicly funded bodies to demonstrate that they deliver value for money and do not compete unfairly with commercial, non-subsidised competitors. Quangos, which are under pressure to find other income streams are, if anything, increasing their presence in the market place. Too many, though, have been cavalier about the requirement to explain what they do and how they deliver public value. Some have almost entirely ignored the Nolan Principles. Cross subsidies are widespread in the education market from organisations such as the SSAT, NCSL,TDA and British Council. They can absorb or conceal overheads which is not possible in a commercial operation. They support substantial infrastructures from their core funding which they can, and frequently do, deploy to demonstrate capacity to deliver new projects, with apparent (though not real) cost advantages. Too often contracts are not put out to tender-which seems designed to protect the vested interests of quangos rather than taxpayers. (The Treasury is supposed to be challenging vested interests) They also exploit their privileged access to information, which affords them a competitive advantage. Private and not for profit providers have found literally to their cost that in many childrens services information relating to pricing, costs and performance is not readily available or accessible .Vital information is often designated ‘commercial in confidence’. This obscures the true economic costs associated with service provision and makes it difficult for potential new entrants to determine whether they can and want to provide services within the market. An example of the exploitation of privileged access to information can be found at the NCSL which has a captive audience as every teacher aspiring to headship has to complete NPQH as it is a mandatory pre-requisite – these teachers names then go onto a data base that is then accessed for ‘selling’ other products and services. Commercial traders are of course constrained by data protection laws that preclude them from blanket e-mailing. The SSAT too can similarly ‘trade’ to their membership of Specialist schools and Academies. 90% of Schools now have some form of Specialism (however liberally defined) and the SSAT sells support services to these schools, with competitors, who might compete on both price and quality, largely excluded in practice from this protected market .Protected markets, affording privileges to one provider, we know are extremely unlikely to deliver value for money.
Politicians, thus far, have failed to address the issue of competitive neutrality, despite the damaging effects this has on the education markets both here and abroad .Quangos presence in these markets distorts competition, while undermining ‘contestability’ which was supposed to be a guiding principle, informing the way public and near to government organisations behave in the market. The main premise of the theory of contestable markets is that even with a single provider, the threat of other providers entering the market may force a monopoly provider to contain costs to competitive levels or maintain a specific level of quality in the service delivered, as long as the barriers to market entry and exit are not significant. It is arguable though that barriers to entry imposed by the presence of subsidised providers are very significant. It is no coincidence that UK based education providers are seeking income streams abroad (often finding quangos competing with them there too ,and equally unfairly). Unfair competition puts at risk the whole principle of the best provider delivering services, which means that the consumers of that service , which in education, is largely children and parents, lose out.
The Government must give careful consideration in developing this new framework to the interlinked issues surrounding competition, transparency, accountability and the delivery of public value within the quangocracy. And Education service suppliers should make their views known sooner rather than later to Ministers and officials responsible for developing this new framework.
STATUS OF EDUCATION QUANGOS-SELECTED LIST-CABINET OFFICE
We know already that on the education front QCDA, BECTA and the GTC are being culled. The Youth Justice Board is on the way out too probably because its management has been weak, particularly in controlling its costs (its ICT team was led by an Executive on over £300,000 a year, with ten staff earning £100,000) and it has found it hard to demonstrate that it improves outcomes.
The Quango list was leaked by the Daily Telegraph two weeks ago but has now been formally released (14 October). One quango , the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, was not on the list, apparently because it is ’a charity’ so er…its not classed as a quango . However there are quangos on the list that are Charities-like the British Council.So work that one out if you can. If it looks like a quango, acts like one and is subsidised by the taxpayer-then guess what-it probably is one.
The British Council seems to have survived the Review although there are no grounds for its complacency. Aid Charities are upset that some of the DFIDs supposedly ‘ring-fenced’ Budget has been siphoned off to support British Council projects previously funded by the FCO. Meaning there is less for them. What these projects are and whether or not they deliver value for money has not been made public. So much for transparency.Education exporters who receive little or no support from the British Council , though its supposed to support them as part of its remit, find that the Council competes with them for contracts abroad ,using its subsidised status to gain competitive advantage so they are up in arms too. The Government seems unconcerned that the Councils activities are restricting the growth of the education market and is now redirecting funds away from aid charities who know the most cost effective ways to deliver aid and have ,rather obviously , a better record of delivering aid than has the British Council. Pressure will continue to mount on the BC and Ministers until these issues are addressed head on. This has to be work in progress and it is encouraging that the Government is looking to review Quangos every three years. But one has to wonder just how rigorous this Review has been . There is a long way to go before many of these organisations reach an appropriate level of transparency and accountability that is implied in Ministers rhetoric and which most of the public expect from organisations which undertake tasks on behalf of the Government using hard pressed taxpayers money.
For the record here is whats happening to other education related quangos:
Student Loans Company
Under consideration - Proposals on the future of the Student Loan Company will be made in the White Paper on the future strategy for higher education to be published by the end of the year
UK Commission for Employment and Skills
Under consideration - Complete review by end of year of core functions and the most appropriate organisational model to deliver a simplified skills landscape across the UK
Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service
Under Consideration - Being considered by the Family Justice Review Panel as part of a full review of the family justice system, reporting in 2011
Children’s Workforce Development Council
Under Consideration - Options being considered with an announcement being made before the end of 2010
General Teaching Council for England
No longer an NDPB - Abolish body as part of the Government’s wider plans to streamline and improve arrangements for tackling underperforming teachers, as previously announced
Independent Advisory Group on Teenage Pregnancy
No longer an NDPB - Abolish once the existing remit for the group comes to an end in December 2010. Arrangements to be made for access to expert advice to Government as required
National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services
Under Consideration - Options being considered with an announcement being made before the end of 2010
Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which requires impartiality. Introduce legislation to strengthen governance arrangements
Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a technical function which requires impartiality. Reform inspection functions to increase proportionality and reduce burdens
Partnerships for Schools
Under Consideration - Subject to the overarching review of Department for Education’s capital expenditure, to be completed in December 2010
Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency
No longer an NDPB – Abolish body and transfer some functions (including key activities such as National Curriculum Tests) to the Department for Education, as previously announced
School Food Trust
No longer an NDPB - Abolish NDPB status, but continue as a charity with the potential to become a community interest company
School Support Staff Negotiating Body
Under Consideration - Subject to further discussions with employer and union representatives
School Teachers’ Review Body
Retain - Retain on grounds of performing a function which requires political impartiality
Teachers TV Board of Governors No longer an NDPB - Abolish body and functions
The Office of the Children’s Commissioner
Under Consideration - Subject to a formal review to be finalised by the end of November 2010
Training and Development Agency for Schools
Under Consideration - Options being considered with an announcement being made before the end of 2010
Young People’s Learning Agency
Under Consideration - Subject to education structural reforms
Retain - Retain on grounds of impartiality
Youth Justice Board for England and Wales
No longer an NDPB – Abolish as part of wider criminal justice reforms
New report calls for reform
The Government have already announced plans to abolish the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency, the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency and the General Teaching Council for England. The coalition agreement also announced plans to abolish the Government Office for London, the Standards Board and the Infrastructure Planning Commission. It announced too that regional development agencies would be replaced with local enterprise partnerships. The list of remaining quangos to be abolished is not yet finalised although rumours abound that the Partnership for Schools which manages the BSF programme is under threat. Other Quangos look likely to have their budgets significantly cut and there are calls to make those that remain more transparent and accountable. Some are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act and are often reluctant to disclose important financial information. On 24 May the Chancellor and Chief Secretary to the Treasury announced that savings from these reforms, plus additional savings from departments, will total around £600 million in 2010-11.There is also a Public Bodies Bill in the wings .Its primary aim is to increase the accountability of public bodies, but it is also expected that abolitions and mergers arising from the Bill will create savings in future years and departments will be incorporating initial savings into their spending review plans. Professor Matt Flinders of Sheffield university has written much about quangos quite a lot of it critical, mainly about their duplication and waste. But he has also said that some are indispensable. “You can’t just get rid of all of them,” he says. “Some fulfil important tasks. What’s needed is a master plan for them.”
A report, called Read Before Burning, backed by cabinet secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell,is aimed at ministers and details the muddle and waste surrounding quangos but it also comes up with some constructive suggestions for reform that could apply across the board. The report claims there are nearly a dozen different types of quangos, that nobody knows how many there are or how they operate; nobody, least of all the public, knows who is accountable for what they get up to. Indeed many are simply unaccountable and operate in a secret garden. Moreover, quangos and their sponsoring departments have different ideas on where the buck stops. The report is an indictment of the way the quangocracy has been allowed to grow. The report was written with the help of the Treasury and the Cabinet Office and says that as a first step the vast array of quangos should be boiled down into four types: constitutional quangos; executive agencies; departmental quangos; and independent public interest bodies. Some quangos even pretend that they are not Quangos- the SSAT springs to mind-because they have Charity status-but if they get grant funding , are subsidiised by the taxpayer and carry out tasks on behalf of Government Departments they are quangos. In the SSATS case Academy schools which it supports will be shortly subject to the Freedom of Information Act, but it will remain outside its disclosure requirements. That makes no sense at all. If they look like quangos and act like quangos then they probably are quangos. And frankly they should all be subject to the Freedom of Information Act and its public disclosure requirements- otherwise they are not transparent in their dealings. Lack of transparency- equals lack of accountability.
ACADEMIES AND FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
The think tank Civitas has accused Academies of inflating their exam results by choosing softer options including vocational subjects.
It found in a report last year that Academies were not publishing the subjects and qualifications in which they are achieving their so-called headline results – that is, the percentage achieving ’5+A*-C GCSEs or equivalent’ and ’5+A*-C GCSEs or equivalent including English and maths’. And unlike all other state-funded schools, Academies are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act – meaning a breakdown of their results cannot be requested. And what was decidedly odd was that the then DCSF, which was so keen normally for schools to reach its benchmark of five good GCSEs including English and maths didn’t hold this information on what Academies are up to centrally. Remember that Academies are funded by more taxpayers money than other maintained schools.
Academies have charity status . An academy trust, is a charitable company limited by guarantee, so are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act ,2002 This means that it is very difficult to work out whether they are actually raising the attainment of their pupils or simply choosing softer options for them, to improve league table rankings. The last Government, to its credit, agreed that Academies should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act and set the ball in motion. The Coalition Government agrees with the last governments approach on this and intends to extend the scope of the FOI Act to provide greater transparency for Academies . So to this end the Ministry of Justice is currently considering how best to deliver this. Which is good. Many Academies, I suspect, wont have much to hide.
But what should also be clear to the Government is that this level of transparency should be extended to the grant- funded quango that oversees Academies and Specialist schools, the SSAT, which is also a charity and which has a reputation for lacking both transparency and competitive neutrality. And, yes, some Charities are also quangos, think British Council.
- ACADEMIES AND THE INDEPENDENT SECTOR-TIME FOR A RETHINK?
- CRACKDOWN ON EXPLOITATION OF INTERNS
- PAYING FOR RESULTS-CAN IT HELP RAISE PERFORMANCE- OR DOES IT CORRUPT THE LOVE OF LEARNING?
- PROSPECTS JOINS MUTUAL JOINT VENTURE TO DELIVER PUBLIC SERVICES-GOVERNMENT KEEN ON EMPLOYEE OWNED MUTUALS DELIVERING PUBLIC SERVICES
- PROFESSOR TONY WATTS RESIGNS FROM THE NATIONAL CAREERS COUNCIL
- EDISON LEARNING AND THE NAHT UNION LAUNCH A SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVE WITH DFE BACKING
- THE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT OF ACADEMIES-WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE ARE CONCERNS?
- PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE REPORT ON ACADEMIES-SOME CONCERNS OVER FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
- CAIRNS OF BRIGHTON COLLEGE BACKS ACADEMIES
- IS CAREERS ADVICE IN SCHOOLS EFFECTIVE OR IS IT TOO EARLY TO SAY?
- LEMOVS TEACH LIKE A CHAMPION -TOP TECHNIQUES USED BY THE BEST TEACHERS
- THE PUPIL PREMIUM AND SPECIAL SCHOOLS
- Careers advice and Guidance
- Charity Status
- Charter School
- Coalition Education Policy
- Conservative policy
- Discipline and Truancy
- early years learning
- education market
- education quangos
- education reform
- Free schools
- higher education
- Home Education
- independent schools
- primary schools
- Public Services Reform
- published letters
- Pupil Support
- quality assurance
- quality assurance and inspection
- school governance
- secondary schools
- Secure Estate
- SPECIAL NEEDS
- teachers and teaching
- Think tanks
- us education system
- Youth policy