Free schools and a transformation agenda

The recent announcement of the appointment of Lesley Longstone as the new Secretary of Education for New Zealand has gone relatively un-noticed here in NZ, possibly because of the more pressing issues that face us here such as coping with the earthquake aftermath – plus she's not due to take up the position until November this year which seems a long way off as we have an election and the Rugby World Cup to content with before then 😉

I was interested to read the following about her appointment to the role she currently holds in the UK:

Ms Longstone was appointed to her current role of Director General for Infrastructure and Funding in September 2010 where she has been responsible for delivering a major plank of the Government's public sector reform programme, a significant change programme for schooling in England.

The video above shows Ms Longstone speaking at the recent Free Schools conference in the UK, providing an overview of this initiative which is part of the English systems 'transformation agenda' for schools and schooling. My colleagues in the UK have been emailing me with their perspectives and comments on how these agendas are working out in practice – but it is interesting to see words like "transformation', 'reform' and 'change' associated with the person chosen as our incoming CEO for education – particularly after a period characterised by 'consolidation', 'risk aversion', 'fiscal responsibility'. etc.

Looks like we could be in for an interesting few years ahead?

3 Responses to Free schools and a transformation agenda

  1. Mark says:

    Two comments caught my attention more than most:
    – [Free schools have] "more freedoms and flexibilities in relation to pay and conditions of staff who work at the school… " and
    – "more flexibility over the curriculum… they won't be bound in the same way by the details of the National Curriculum"
    Hmmm.

  2. Lynette Parish says:

    I really look forward to her contribution to Maori achievement in New Zealand.

  3. Luma says:

    Well, at least the cat is out of the bag and we know where the future of NZ public education is headed not matter who is on office.
    Here are a couple of articles on 'charter schools' an the idealogy behind them:
    Pressing the Reset Button on the Way Government Works (Web Page)   by our own Ruth Richardson
    Narrow and Unlovely: How a Market-Based Educational Experiment is Failing New Orleans Children.

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