In my position it’s not appropriate to be party-political and I try hard not to be, even if sometimes that proves to be difficult. I do, however, consider part of my role to be to provide some sort of moral guidance to young people and always have done; sometimes that may lead to the need to pass comment on morality/immorality in a wider political context. But possibly the only thing I would make an outright statement on, in terms of UK Elections, is that children should be brought up to believe that they should vote as soon as they are able.
Of course, every election has consequences for Education, and obviously it is such an emotive subject for voters, joined at the hip with Health. Both regrettably tend to be footballs in the middle of the pitch every time an election is called, whether snap or otherwise. The Education ball gets kicked around, swift change is made to distinguish the next lot from the previous lot, a new Secretary of State is appointed (we have had five in ten years - and are likely to get number six regardless of which party gets elected - none of whom have been in post long enough to deliver a ‘five year plan’, if indeed Secretaries of State think in such terms!) and in general, young people and the teaching profession suffer as a result.
Since its inception four years ago, The Society of Heads Futures Group, which I am fortunate to Chair, has been trying to get some momentum behind the idea that if Education could be separated at least six degrees, if not a few more, then progress could be made. That is, if there was an independent body (working like The Bank of England) answerable to but not controlled by Government, then there would be some chance of a continuity of vision for the education of young people in this country. In short, there could be a ten to twenty year plan implemented rather than a four to six year plan hurriedly rushed into place. We would make real progress if this were the case and be the global pioneers that many, from across the world, seem to think we are.
Anyway, dreaming aside, let’s have a look at what the election manifestos might bring to our schools …