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By Malcolm Armsteen
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A thread to discuss the several policies which will be announced at conference this weekend.

To begin: Education.

Angela Rayner (Shadow Ed Sec) has put forward a number of policies, and to be honest, I'm impressed.

The introduction of a National Education Service, eventually to mirror the NHS. This, we are to assume, will bring Academy chains and possibly private schools back under government control. A big, big job. There will be much opposition, but it has been needed for years.

Abolition of SA Tests at KS1 and KS2 and Reception baseline tests. Other testing methods to be used. Presumably more teacher assessment/continual assessment. This may also have implications for the retention of a skeleton National Curriculum.

Scrapping Ofsted, and returning monitoring of schools to local authority control. A specialised inspection team to move in where LA monitoring uncovers serious weakness. In effect, the pre-Ofsted system. A key feature here will be whether or not the LA monitoring is linked to advisory services - which have largely been lost, so extra funding will be required at LA level.

A national rollout of the London Challenge (which I worked on at the DfE years ago) which is credited with turning around education in London and other large cities. For details see
This is extremely exciting. And interestingly it was a very New Labour project. ... conference ... ion-pledge

I'm very encouraged by this, Rayner seems to have a grasp of her brief and has obviously been talking outside of the party - I can't see Ian Lavery coming up with any of this...

But it will be expensive. Labour will need to persuade the taxpayer of the value of a well educated society, and not just in terms of personal advantage.
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