Today’s short report from the LSE marks another blow for David Cameron's Tory party’s proposals to introduce “Swedish schools” into the UK education system.
Yesterday’s short report from the Centre for Economic Performance at LSE marks another blow for the Tory party’s proposals to introduce “Swedish schools” into the UK education system.
Helena Holmlund and Sandra McNally analysis points to two key differences between the Swedish system and our own as evidence that the new model might not reap the great benefits the Conservatives currently claim it will.
Firstly, they rightly point out that the reforms to Sweden’s education system to introduce choice in to the school system was on a background of no school choice. As they say:
“All pupils had to attend the state school in their neighbourhood.”
The picture in the UK is quite different, with greater school choice having been at the heart of the UK education system throughout Labour’s time in office.
Secondly, while the Conservatives propose schools relatively free from state control, the Swedish schools are compelled to follow a national curriculum.
Perhaps most interestingly, the paper asks whether building and opening new schools is the most effective means of bringing about change in the education system:
“What about all the evidence on other things that work to improve educational performance, such as teacher quality, reducing class size, etc?”
Left Foot Forward has scrutinised the Conservative’s proposals a number of times over recent months:
• On the unaccounted £1 billion cost of the reforms;
• Their agenda of public service profit;
• The unanswered questions over funding the reforms;
• The abscence of any mention of Swedish schools in their draft education manifesto; and
• The head of Sweden’s Ofsted telling Newsnight that the reforms had led to falling standards and rising segregation
The evidence now seems to be stacking up against them.
While the Tories have been quick to adopt the Swedish model, they have not been so quick to spell out their wider theory of change for the education system.
And in a post-election public sector where tightened belts will be the order of the day, new schools built with private money will only be a success if matched by public money to provide good teachers and small classes.
As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.
We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.