Tuesday, 3 February 2009

I have been reading the DCSF publication '21st Century School: A World Class Education for Every Child'...

This really excellent document sets out how world-class schools, and world-class standards for every community, are central to realising The Children’s Plan ambition to make England the best place in the world for children and young people to grow up and how it is vital that our school system is capable of preparing every young person to make a success of their life. Like us the DCSF believe that every young person, no matter what their background, has the potential to achieve and succeed, and that it is the task of our schools to make that a reality and that we need a school system which is supported to break down barriers to achievement and which breaks the link between deprivation and low educational attainment.

In the publication the '21st century school system' must ensure that:
  • children and young people are fully engaged with their education until at least the age of 18, reach world-class standards and acquire skills, understanding and qualifications that will serve them well in the future;
  • all children and young people are supported to progress, with excellent teaching; stretched to develop their talents; given the opportunities to pursue an engaging curriculum and qualifications; and to learn in a way which excites them and meets their needs;
  • all children and young people learn in an environment of good behaviour, are not bullied or discriminated against, and develop the wider personal skills, characteristics and attitudes they need to succeed and make a positive contribution to society, while enjoying a fulfilling and healthy childhood;
  • through collaborative working with other services, children and young people’s additional needs (including SEN) are met as early as possible – an end in itself; and because doing so supports learning by removing barriers and ensures that children and young people do not become distracted or disengaged from learning; and
  • we achieve high levels of parental engagement and satisfaction.

The key components of a 21st century school system

  • great leadership;
  • a diverse and highly expert workforce of skilled professionals;
  • a shared determination to do the best for every child;
  • high aspirations for all children and young people;
  • excellent personalised education and development;
  • good progress and high standards.
  • a key role in identifying and helping to address additional needs,
  • working at the centre of a system of early intervention and targeted support;
  • a range of activities and opportunities to enrich the lives of children, families and the wider community; and
  • contributing to community objectives such as local cohesion, sustainability and regeneration.

21st Century Schools will support improvements in outcomes and, in turn, children and young people’s life chances by:

  • providing a more personalised approach for each child and young person;
  • greater integrated working and coherence between services;
  • delivering a wider offer and, with other partners, a greater range of provision;
  • meeting additional needs to ensuring problems are identified early and addressed;
  • maximising the impact of the best leaders and governors and sharing effective practice and professional development;
  • making the best use of resources, sharing staff, functions and facilities across a number of school sites; and
  • ensuring greater collective accountability for outcomes for children and young people in the local area.

It is important that every school reads and responds to this vitally important consultation. You can access it at www.dcsf.gov.uk/consultations.


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