As Nadhim Zahawi is confirmed to be the new Education Minister, Lexonik’s team has been developing an aspirational wish list for the new appointee, in hope of a positive new chapter for education in England.
Here’s our letter of hope:
Dear Mr Zahawi
You’ll forgive us if we don’t feel compelled to roll out the red carpet for you in a fit of excitement right away. After all, the legacy of disappointment looms large.
There’s no hiding the fact that we’re delighted to know the education arena is moving on from life under the helm of your colleague Williamson, but even so, it’s hard to feel a rush of joy, when all we really have left…is hope.
At Lexonik, we spend every day in and out of schools up and down this country, assisting them in efforts of academic improvement, getting to know the dedicated and devoted teachers, meeting with the ‘hungry to learn’ children.
In short, we’re right there, taking a snapshot at the coalface of what life looks like in education under the leadership of the current ministers and strategies.
We want (need) better from you than the delivery and rhetoric which came before.
So what does that look like, we hear you ask.
- Start by ACTUALLY TEACHING. A simple but important point. We want you to understand this space. We want you rolling up your sleeves and getting into a classroom in a town like Middlesbrough
- Consult with school leaders and teachers from across the sector – not just independent schools or academies in the south judged as outstanding – listen to them, respond and trust their informed, educated and experienced position
- Be honest about UK’s illiteracy and position in world education and pledge to do something about it so no adult in the UK is limited by their illiteracy
- Establish a cross party education board, led by education experts so things don’t constantly change
- Thank teachers – acknowledge their professionalism and trust them to make the right decisions for their communities
- Do everything you can to build confidence and morale among those in the profession
- Take a long hard look at OFSTED and review everything it does, says, purports to be
- Connect the dots – in particular, between health and social and education. We need a Whole System approach if chance is going to be sustainable and appropriate and of significant impact for all
We fully recognise that you’re picking up what some might refer to as a poisoned chalice – but delay and dither is not something we can afford to do.
Right now, teachers everywhere are wanting to be assertive with parents and students about what the future examination strategy is going to be (and to know it’ll be set in stone).
They’re also contending with unheard of issues – from being in the midst of the moral dilemmas where children of 12 years old might be able to overrule their parents on the vaccine issue, to fearing for the day-to-day threat of an increase in cases of a worldwide virus.
You have the chance to make such a difference to the education sector, to the teachers we speak to every day, and to the thousands of pupils for whom we’re seeking to provide a better learning experience and outcome.
So what do you think Mr Zahawi?
Are you up for the challenge? We’ll observe with our hawk-eye teacher-ish analysis and be poised to mark your end of term report card.
Good luck! Best regards