Comment on EPI report on access to ‘high performing’ schools

Commenting on the report by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) ‘Access to high performing schools in England’, published today, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“All young people should have access to good schools. However, we must question the EPI’s use of the term ‘high performing’. Teachers work tirelessly and with dedication in all schools. ‘High performing’ schools do not necessarily reflect genuine outcomes for learners, but are often the result of playing the game according to the rules set by Ofsted. Sending young people to a ‘high performing’ school cannot, on its own, ensure social mobility and, as research tells us, life chances are determined by socio-economic background. The Government must ensure social justice through addressing child poverty, rather than assuming that schools can, on their own, fix the problems arising from inequality from birth.

“The potential for social mobility is also negatively impacted by the effects of recent governments’ education reforms, including the narrowing of a more academic curriculum, assessment, performance measures, and the lack of funding for good quality careers advice and guidance. If the Government is serious about social mobility for young people it should ensure that education is properly funded, with professional staff who are not overburdened by excessive workload.”

ENDS

2017-063-NEU

Press release
21 December 2017