One of the really interesting things that’s coming out of research I’m doing at the moment is just how increasingly irrelevant secondary schools really to the lives of young people. There’s loads of great stuff going on in Primary schools. Really innovative, pedagogically-sound stuff. There’s also awesome things happening in Further and Higher Education.
I don’t see it in Secondary schools. Pockets here and there perhaps, but not to the same extent. And, more to the point, nor do the researchers and innovators to whom I’ve been speaking.
So what’s the problem? What’s holding back innovation in secondary schools? Well…
- Teachers blame senior leaders
- Senior leaders blame the curriculum
- The curriculum was, up until recently, the responsibility of the QCDA
- The QCDA blames the examination boards
- The examination boards blame the government
- The government blames lack of innovation in schools.
Now that the QCDA has been given its notice, this is a massive opportunity for secondary schools. People talk about the ‘crisis in higher education’. That’s just a funding crisis. The real crisis is 11-16 year olds voting with their feet.
What can we do about it? Take a stand, for a start.
So I’m not really proposing that we just let anyone over the age of 11 wander the streets. Of course not. But I do think that the organizations that form the secondary ecosystem have a whole lot of work to do to win hearts and minds.