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Reasons to be optimistic about education recovery if we don’t overload schools – Ofsted

Amanda Spielman

Inspections are showing there are reasons to be optimistic about the education recovery effort, Ofsted’s Chief Inspector will say in a speech on Thursday.

Speaking at the Festival of Education at Wellington College, Amanda Spielman will warn that we must avoid the temptation to see schools as the first lever to pull in the face of social challenges.

Ms Spielman will say, with limited time in a school day, that piling roles and agendas on schools risks overloading them and losing sight of their core mission: education.

She will revisit some of the themes of her first speech to the festival in 2017 around the importance of curriculum and substance of education.

Ms Spielman is expected to say:

“Some of the worst fears about the impact on education are beginning to wane. Inspections are showing that the vast majority of schools are providing a good education and helping all children get the best start they can. The same is true in early years and in further education. Thanks to everyone working in education, we can start to be optimistic again.” 

With reference to the importance of protecting the education recovery effort, she will add:

“But these early signs of recovery are still fragile. We need to avoid the temptation to overload schools, by seeing them as the first lever to pull in the face of any social challenge. ‘Teach it in schools’ is a common refrain, but the pressure of treating schools as the solution to everything puts education at risk. We need teachers to concentrate on the real substance of what they are teaching. It’s what they do best and it’s working.” 

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