Rescue Our Schools’ co-founder Madeleine Holt was invited to attend the conference of a pioneering group – Schools of Tomorrow. The collection of schools in the West Midlands, Peterborough, Bedford and Bristol are working at coming up with an alternative assessment framework. Their key aims are to attain the highest levels of achievement and well-being alongside preparing children for the future and engaging with families and the community.
Schools of Tomorrow believe in involving children and young people in decision-making within their schools. They value peer review, student-led research and allowing students, staff and parents to review their schools’ development.
Key note speakers at the conference at Birmingham University were Steve Munby, formerly Chief Executive of the National College for School Leadership, and Leora Cruddas, CEO of Freedom and Autonomy for Schools.
Munby talked about how no other country in the world has such a high stakes accountability system as England, putting headteachers under unique pressure to deliver results or face the sack. Cruddas pondered why England had no ethical framework for heads and teachers – in contrast to the rigorous requirements of doctors and lawyers.
Schools of Tomorrow is part of the nascent Big Education Conversation, which has sprung up since the publication of Education Forward. Madeleine Holt contributed a chapter in Education Forward on the need to find alternatives to standardised tests in primary education, currently damaging children’s education and well-being.