Wednesday, 14 April 2010

A Shared Vision For Education: PEN's open letter published in The Guardian

As headteachers, we were very concerned at the flight from consensus in the last stages of the education bill last week and the blocking of a number of guarantees for children, including the right to one-to-one tuition. We see these guarantees as the culmination of unprecedented investment in schools over recent years. It is clear now that only the present government is committed to guaranteeing ringfenced and increased investment in all our schools.

The alternative proposals are not about steady investment in the whole system but the threat of across-the-board cuts coupled with boutique experiments borrowed as a result of naive educational tourism. These experiments will involve taking millions of pounds from existing schools to create artificial surplus places. There is absolutely no research consensus around the achievements of Swedish "free schools" or American charter schools. A few flatpack free schools will not reform a national system.

The educational landscape presently evolving is already a powerful force for change. It is led by a group of professionals who collaborate for the good of children, who have a shared vision for the whole system and think beyond the boundaries of their own schools. So please, no return to year zero.


Mike Gibbons, Chair of PEN and Chief Executive, The Richard Rose Federation, Carlisle

Lynne Ackland, Headteacher, Heaton Manor School, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Ahson Mohammed, Headteacher, Holly Lodge School, Smethwick

Fiona Allen, Executive Headteacher, Corsham Primary School, Corsham

Jane E Barry, Headteacher, Dane Royd Junior & Infants School, Wakefield

Sally Bates, Headteacher, Wadsworth Fields Primary School, Stapleford

Colin Bell, Principal, The South Leeds Academy, Leeds

Mike Berrill, Principal, Biddenham International School & Sports College, Bedford

Elizabeth Bird, Headteacher, Sibertswold CofE Primary School, Dover, Kent

John Bird, Headteacher, St Mary's CofE Primary School, Folkestone, Kent

Geoff Bowles, Headteacher, Barrow Hall Community Primary School, Warrington

Laura Brodie, Headteacher/Head of Centre, Allens Croft Children's Centre, Birmingham

Stuart Campbell, Headteacher, St Mary's C of E Primary School, Twickenham

David Carter, Chief Executive and PEN Advisory Group Member, Cabot Learning Academies, Bristol

Eddie de Middelaer, Principal and PEN Advisory Group Member, Lutterworth College, Lutterworth

John Dowler, Headteacher, Haydon Bridge High School Sports College, Haydon Bridge

Mark Elms, Headteacher, Tidemill Junior School, Lewisham

Patrick Ferguson, Headteacher, De La Salle Humanities College, Liverpool

Eileen Field, Headteacher, Accipio Learning, St Albans

Beverley Gardner, Headteacher, Christ Church (Erith) CE VA Primary School, Erith

Iain Gilmore, Headteacher, Isambard Brunel Junior School, Portsmouth

Keith Hollins, Executive Headteacher and PEN Advisory Group Member, Westwood College, Leek

Lynne Jackson, Headteacher, Chesterton Community Sports College Newcastle-under-Lyme,

Dr Reena Keeble, Headteacher, Cannon Lane First School, Harrow

Mark Klekot, Headteacher and Member of PEN Advisory Group, Rough Hay Primary School, Walsall

Travis Latham, Headteacher, Shireland Hall Primary School, Sandwell

Mandy Lloyd, Headteacher, St Briavels C of E Primary School, Coleford

Joanna Manson, Headteacher, The High Arcal School, Dudley

Rachel Martin, Headteacher,West Twyford Primary School London

Anne McCormick, Headteacher, Queens Park Lower School, Bedford

Chris McShane, Headteacher, Winton School, Andover

Val Metcalf, Headteacher, Harwich Community Primary School and Nursery, Harwich, Essex

Ged Murphy, Headteacher, Broughton Hall High School, Liverpool

Jeremy Nicholls, Headteacher, Litcham High School, Litcham

Darren Nickerson, Headteacher, Paulsgrove Primary School Portsmouth

Ian Nurser, Headteacher, St.Peter's CE Primary School, Wembley

Byron Parker, Headteacher, Woolwich Polytechnic School, London

Cherril Pope, Headteacher, St Mark's School, Bath

Margaret Rannard, Headteacher, West Derby School Derby

Paul Rincon, Headteacher, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School, London

Dave Smith, Advisory Headteacher, Longlevens Junior School, Gloucester

Dame Dela Smith, Executive Director, Darlington Education Village, Darlington

Sir Alan Steer, Member of Pen Advisory Group and ex Secondary Headteacher

Derek Sutherland, Headteacher, Federation of Our Lady's and English Martyrs' RC Primary Schools, York

Mark Sutton, Executive Headteacher, Hagley Park Sports College and Fair Oak Business & Enterprise College, Rugeley

Ray Tarleton, Principal, South Dartmoor Community College, Ashburton

Nick Taunt, Headteacher, Bishop Luffa School, Chichester

Brian Worrall, Headteacher, Sidney Stringer Secondary School Coventry

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