Prospect seeks talks with DfE on school improvement

The Prospect union has written to education secretary Justine Greening requesting a meeting with Department for Education officials to discuss the government’s funding plans and strategy for school improvement.

In the letter, national secretary Philippa Childs welcomes the government’s announcement of £50m a year for local authorities to continue to monitor and commission school improvement for low-performing maintained schools, and the new £140m strategic school improvement fund for academies and maintained schools.

Childs said: “Prospect is the largest union for school improvement professionals, so our members are keen for us to meet the DfE to flesh out more detail on its strategic proposals and how the new funding will be allocated.

“Members also want us to highlight the crucial role they play and encourage a discussion of key principles around mentoring and advising schools to produce successful outcomes for pupils across the whole ability range.”

She pointed out that while many of Prospect’s members in school improvement are still employed by local authorities, others operate as private consultants or work for private companies that sell their services to schools.

“However, in all cases, their independence from the schools they support is important to ensure objectivity.”

With the letter, Childs has enclosed Prospect’s standards for educational development and improvement professionals. This document identifies six key standards that recognise the responsibility of professionals working in children’s services for child development.

Childs added: “Our members have invaluable experience working with both maintained schools and academies and we believe the standards could help to ensure the new funding delivers the government’s ambitions.”

Prospect is also keen to engage with the National Schools Commissioner about his strategy to drive up standards in schools.

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