David Cameron Plans 'All Out War On Mediocrity' On The State Education System

Employment Lawyer Comments On Performance Management In Schools

02.02.2015

David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

Prime Minister David Cameron today set out plans to improve standards in the state education system.

Speaking at the Kingsmead academy school in London, Mr Cameron said that schools judged by Ofsted to require improvement will be forced to convert into academies.

He also announced  that any English school assessed as requiring improvement by the regulator will be put under new leadership unless it can show it has plans in place to bring about rapid change. This could include high-performing neighbouring schools or expert sponsors, such as philanthropic trusts.

The planned measures include the introduction of reforms to boost results that could involve new discipline policies. They could also result in a change in personnel, such as the removal of a school’s headteacher.

The move comes as part of a Conservative manifesto commitment to give all children a good start in life, regardless of where they are from.

Mr Cameron said: "As parents we're hardwired to want the best for our kids. No one wants their child to go to a failing school - and no one wants to them to go to a coasting school either.

"So this party is clear. Just enough is not good enough. That means no more sink schools - and no more 'bog standard' schools either. We're waging an all-out war on mediocrity, and our aim is this: the best start in life for every child, wherever they're from - no excuses."

Commenting on the issue of dealing with bad management in schools, Surinder Dhillon, an Employment lawyer and Head of School Legal Services at Irwin Mitchell, said:

Expert Opinion
All education establishments will have performance management policies and disciplinary policies in place. It’s not the procedures that are a problem but the application of them.

“Some Local Authorities approach to poor management and performance is that they are too risk averse and their interests will override that of the Governing Bodies. This does not help where school leaders need the freedom to make changes and quickly.

“School leaders need the right professional support in dealing with management of staff from the outset and this will impact on school improvement, pupil safety, wellbeing, partnership and community engagement.

“The proposals from David Cameron suggests intervention where a school cannot or does not have the capacity to improve itself. For some children that will be a little too late.”
Surinder Dhillon, Associate