Confusing changes badly implemented

images (230)The story in todays edition of Schools Week could so easily be written about many  of the changes introduced by our current Government along with many of its predecessors. Far too few Ministers have any real knowledge of how their decisions get translated and passed through into the lives of the people their decisions are intended to influence. This story is about the Regional Schools Commissioners who I wrote about last June. However the call by Michael Wilshaw, Chief Inspector at OFSTED for the Government to pay attention to their previous decisions to reform our Schools is unlikely to be heard by the Architect of this change as he is now ensconced in the Ministry of Justice, attempting to correct mistakes made by his predecessor in that role. The prospect of Nicky Morgan really getting to grips with this chaotic and unaccountable set of decision making and decision makers appears very unlikely. She after all is focusing a great deal of her attention on the steps she must take to be ready to take over at Number 10 when the election process gets underway. This current Government is influenced in much of its thinking by decisions and statements made by people such as Lord Maude. He argued for senior civil servants to be appointed by the incoming Minister to the relevant department. His argument was this would improve the link between the Minister and the Officials in the Department. However it is clear that that would have made this situation even more confusing and challenging. We do need Governments willing to make changes and reform public services, however this change and these reforms need to be thought through, not just at a macro level, but also at the micro level by the Ministers and also by the Civil Service before the changes are implemented. It is clear that change takes time and thought through change may take longer. There is every chance that our current Government could be one led by Ed Miliband if the polls had been correct. No doubt the call from Michael Wilshaw today would have led to reactions to abolish large chunks of the Gove reforms. Instead we have a Conservative Government with the Department led by his chosen successor. Schools are too important to be used as political footballs. We need changes that are debated and tested by the opposition and then implemented in a manner that ensures that the confusion which Wilshaw describes is not allowed to develop. It is after all not that important what happens to the reputation or careers of a few Ministers or even a few Regional Schools Commissioners. What is important is how well our children are educated.


About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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