Feisty discussion group on Government and Education at HMC yesterday morning: 5 speakers representing the full spectrum, with Melissa Benn at one end and Sir Dan Moynihan (CEO of The Harris Federation) at the other. I am one of the four heads on the panel and hosting Melissa who is as incisive and ardent as she is courteous and friendly. Big questions: is the State any good at running education? What are the opportunities and responsibilities of the independent sector to work with maintained sector schools? Perhaps the greatest interest lies in what the role of Ofqual will be, both in holding M Gove back from committing the usual educational folly of impetuous change (with Ebacc) without piloting and what they can do to remedy the perilous state of exam marking. HMC’s powerfully documented account of this -“England’s ‘examinations industry’: deterioration and decay” is a strong indictment of serial failure. No reform is worth doing without reliable and fair exam marking.
By Keith Budge, Headmaster, Bedales Schools
Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.