21st Century Schools

A world-class education for every child
The Department for Children, School and Families is asking you to comment on what you’d like to see happening to schools in the future.

The vision
They’ve set out their ideas on how schools will make themselves better in the years to come. The four main ideas are: • • • • Making teaching tailored to each child Working out what extra help children need More things to involve and improve the community Involving parents and offering them support and advice

When you’re finished reading, send your ideas and your answers to the questions at the end of this booklet by 3 March 2009 to:

Consultation Unit Department for Children, Schools and Families Ground Floor B, Castle View House East Lane, Runcorn Cheshire, WA7 2GJ 21stcenturyschools.consultation@dcsf.gsi.gov.uk

21st century schools: for children
The main aim for children is to give them a place to learn, with all the support they need, skills and knowledge that will help them achieve whatever they want to achieve.

Ages 5-12
• Working out whether children need help early on, so they can overcome any learning and behaviour difficulties as quickly as possible • Helping teach life skills like teamwork and sharing early on • Give the children more experiences, inside and outside the classroom, to explore and learn from • Every child having a teacher or staff member who knows them personally and well, so they work on helping kids achieve their potential from early on. • Looking after children’s physical and mental health, and supporting parents to do that too.

Ages 12-19
• A personal form tutor who knows their students well and takes responsibility for where their learning is going, and is a good contact for parents to find out what’s going on. • Choices of how to learn with a wide range of qualifications to work for, and different teaching styles to suit everyone. Adding to the traditional GCSE-and-A-level structure with diplomas, apprenticeships and foundation courses. • Making sure 14 and 16 year olds know all about the choices they have to make about qualifications, employment and more. • Schools working with local employers, and giving useful and personal advice to students on possible careers or more education. • Looking after student’s physical and mental health and teaching them healthy attitudes. • Helping as many students as possible stay in education until they are 17 by 2013, and 18 by 2015.

21st century schools: for parents
The government’s vision for 21st century schools includes much more parent involvement in their child’s education, and in schools helping people be the best parents they can. • By joining up schools with parents, childcare options, adult education courses, access to sports, fun stuff, computers, and more through the same schools as your children. This includes things to do as a family. The idea is to make your local school useful to the whole community. • Helping you support your child, understanding how they learn best and how to give them the things they need to succeed at what they want to do. • Getting parents talking to each other, creating support networks and helping everyone understand what’s going on in your child’s school. • Much closer partnerships between parents and the school. • Better safety for your child at school, including more security checks when hiring school staff.

• School Report Cards - The government wants to launch a report card for each school. This tells you how well, or not, your child’s school is doing, at a glance. They hope this will be easier to access and understand than OFSTED reports.

21st century schools: for schools
The biggest changes for schools will be starting to work much more closely with other schools, and other public services in your area.

More responsibilities • Provide many more services for the children, parents and community, and locate these services in the same place so they can work together more easily, wherever possible • Develop clear local policies on supporting special needs and helping vulnerable children • Provide childcare 8am-6pm, 48 weeks a year in primary schools • Greater clarity in what schools should, and should not be doing for children, and more accountability for you and your partner organisations. • School Report Card – to promote your good work as well as highlight areas for improvement. Could be used to tell OFSTED whether they should inspect your school. Selfevaluation and OFSTED will continue, and we need to work out how to bring new partnerships into the system.

Staff and teachers
• Making sure good staff stay in the schools that need improvement • Improving security checks on all staff • Encouraging Head teachers to work across more than one school, sharing knowledge and experience • Sharing specialist teachers across schools so they all get the benefit • Appointing school business directors to help reduce head teacher workload and get more value for money for the school. • More training for staff and teachers to recognise and deal with special needs, and training in improving relationships with parents • Support for a wider variety of teaching styles, including planned groups, 1-1s, catch-up and advanced classes Look out for the 2020 Children and Young People Workforce Strategy, coming soon, as this covers teaching and school staff in more depth.

Schools are currently funded by dedicated schools grants. This is a 3-year programme and runs out in 2011, so the government welcomes ideas on the future of schools funding, and also ideas for how to give schools more incentive to share their resources with other schools and the community through designated schools grants.

As well as your general comments, if you have any particular thoughts on answers to these questions, please send them to the address on the second page.
1. Do you think the general ideas behind the vision are good? 2. Is anything missing? 3. What’s the best way to encourage parents to get more involved with more activities in schools? 4. Do we have the right approach to supporting children’s needs and identifying problems early? 5. Is there more we can do to make schools the centre of every community? 6. Would schools be better off just making one partnership agreement with one agency that can help them deliver lots of services, or agreements with more than one agency so they can change the services they get depending on what’s needed? 7. How can we measure how well partnerships with schools are working and how are we going to keep these partnerships strong and effective? 8. What’s going to be difficult for teachers and schools to do, and how can we make it less difficult? 9. Is there anything more we need to take on board when we write the paper that says exactly what we’re going to do in the spring, 2009?