Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the King’s Speech.
“Education has felt on the margins of policymaking for some time and that has not changed today. Bringing technical and academic qualifications together is worthwhile but the Advanced British Standard is not going to exist for 10 years, if at all. It is not the right priority at a time when the education profession is under so much pressure. There remains no urgency to solve teacher shortages and funding shortfalls that are already impacting schools and colleges and call into question the viability of extending teaching in the way the Advanced British Standard would require.
“It was particularly disappointing to hear no mention of efforts to reduce the scandalous levels of child poverty in this country. This has a huge impact on the educational attainment of young people and too often consigns them to an intergenerational cycle of disadvantage. Today demonstrates the chasm between the government’s rhetoric about education being a silver bullet and what they are practically prepared to do to support the profession. This is not the agenda of a government that is putting children and young people first.”