The IOE’s director reflects on the past five years as he prepares to move on.
Tom Stoppard has the right line: in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, his sideways look at Hamlet, one of the hapless courtiers urges the other to ‘look on every exit as an entrance somewhere else’. It’s now five years since I was appointed Director of the IOE – five years in which the landscape of education policy in England has been transformed in every direction. Five years ago, there was no pupil premium, and so no pupil premium toolkit, indeed, no Education Endowment Foundation. There were no teaching schools, there was no EBacc; there were just a few hundred academies, all sponsor-led. GCSEs were largely modular in form. There was no baseline assessment and no phonics screening check. University fees were capped at £3,000 and student numbers centrally controlled. In five years, all this has altered with the most radical of changes in curriculum, assessment, school structures and accountabilities.
It has been an exceptional privilege to lead the IOE through this period. The Institute is a hybrid: simultaneously researching (more…)