“Change begins now”

Sir Keir Starmer’s opening words when addressing his Labour team. The electorate voted out 12 cabinet ministers, including a former prime minister and the education secretary. The country’s verdict on 14 years of Conservative rule – not good enough; too many scandals, public services not working, and little hope that matters would improve. This morning, Keir Starmer said: “Walk into the morning. The sunlight of hope – pale at first but getting stronger through the day. Shining once again on a country getting its future back.” We know that there is a shortage of funds, and that Labour will not be throwing money to solve the problems we face. However, I would urge the new government to invest in education.

In my pamphlet – Why change is needed – I quoted Lord David Puttnam:

‘Teachers are in all respects the lifeblood of education…their work has unique and demonstrable outcomes on the health, wealth and welfare of every person in this country. My belief is that education is the one key driver in enabling people to fulfil their potential, and therefore the sole means by which we can hope to deliver equality and social justice…Our future and that of every child on the planet rests on our ability to invest every scrap of time and resource we have in building the type of educated global society of which we can be proud. Teachers make their own contribution to that objective every day of their working lives. As a nation we should be fantastically proud of them.’

In our general election blogs, we have heard of the hopes and desires for Nehemiah, Flo, Ed, Charlie and Rose. They are all at different stages of their education journey, and to be successful, they need quality teachers. Labour is promising 6500 new teachers in the first instance – this will take time – and work is needed to improve the retention rate. I am hopeful that the potential new Secretary of State will develop a close working relationship with the profession. There is a strong focus on early years – we need to get it right for Nehemiah and children of his age.

Arriving in your in-boxes next week is SSAT’s latest pamphlet on Deep Support, and in September, Deep Leadership 2 will be available. We believe that school leaders and teachers need to be at the heart of change – respected partners with parents, charities and employers in developing policy. Invest in education and you will get economic growth, and our country will have a future that meets the needs of all.

In focus: General Election 2024

At SSAT we believe that education should be at the heart of government. We now need another Education, Education, Education time to help nurture our young people towards a brighter future for all. Review our blog series, written in the run-up to the UK election, that highlights the importance of education covering a broad range of topics and themes.

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