About edpol

Improve education in England through a wiser approach to policy making

Edpol is focused on quantifying and exploring education policy making and ways this can be improved

England’s approach to education policy making has meant constant change in schools

“The overwhelming impression as a state school governor for the best part of 30 years is one of constant change. Outstanding schools rely on great routines and these are hard to establish when schools, colleges and teachers are continually being asked to give priority to different initiatives and forms of accountability. Therefore, edpol started off as a project to quantify the amount of change that had taken place over these recent decades. This in turn led to a deeper review of how education policy was made.”


Concerns over the DfE’s policy-making capacity

The edpol work explores concerns over the DfE’s policy-making capacity, the fragmentation and relative weakness of non-governmental institutions and the inconsistent use of consultation, research and evidence. These could all be managed much better, as is the case in many other countries.

Our intention is to help improve policy-making  process, evidence and institutions – so that education policy change is more enduring and long term. This will allow schools and colleges to do what they do better and it will further the attraction and retention of the best teachers and college lecturers.

Authors and contributors

Patrick Wall: founder of edpol.net, author and researcher. He first became a school governor in 1988. For the last ten years he has been chair of governors at Ark Academy, a 1,600 pupil through-school in Wembley. Patrick set up Target Schools in 1982, the original Oxford University access program. He is a Trustee of the Foundation for Education Development and is a long standing Sutton Trust Fellow. He has spent thirty-five years in business, working in Europe, USA and China. He is founder, and ex-CEO, of a successful tech company and NED for a tech business, building ethical and sustainable supply chains.

Dr Bevil Luck: quantitative work, research and author. Bevil holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Southampton and a BA (Hons) in English from Merton College, University of Oxford. He has experience leading quantitative research projects in industry. He currently works as an independent teacher and researcher.

Ross Goldstone: international comparative research. Ross has undertaken an ESRC-funded PhD at Cardiff University investigating the relationship between social class, school-to-college transitions, and further education participation in England. Ross has previous working experience in the Welsh Government and currently works in the NHS.

Luca Boyd: international comparative research. Luca is an MSc Global Governance student at the University of Exeter with an interest in educational equality, opportunity, and policy.  He is President of the 93% Club Exeter, a student society dedicated to improving the university experience of state-educated students at university.

John Warriner: 2019 research and co-author. John holds a first-class degree in English Language and Literature, and a master’s degree in English Literature with distinction, from Merton College, University of Oxford. He also holds the Graduate Diploma in Law with distinction from the City Law School, University of London. He works as an independent teacher and researcher.

EPI: edpol has worked with The Education Policy Institue (EPI) to hold roundtables and has commissioned research through EPI. Views expressed on this website are not necessarily those of EPI.

Public First: edpol has commissioned research through Public First. Views expressed on this website are not necessarily those of Public First.

Other contributors: approximately 70 experts have attended roundtables and a further 40 people have been interviewed. Thanks is due to all of them for giving up their time.

Like-minded initiatives

At edpol we support all thoughtful and evidence-based policy formation and the development of a long-term vision for education. The following organisations are working to this end:

The FED is dedicated to promoting a long-term vision and plan for education in England. In the spirit of partnership, FED provides a neutral space for policy influencers from education, business, politics and beyond to shape the future. FED is completing a year of wide ranging consultation and many events can be found on its website.

In 2015 ASCL published “Leading the Way: Blueprint for a self-improving system”. This work is currently being updated to create “A Blueprint for a Fairer Education System”.


The FPEC launched its report on 7th September 2020.

The Independent Commission on the College of the Future launched in March 2019 and asks two fundamental questions. What do we want and need from colleges in 10 years’ time? What changes are needed in order to achieve this? Read their final report.


The Chartered College of Teaching is bringing teachers together from across the world to discuss the future of the teaching profession in their new Future of Teaching campaign.