Alternatives - Successful education systems

Successful education systems that demonstrate real alternatives

Other countries with notably successful education systems are guided by a long-term plan, use evidence and benefit from strong national institutions.

Countries with successful education systems contrast starkly with England

Overseas countries with recognised success in education operate in a policy framework that contrasts starkly with England. There is no belief in policy “silver bullets”. Policy does not markedly alternate between governments and no single ideological approach points to success (other than recruiting and retaining the best possible teachers). Most significantly, according to the edpol correlation analysis, successful countries share “public confidence in government effectiveness”. Effective policy is built on stability and consultation; planning for the long term; benefits from societal buy-in; and trust that allows teachers to succeed.

Alternatives approaches for a successful education system

Long-term planning

Curriculum reviews tend to take place at regular, long-term intervals. Change is incremental and in nearly all cases includes extensive consultation and feedback – at the very least to gain practitioner buy-in. Participation is wide; process is formal and repeated; reviews are both top-down and lateral – all are extensive and use of evidence and expertise is generally high.

Strong national institutions

Strong national institutions are well established – typically over 20 years old and usually much longer. They provide advice, representation and research. Research institutions are usually government-funded, independent and well respected. The policy framework is usually managed by central government, but there are plenty of examples of delegated authority, principally where there are federal governments.

There are however elements of the English system that provide particular value, notably local and MAT initiatives that can provide diversity and innovation.

Reports, Roundtables, and Analyses

Evidence Check: Alternative Approaches

Learning from overseas

Agree a long-term vision and plan

Insight

  • Successive governments, institutions, research and stakeholders coalesce around a shared vision

Consistency**

three quarters

Evidence strength

one half

Source

  • Edpol analysis, EPI Curriculum and Research reviews

Learning from overseas

Change is a recognisable process

Insight

  • Change is announced, a process agreed, including timing and participation

Consistency**

three quarters

Evidence strength

one half

Source

  • EPI reviews (above)

Learning from overseas

Research and evidence at the centre

Insight

  • National institutions provide respected evidence from home nations and overseas

Consistency**

three quarters

Evidence strength

three quarters

Source

  • EPI Research Review

Learning from overseas

Strong national institutions

Insight

  • Institutions long established, secure and respected

Consistency**

three quarters

Evidence strength

three quarters

Source

  • EPI Curriculum and Research reviews

Learning from overseas

Wide consultation and collaboration *

Insight

  • Consultation used for buy-in and evidence gathering

Consistency**

one half

Evidence strength

three quarters

Source

  • EPI reviews
  • EPI/Edpol roundtable on Curriculum

Learning from overseas

Regional and local delegation

Insight

  • Federal local delegation

Consistency**

one quarter

Evidence strength

one quarter

Source

  • EPI reviews

Learning from overseas

Ideology does not drive success

Insight

  • No silver bullets; no consistent ideological approach; all countries willing to learn and adapt

Consistency**

100% whole

Evidence strength

three quarters

Source

  • Edpol analysis

Learning from UK

Consultation and collaborations can work

Insight

  • ECF illustrates successful policy making with consultation and collaboration

Consistency**

one quarter

Evidence strength

three quarters

Source

  • Public domain

Learning from UK

Takes time to consult

Insight

  • Secretary of State interviews show retrospective view to engage with practitioners

Consistency**

one quarter

Evidence strength

three quarters

Source

  • Edpol/FED/Public First, SofS interviews

Learning from UK

Local initiatives provide innovation

Insight

  • Right To Succeed, Blackpool, School 21, Reach Oasis, Manchester; all provide important learning

Consistency**

one quarter

Evidence strength

three quarters

Source

  • Public domain

*Not necessarily consensus drive  **That is, how consistently used within research sample

Sign up to our Mailing List