Foundations for a long-term plan

A seven page document, written by edpol for the Foundation for Education Development, critiquing how education policy is made in England and how these long standing issues might be addressed. All points made in the document can be substantiated by the research and evidence in this website.


To improve England’s education system, policy making should operate within a long-term plan. The last thirty years have seen important progress, but also an unnecessary amount of ‘policy churn’. This has been far more abundant in education than in other departments, often replacing policies that have not been thought-through, nor implemented properly. These relatively short-term interventions have disrupted the rhythm of schools, and colleges; demotivated teachers and lecturers – negatively affecting their retention; created an incoherent system, where policies fight against each other and overall, have done little to improve a general feeling of distrust between practitioners and policy makers.

There is a better path and in part, it can be evidenced in other countries around the world. At best, these alternative methods show us how to unite key stakeholders behind a coherent long-term vision and purpose; how successive governments can follow a ten to twenty-year plan; how to empower schools and colleges; select, retain and motivate excellent teachers and achieve success that is measurable, accountable and admired around the world. By looking at best practice within and without its borders, England can create a system that is dynamic – but also stable, predictable and inclusive.