What Would You Like to See Happen in 2019? (Blog 9 2018-19)

Continuing our theme of hopes for the New Year, here are a some more thoughts about what we would like to see in education in 2019.  If you think similar; join us for the HTRT Summit 2019.

James Eldon – Principal, Manchester Academy

Inject some long term thinking back into the system. Accept that embedded school improvement takes time and fluctuations in outcomes will occur during that journey. Find ways of rescuing leaders that might not have been successful in one context but shouldn’t be lost from the system. Make clear how our poorest families will be protected from the economic impact of Brexit and ensuring families who have chosen to live in the U.K. don’t experience high stress by months of uncertainty about whether they can stay in their new country.

Start to genuinely think about the students who want excellent vocational qualifications – not just the T-Level cohort. Create a national digital skills qualification which is not computer science but teaches children how they can run a business successfully from a smart phone. Celebrate the Arts as a key business for the future of the country.


Keziah Featherstone – Headteacher, Q3 Academy, Tipton

My education wish for the new year is that we just get more time: time to implement change in our schools; time to respond to DfE and Ofsted priorities; time to embed improvements rather than scratch the surface. No one can make a real difference overnight, or even a year, and it feels as if we’re running on a treadmill that only speeds up.


Rob Campbell – Founding Member,CEO, Morris Education Trust, Cambridge

My wish for 2019? That the challenge of educating our most vulnerable is addressed once and for all. It’s about funding and giving schools across the country the resources they really need to ensure ‘school is for the least what home is for the most’ (to quote Gervase Phinn), but it’s also more than that. It’s about accountability and enabling schools to see that having children with more complex needs on roll isn’t a challenge that will leave them in poorer standing in performance tables (which it clearly is currently). It’s also about training and investing significantly in the professional development of teachers and associate staff so we can draw upon research and evidence that is known to make the best difference to the ones who need it the most.


Ros McMullen – Executive Principal of Midland Academies Trust

My wish for 2019 is that government begins to do two things: listens to those working with the most vulnerable communities about what they need; instead of telling them what they need.  Secondly, join up all social policy to tackle inequality, recognising that putting targets into education whilst cutting social welfare budgets is counter-productive.


Sabrina Hobbs – Principal, Severndale Specialist Academy, Shropshire

One wish for education from 2019; the allocation of a High Needs Fair Funding Formula.  This formula would match the cost of provision/resource necessary to meet pupil needs. I would be able to develop new provision and buy new resources to cater for our most complex pupils.  Shropshire needs more choice of SEND provision to stop the growing number of out of county, private (special) school places. We need to stop this rising number of young people from being forced to live away from their families and communities. The knock on effect of this wish; less placements needed in expensive private special schools; more public funds retained in the public sector to spend in all schools… and children can stay at home


Professor Sam Twistelton – Director of Sheffield Institute of Education

Here’s hoping the plans for the Early Career Framework and all the accompanying mentoring and support are properly funded and well executed and piloted so that the potential to be a real game changer for teacher retention and development are fully realised.


Vic Goddard –Principal, Passmores Academy, Harlow

My one big wish is that government becomes joined up; with the impact of decisions, by any department or Minister, actually being modelled across the whole of public service. This would mean that changes to pensions or immigration or National Insurance would not be made in isolation. They would then be able to avoid any further damage to what is an already fragile funding and recruitment situation.

Stephen Tierney – Chair – CEO of BEBCMAT

Our agenda for 2019 is set: humane, intelligent and proportionate accountability set within a coherent school improvement strategy; much greater recognition of the service of teachers and leaders to the most needy children & young people and for schools to receive the funding required to do the job well.  Together they give us a fighting chance of retaining sufficient teachers and recruiting those we need, where we need them most, to provide a great education for all our pupils.  Here’s hoping 2019 will be a great year.

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