Sir Steve Lancashire, the founder of England’s largest primary school-only academy chain, has called the government to stop using school leaders as a “political football”. Speaking today at Forum Strategy’s National #TrustLeaders CEO Conference 2022, Sir Steve said there must be a “new era” of cooperation from the government. “There is a real need to herald in a new era of respect for the profession from government,” he said.
“We need to stop being treated as a political football.”
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Sir Steve’s comments come amid growing concerns from leaders about the government’s approach to education policy. Recently, the government has been accused of making decisions without consulting schools and using the education system as a political tool.
School leaders have also been critical of the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Some accuse ministers of risking lives by failing to act quickly enough to close schools.
Sir Steve warned that the “constant changes” being made by the government are hurting leaders and their ability to do their jobs effectively. “The constant changes are not conducive to effective leadership,” he said.
“They erode confidence and trust.”
Sir Steve called on the government to work closely with school leaders to develop a “coherent and consistent” approach to education policy.
“There needs to be a much more coherent and consistent approach from government, working with school leaders to develop policy, rather than the ad hoc approach we have seen in recent years,” he said.
According to Sir Steve, the education system is facing “unprecedented challenges”, and the government must work with leaders to address these issues.
“The education system is facing unprecedented challenges, and it is essential that we work together to find solutions,” he said.
“I believe that government must start listening to leaders and stop using us as a political football. We hope to overcome the challenges we face only by working together.”
What do you think of Sir Steve’s comments? Do you agree that the government should stop using school leaders as political football? Let us know in the comments below.
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