Commenting on the OECD report “Equity and Quality in Education”, which found that the highest performing education systems in the world were those which combined equity and quality and looked at how education systems could help all children succeed, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“This report is a ringing endorsement of comprehensive schools. It shows that socio-economic disadvantage of pupils can be overcome if schools have sufficient funding and resources to ensure there is a quality and consistency of provision.
“Educating young people from disadvantaged backgrounds requires additional funding. At a time when schools are reeling from Government imposed budget cuts the pupil premium will not stretch far enough to make a real difference to pupils’ lives and their achievements.
“The academies and free schools programme is fragmenting the education landscape making it increasingly difficult for schools to work together sharing resources and best practice. This is the antithesis of what the OECD has found to work. The Government should look to restoring the London Challenge programme. This programme, which was extended to other parts of the country, proved successful in raising the school attainment levels in some of the most disadvantaged areas in England; precisely because it draws on what teachers know works in the classroom.”
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