Neither the National Audit Office nor the DfE really understand School Improvement

Education for Everyone

The National Audit Office has once more concluded that the government’s approach to improving inadequate schools is a complete muddle. The DfE doesn’t know what is actually happening inside academy chains, local authorities and schools. Responsibilities are confused and there is no evidence that its interventions actually have any effect. It concludes:

“The Department for Education has not demonstrated the effectiveness of the different interventions it and others make in underperforming maintained schools and academies, despite investing at least £382 million annually, according to the National Audit Office.

The NAO finds that the DfE and others, such as the Education Funding Agency and local authorities, have not tackled underperformance consistently. The spending watchdog, therefore, cannot conclude that the oversight system for maintained schools and academies is achieving value for money.”

None of this will come as a surprise to anyone with real experience of school improvement work. Essentially it is…

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