IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


What if… we struck a different balance between school autonomy and regulation?

13 February 2019, 5:45 pm–7:00 pm

IOE Debates: Accountability

Could we hold a mirror up to teaching practice and school performance, and support their improvement, more effectively than we do now? What might that look like if we started from a blank page?

Event Information

Open to



Kate Thomas


Jeffery Hall
UCL Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way

Watch the debate again:

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The way in which schools are held to account in England, based in inspection and performance indicators that lead off from regular high-stakes testing of pupils, is highly contentious.

The criticisms are many and varied: that the measures don’t provide a valid picture of school performance; that they skew schools’ priorities, in particular, turning schools into ‘exam factories’; that they lead to gaming; that they harm pupil and teacher well-being; that they are contributing to the teacher supply crisis.

Meanwhile, the picture has been further complicated by the advent of multi-academy trusts and questions about the extent to which the accountability system reflects this new terrain. Current measures are intended to drive up standards by providing accountability and transparency. And there is no question that professions and providers need to be held to account.

Speakers include:

  • Geoff Barton, ASCL General Secretary
  • Nick Brook, Deputy General Secretary, National Association of Head Teachers
  • Ed Dorrell, Deputy Editor and Head of Content at the Tes
  • Natalie Perera, Executive Director and Head of Research, Education Policy Institute
  • Chair: Professor Becky Francis, Director of UCL Institute of Education

Listen or download the debate from SoundCloud:

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