Press release

Access and achievement expert panel

Ofsted announced details of the expert panel that will look into access and achievement issues to inform a major report.

The review, announced last month, will focus on the issues facing deprived communities and will aim to provide radical new solutions to what are long standing and deep seated problems.

Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, said:

In too many areas, the quality of educational provision isn’t improving fast enough, and the gap in educational outcomes between the richest and the poorest isn’t closing. A third of all pupils leave primary school without being secure in reading, writing and mathematics, rising to more than 40 per cent of the most deprived pupils. In secondary schools, a quarter of a million children do not achieve the benchmark 5 A* to C grades at GCSE, including English and maths and of the children entitled to free school meals, two thirds were below this benchmark. If this country is to compete economically in the global marketplace, and if we’re going to create a cohesive society, then education has got to be top of the agenda.

The purpose of the panel is to bring some of the finest minds in education together to challenge the established structures. Just because systems worked in the past does not mean that they will work in the future. The panel will use their experiences, expertise and knowledge to help us to develop radical ideas to end the cycle of underachievement in too many parts of the country. Young people only get one chance to get the best possible education and Ofsted, and others, need to do much more to make sure this happens.

The full membership of the expert panel is:

  • Sir Michael Wilshaw, HMCI (Chair)
  • Sir Michael Barber, Chief Education Adviser to Pearson, former Chief Adviser to the Secretary of State for Education on School Standards, Head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit and head of the global education practice at McKinsey
  • Dame Yasmin Bevan, Executive Principal, Challney High School for Boys and Community College
  • Dr Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of The Education Endowment Foundation
  • Dr Hilary Emery, Chief Executive, National Children’s Bureau, former senior education adviser in the DfEE/DCSF and Executive Director at the Training and Development Agency
  • John Goldup, Deputy Chief Inspector, Ofsted
  • Professor Chris Husbands, Director of the Institute of Education, University of London
  • Debbie Jones, President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services and Executive Director for Children and Young People’s Services, Lambeth
  • Sir Daniel Moynihan, Chief Executive Officer, Harris Federation
  • Carol Norman, Headteacher, Welbeck Primary School, Nottingham
  • Dame Ruth Silver, Chair of the Learning and Skills Improvement Service, former chair of the Working Men’s College Governing Board and Principal of Lewisham College
  • Professor Robert Slavin, Institute for Effective Education, University of York, and Director of the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University
  • Professor David Woods CBE, former Principal National Challenge Adviser for England and Chief Adviser for London Schools

The panel will meet 4 times over the next year, starting today and with follow up meetings in September, October and February, before the report is published in May 2013.

Ofsted’s review of access and achievement in education will draw attention to, and stimulate further action on, narrowing the gap in educational achievement between disadvantaged pupils and others, with a focus on 4 key areas:

  • To better understand the reasons behind the gap in educational achievement in areas of high deprivation
  • To learn the lessons from recent national projects and other initiatives, through detailed review of published evaluations
  • To set out a range of possible actions, establishing the conditions likely to increase their success
  • To mobilise government and stakeholders behind action to support sustained improvement in the areas of poorest performance

The review will consider evidence from a broad range of sources, including: academic research; published evaluation of initiatives; stakeholder interviews; focus groups with the public; existing inspection evidence and published good practice.

Ofsted will work with wider interested parties in a spirit of enquiry and ensure the review is informed by a diverse range of views and opinion.

Notes to editors

  1. The review was first announced by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, at the National College for School Leadership conference on 15 June 2012: Ofsted announces major review of access and achievement in education.

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