Education for 11-16 Year Olds Committee 

Corrected oral evidence: Education for 11-16 year olds

Thursday 23 March 2023

11.15 am


Watch the meeting 

Members present: Lord Johnson of Marylebone (The Chair); Lord Aberdare; Lord Baker of Dorking; Baroness Blower; Baroness Evans of Bowes Park; Baroness Garden of Frognal; Lord Lexden; Lord Mair; Lord Storey; Lord Watson of Invergowrie.

Evidence Session No. 1              Heard in Public              Questions 1 - 13



I: Kate Ambrosi, Director of Innovation and Learning, Baker Dearing Educational Trust; Jamie Portman, Trust Instruction Lead, XP Trust; Mark Marande, Principal, The Petersfield School, Bohunt Multi-Academy Trust; Carolyn Roberts, Head, Thomas Tallis School, and Co-Director, Prince’s Teaching Institute.

Examination of witnesses

Kate Ambrosi, Jamie Portman, Mark Marande and Carolyn Roberts.

Q1                The Chair: Good morning and welcome to this evidence session of the Committee on Education for 11-16 Year Olds. I would like to welcome our witnesses and thank them for joining us today. A transcript of the meeting will be taken and published on the committee’s website. You will have the opportunity to make corrections to the transcript where necessary.

We are all obliged to declare our interests as members of the committee, as this is our first public session and we have not done so before. My interests are declared on the Lords’ register of interests, but, for the purposes of you knowing right now, they are that I am chairman of Access Creative College, which is an independent provider of specialist training and further education for the creative industries; board member of the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology; and chairman of FutureLearn, which is a digital learning platform. I am also president’s professorial fellow at King’s College London.

Other members will declare their interests when they first speak, so we do not need to take time doing that now.

I wanted to kick off by asking you each to introduce yourself briefly and then to respond to an initial question from me, which is to explain how the approach of your school or college differs from that of others, and why you have chosen to do things differently.

Carolyn Roberts: I am head teacher of Thomas Tallis School in Greenwich. I have been there for 10 years. I have been a head teacher for 22 years. This is my third headship. About one day a week, I am also co-director of the organisation that was formerly called the Prince’s Teaching Institute, which is a curriculum development charity that offers top-level subject training and support for ordinary schools.

My own school is a very large 11-to-18 comprehensive school, with about 2,100 young people. The school has a long history of a commitment to creativity and the arts, but our real curriculum commitment for the 11-to-16 school is to a very broad and balanced curriculum. Our young people in key stage 3 do all of the national curriculum subjects, but also, for an hour a week, each of dance, drama, music, art and DT. We offer 27 GCSE courses and, when the children move on to the sixth form, we offer 26 A-levels and six BTECs. We can do that because we are a really large school.

Our commitment is to keeping all of the pathways and doors open to young people. We do not sweat particular subjects. We make sure that they have the basics that they need, but we want each young person to find their skill and to find what they can make as a contribution to society. Our school motto is “Education to understand the world and change it for the better”, and we want all of our young people to find their way of changing it for the better, whether that is going to university or going into the world of work.

Jamie Portman: I am the former principal of XP School and XP East in Doncaster. I now work across all our XP Trust secondary and primary schools. We do things slightly differently from most schools in England. We design our curriculum around expeditions. We are deliberately sized schools, which means that we have only 250 in our secondary schools. For every place that we have, we have about 10 applications.

The expeditions that we do are interdisciplinary. Our entire curriculum is taught via expeditions that might have a blend of history, English, geography, science and the arts. We design those around really purposeful and authentic learning experiences, which are all designed around final products.

The final products are aimed to address issues within our community or across the wider world. That might be the students demonstrating their learning by publishing a book, creating artwork or doing a performance. We curate that work locally in the community, so you can find our work in shopping centres, in prisons and in parks. We address local issues concerning social justice, diversity and belonging, and it is an activist curriculum that is designed to make the world a better place, no matter how small that might be.

Our work is also underpinned by our students going on fieldwork for their expeditions. They are largely based in school, but if we are learning about rivers, we will go to Edale and measure the velocity of rivers. We also do that with experts from different businesses in Doncaster who support our students’ learning via the expertise that they have. It is a real privilege to work for the trust.

Kate Ambrosi: I work for the Baker Dearing Trust and, perhaps more importantly, for the 46 UTCs plus one sleeve, which I will come back to at a later point.

UTCs are schools with a technical focus. At key stage 4, which we are interested in the most today, they will spend around 40% of their time on that technical focus. We have five major specialisms: engineering, digital, science, media and health.

The UTCs were set up by Lord Baker and the Baker Dearing Trust, but, in their local areas, by a group of employers and a university that had identified a skills gap. The schools around them were not preparing young people for the jobs that they had available. These are sustainable jobs with great futures, and they felt that the schools around them were not meeting their needs, so they worked together to build a university technical college.

We have, as I said, 47 of them around the country, serving nearly 20,000 young people. The oldest one is now 12 years old, and the youngest, which is in Doncaster, is just three years old. We have many more now that are oversubscribed than we had in the past. On average, they are 400 to 450 students in size; they are purposefully smaller than a big comprehensive in order to create a business-like environment to nurture those skills and ensure that they get the business contact that we feel is so valuable to them.

One of the main differences, therefore, is that there are 47. There are 20,000 students working in that same area and working with over 400 businesses such as BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Siemens, with 40 NHS trusts across the country, and with GCHQ on cyber skills, meeting the needs of those businesses. Some 24% of students go into apprenticeships on leaving, and about 50% go via university. There are then employment options available too. They are really innovative schools doing really interesting project-based learning across these very important sectors.

Mark Marande: Good morning, everyone. It is an absolute pleasure to be here. I am the principal of the Petersfield School in Hampshire. We are part of the Bohunt Education Trust, a collection of eight schools educating just over 11,000 students in the south of England. I work in an executive head teacher capacity supporting other schools in our trust as well.

At the Bohunt Education Trust, we are really passionate about having the highest expectations, built on an ethos of enjoy, respect and achieve, which goes through everything that we do to create game-changers. I will just talk a little bit about what game-changers are and our definition of that. We mean students who have not only the knowledge, the skills and the qualifications to flourish, but also the self-confidence and the moral imperative to question what is around them and seek to change things for the better. That is at the heart of what we do.

The way we are different to other schools is that outdoor education and outdoor learning is at the absolute centre of our curriculum. All of our schools have outdoor classrooms. We have a central team of six members of staff who are outdoor learning professionals and experts, who go round and ensure that every child in our multi-academy trust has a really meaningful outdoor learning experience as part of their curriculum. That is not a one-off or a single-day event, but something that they come back to frequently and regularly, because we believe passionately in the benefits of outdoor learning and outdoor engagement. We are in the process of purchasing our own patch of woodland to allow more outdoor opportunities for our students.

We are also big believers in interdisciplinary learning. We have subject directors in all of the main subjects in the school. They work together to create interdisciplinary, cross-curricular opportunities for our students, again built into the heart of the curriculum, so not an add-on or a dropdown day, but something that all students will experience and really get a lot of value from.

The Chair: I will start off by asking you to explain how your approach equips your learners or your students for the world of work.

Kate Ambrosi: UTCs are specifically set up to prepare young people for the world of work, though not making them go down one particular path. That is an important point. Whatever they learn through their engineering courses, for example, can be applied in many different sectors. I am sure that we would all agree that engineers are widely, not narrowly, skilled. They join most UTCs at 14, although we have 12 that have a year 9 and six that have a year 7 and are working up from there.

The working day of a good UTC starts a little earlier and ends a little later than a normal school, so that, by the time they finish, they are used to that longer day. Within that day, they spend lots of time with employers, through the curriculum itself—through projects and project-based learning, for example—additional enrichment activities or a combination of both. They do careers, just as everyone else does, as well as mock interviews, but they work with employers on a really regular basis, so that they are very much used to working with them and doing exciting things.

They are also used to working in teams. For example, we have a project with DSTL, the scientists and technologists behind the Ministry of Defence. They are designing a moon base for Jupiter’s second moon. They work in a team to do that, so it is a team of engineers, but they must know about humans, because it is a one-way trip. They need to build the team, feed the people and keep them alive on Jupiter’s second moon, and they work on that with space scientists; they learn from the space scientists. They learn about routes into our space industry. They also learn about how teams form and how you need to entertain and feed the people involved. They also use 3D printing and CAD and CAM to design the spaceship and the module for the planet.

They are learning with employers how to be team players and how to be independent. They work on this project over a period of time and they do a presentation, not just to the space scientists but also to the rest of the UTCs involved, because we do that presentation remotely on Zoom. They get to see what the UTCs can do as well, which builds the community and helps them to understand that they are part of a broader population who they will, hopefully, meet at work or at university.

Working with employers day in, day out, with thousands of hours of activity at UTCs, gives them that opportunity to feel comfortable in that environment. We do take them out—it is not all remote—and they do spend lots of time out in industry on work placements as well as doing projects and exploring different industries, so that they can make really informed decisions when they come to the end of their GCSEs. There is lots of personal skill development but also really making them more aware, so that they can make really informed decisions.

Carolyn Roberts: We embed readiness for the world of work in the curriculum that we offer. We make sure that each subject department has an external link with an appropriate area of employment. That is embedded in the key stage 3 and 4 curriculum. We also have a lot of employer engagement and careers engagement in two or three special events during the year. We look at particular overarching issues quite a lot in school. For example, this year’s Black History Month work was focused on careers. We had panels of black and minority ethnic people who are in interesting jobs come in to talk to the young people. We did that again and again. When we were doing International Women’s Day work, we were talking about women in IT, for example.

The most important thing that we do to prepare young people for the world of work is to make sure that they have the habits of mind and the learning dispositions to question, to investigate, to collaborate and to carry on thinking and redrafting work again and again until it is right. That is all based on our habits-related pedagogy that we embed.

You may be interested to know that doing work experience is really quite difficult in schools. It is expensive, for a start. It is also inequitable, in that the number of placements available to young people is small. That means that young people who have reach within their own households can get interesting work experience, even here, but young people who do not have that end up going to other schools. It is inequitable and not worthwhile, so we do not do that.

Jamie Portman: It is a really important question that you raise, particularly in the context of why we are meeting here today. I am not sure if all of our schools are really preparing students for the world of work, and that is their fault. We will get on to the purpose of GCSEs and why they are there.

We are really passionate that we want to do things differently in our schools, because we are not sure if the purpose of education in this country is really working. We follow the national curriculum. That is important to us. The breadth and depth of the national curriculum is absolutely what we follow. In terms of how we facilitate the curriculum, our students have to step up on a number of levels. At the end of every expedition—we have three a year in every year group—our students have to present their learning in front of a live audience. That is sometimes their parents, members of the business community or whoever has been invited. When they step up, we feel as though students realise that they are capable of so much more.

If I had gone to school knowing that my Aunty Dot and my Uncle Tony were coming to see me present my learning, I might have worked hard at school, but I did not particularly work hard. In order to do that, you have to really show courage and ensure that your work is such that it contains craftsmanship and quality. Those threads of courage and craftsmanship and showing integrity are what we do every day in our schools. They are not just platitudes. When we talk to our students in what we call crew, those competencies and those character traits really come alive.

As I mentioned, we work alongside experts from local businesses. When we have done an expedition on the heritage of Doncaster’s railways, we go to Wabtec, and Wabtec comes to us. When we are learning about rail development, we go to the Hitachi Rail factory, where they are building trains for HS2. They learn about engineering there. That is how we do careers. When you see a 12 or 13 year-old stood by one of the new Azuma trains, that is when they really begin to wonder if engineering is for them, and they often do think that engineering is for them.

We also do a process called passage. Midway through year 9, before students do their GCSEs, we invite employers, parents and senior members of the XP Trust like myself. They sit as a panel like this, and students have to articulate why they feel that they are ready to do their GCSEs. They articulate themselves as writers, mathematicians, historians and scientists. That is another way in which they have to step up and articulate themselves. There is almost nowhere to hide.

Finally, I want to talk about how there is real authenticity in the work that we are doing. I am not sure if the narrow pursuit of pure academic success is going to enable our students and young people to flourish within not just the wider world of work but in Britain in 2023 and in wider 21st century Britain. To summarise, that is why our schools are not just about academic success. They are also about beautiful work that our students create, and they are also about character growth.

Mark Marande: We also follow the national curriculum, but we aim to go considerably beyond its demands to give our students a real experience that they can take into the workplace. We recognise that the present examination system examines only quite a narrow section of their abilities. We really want to look at what employers want as well and to look at things like the four Cs—collaboration, creative thinking, critical thinking and communication—and how we can build those into our curriculum.

We do that in a number of ways. We have worked with employers in our local area, including Surrey Satellite, around creating a STEM programme of study curriculum that develops the skills that employers are looking for. It is all very well for us as teachers to guess what employers are looking for, but much better to ask them what skills and attributes they are looking for in the employees that they are going to be employing in the very near future.

We push a lot through outdoor education, which I talked about in my previous answer. We are a Duke of Edinburgh award operating authority; we have an aspiration for all of our students to complete that award, because that is an outstanding way of demonstrating collaboration and teamwork. There are so many things that you just cannot learn in a traditional classroom. You need to be out in the field to do that and to really experience it, so we try to make sure that all of our students have that opportunity.

Coming to the point about equity, that is a challenge, because some of these things are not cheap. We try our very best to make sure that that is never a barrier for our students. We fund these opportunities and make sure that students from disadvantaged backgrounds have as much access to them as students from more advantaged backgrounds.

Q2                Baroness Garden of Frognal: I have no interests to declare.

Your schools sound wonderful. I wish I had been to or taught in one of them. I wanted to ask you about teachers, because we read today about the acute shortage of teachers. Physics in particular is often quoted. In my own field of modern languages, I know that there is a huge shortage, and the numbers applying for teacher training have gone right down. To what extent does your approach affect your ability to recruit and retain teachers? You must need wonderful teachers in order to deliver the wonderful curricula that you have.

Carolyn Roberts: It is really important for the committee to understand that there is a genuinely catastrophic crisis in teacher recruitment. It is not just physics; it is everything. That is a huge issue for us.

In terms of what we do to make sure that our teachers can stay and do their best with the young people at my school, working with the PTI, we focus on what took them into the classroom in the first place: the passion for their subject and for their learning. We make sure that we get the best qualified teachers that we can. We train them up ourselves where we can. We make sure that they have the support to keep on developing their subject learning.

That, combined with humane leadership, as much flexibility as we can give and an open, transparent leadership within the school, where we talk, debate and argue a lot, seems to be able to keep turbulence relatively low, but do not be mistaken: the crisis is real and we are all struggling.

Mark Marande: I would echo that recruitment is acute. It is a real issue, particularly in some of the key areas that we would like to develop more skills for. For example, in design and technology, it feels like training has collapsed and we do not get applicants for those jobs. That can limit the curriculum that you want to offer, because you do not have enough teachers.

Particularly for our school—I am sure that it is similar for the other schools here—the curriculum that we offer, because it is a bit different, is attractive for teachers who want to come and be in the school and, often, to send their children to the school as well. That is interesting, because they want the same opportunities and experiences for their own children. That helps with recruitment.

We have had great success with former students coming back to teach with us as well, which can be another route. That is something that speaks to the quality of the education when they want to come back into the school, but it is absolutely a significant problem for all head teachers.

Q3                Lord Baker of Dorking: I am the chairman of the Baker Dearing Trust.

Could I first start by congratulating you all? You are all successes and you have done it by swimming against the tide. You are not really dependent upon much support from the Department for Education or any individual Secretary of State. The offer of 27 GCSEs was music to my ears; that is so much better than Progress 8 and EBacc. I have now learned about your approach around expeditions, which is very interesting.

I wanted to ask Mark something, because I have been working with one of his colleagues, Phil Avery, at a very progressive trust in Hampshire. For about a year, we have been working together to create a school on a farm. A farmer is prepared to provide his land and his animals as the basis for an educational institute for the rural economy, which is quite unique. This is such a unique operation that I would like you to explain it more.

The idea is not just about milking cows and planting potatoes. If you listen to the Farming Today programme every morning, which I do because I wake up at about 5.30, you will find that you are listening to highly technical activity. They are all talking about computer programmes and the latest machinery that they have got in, and how they are going to improve their crops. This school is designed to deal not just with agriculture and horticulture but all the technology that goes behind the rural economy. This is a way in, as it were, to the green world. It is one aspect of it. It does not deal with power stations or with electric cars, but with a lot of the basic start of the green economy. Could you explain it to us?

Mark Marande: We are really excited about this. We see it as the next logical step in where we are going. We feel that we have reached where we can within the confines of our current system, with as much outdoor education that we can offer. This proposal to create the Bohunt sustainable school on the Wiston Estate, a working estate in West Sussex, for around 500 students is a really great opportunity for them to cover most of the content.

Above 50% of the content of the GCSEs that they would study there would be done in a place-based, land-based curriculum, where they would be outside, working on the land, for large parts of that curriculum, alongside some of our partners, including Plumpton Agricultural College and the South Downs National Park, with the idea that we are integrating the school on the site of the employment.

This goes exactly, as Lord Baker says, beyond looking at just the traditional jobs in the agricultural sector, which is another area where there are quite a lot of shortages at the minute as well and where we need more people, to those higher-level areas to make a flourishing rural economy, where the digital skills that make such a difference to farm productivity, using mapping, geographical systems and drone flights, can be done in this school.

We are really excited about this and have had some really good conversations about how we can push this project forward and be a template for how this can work in lots of other parts of the country. To make this happen, we will need to go with those partners and work on that curriculum. We have some really exciting ideas for what that curriculum will look like. Students can study up to A-level and can do technical qualifications there as well, in just such a different way of learning.

Crucially, another thing that we are really excited about in terms of this project is student engagement. We have been working with ImpactEd around student engagement and tracking that regularly since before the pandemic. It will probably be no surprise to members of the committee that student engagement and well-being have taken a hit, particularly during the pandemic.

We have found that, as students get closer to those external examinations, well-being can really drop, which can be a real concern, whereas our approach with the outdoor learning and the approach with the sustainable school will have the dual benefit of helping fill that skills gap, but also giving the learners that much more engagement in and passion about their learning, which can fall off with a very traditional GCSE pathway.

Lord Baker of Dorking: I did mention this to the Secretary of State six weeks ago and she asked her spad to look into it. I have heard nothing since.

Q4                Lord Storey: I will declare my interests. I am a patron of the Royal Life Saving Society, a patron of Career Connect, a trustee of Liverpool College and a trustee of the Summer Camps Trust.

I was really enthused by all your contributions, and I would love to spend some more time with you talking about the work that you do. Carolyn, your comments about work experience are really important, and this committee should take note of those wise words.

This is not my question but I just want to make this point. I wonder how much it is down to your leadership. I wonder how much of your success in your schools is due to how you are motivating your staff and them motivating their pupils. What happens when you move on? Does that leadership carry on? Have you embedded it so successfully that the success of your school will continue?

My question is that Sir Charlie Mayfield, who, you might remember, is a former chief executive of John Lewis, which is currently in the press quite a lot, argues that the focus on exams and assessment in education is increasingly at the expense of what employers really want and really value. He says that what employers need is resilience, communication and problem-solving. Would you agree with that, or would there be something else that you would add to that list?

Carolyn Roberts: The focus on exam learning is a big risk if a school then interprets its entire raison d’être as being the exams. To go back to your non-question, that is the thing about courageous leadership and experience, and having a very clear view about what education is for in your head. One of the reasons that there is a risk ahead of us is that many younger head teachersalmost all head teachers are younger than meare so focused on performance measures that they cannot bring themselves to do anything that is any kind of risk, which is an issue.

Jamie Portman: Carolyn raised a great point about what schools are for and what the purpose of education is in 21st century Britain. It is about resilience and problem-solving, yes, but again, if we have all of our young people pursuing qualifications that are assessed over two years, and if it is becoming more about a test of what you can remember rather than what you can do and what you are capable of, how to communicate effectively, how to be compassionate in a society where we have numerous challenges, how to pivot and how to be innovative, it is almost as if the demands of the British education system are in total contrast to why Britain is successful.

Kate Ambrosi: I agree entirely with my colleagues. The current approach to qualifications at 16, where young people are expected to sit in a hall and remember and regurgitate a set of knowledge is, quite frankly, ridiculous and not in keeping at all with the skills that they need for life or working life. If that is the way that schools are measured, that is what the focus will become.

UTCs do not have Progress 8 and Attainment 8 to live up to. When Ofsted comes, that is not what it is asking for, so they are a little freer and can offer a broader curriculum as a result. They also have, on average, a longer school day, so they can fit more in. They can do more and can spend more time developing these skills that my colleagues have excellently explained.

An example would be Media City, which is a UTC in Salford. The young people have been set a live brief by a business that wants a VR game that will help young people understand the challenges that they will face in the street. It is a complementary product to a play that the client is putting on. He has given them six months. They have to meet that deadline and have to show enormous resilience in doing that.

The rest of the curriculum does not demand that they stick at something, that they review the product or that they work as a team to make sure that that all comes together. It does not demand the same outcome that it has to be a professional product that can truly be used by the client in schools with young people across the country. They are the sorts of skills that our employers are looking for, and that is why they engage so freely with UTCs and recruit so heavily from them.

Q5                The Chair: Before we get to Mark, could I just jump in and ask you to unpack a little what you said about not having to observe the Progress 8 framework? What are the consequences of that for you as a UTC, and how are you perceived in terms of the measures of performance that the Government produce?

Kate Ambrosi: On the DfE website, where people are able to compare schools, there is some guidance. The number is still on there, which we really do not like and would rather was not there, but there is a message to anyone looking that they should not compare UTCs with other schools using these metrics. Crucially, when Ofsted arrive, they are not using those metrics to compare schools.

We want them to have high academic standards and to come out with really great GCSEs and, later on, post-16 qualifications, but we are also very focused on their technical qualifications, which, because of the way the school system and the qualification systems work, are sometimes not counted. They are not counted in Progress 8 and are not counted even when they are coming up with Attainment 8—that total points score for young people—just because of the way the system is working.

Our employers, for example, would want our young people to do three different engineering qualifications, because they serve three different parts of the sector and, therefore, they get a really good understanding of the engineering sector as a result of their time in key stage 4 at a UTC. That is not really the intention of this current qualification system. The Government and the DfE would rather they either did not do an engineering qualification or that they did just one, and that is not what a UTC is. They will do all three, and they will do computer science as well to complement that curriculum. They will then spend time with employers and do project work to develop their skills.

Mark Marande: I agree with large amounts of what my colleagues have said. The current system is very one-dimensional. It assesses well, in that respect, that ability to memorise knowledge and to embed deep knowledge. There is value in that; I would not want to say that there is no value in that at all, but that is where it goes. It is very limited in terms of the full range of human development for what it assesses, and there are reasons for that. One of the simplest things to assess is how much students can remember. Because it is simple, it is quite easy to assess, in some ways.

I have been fortunate enough to visit Malaysia and China on study tours, where I have spoken to head teachers over there and done that kind of exchange. All of them, without fail, were saying, “How do you create such creative and collaborative thinkers in the UK? We really want that skill set in our students”. Exactly as you have heard today, there is a risk there that we are not fostering that as much as we could. That is something that we should be really mindful of.

The third point I would make is that it is always valuable to look at what is going on in the independent sector. Large parts of the independent sector are now abandoning GCSEs in favour of their own qualifications. They are doing this so that they can have a broader experience for the students and assess in different ways. I am sure that we will come later to exactly the mechanics of assessment, but that is a fascinating trend. Because of the nature of the accountability system, we do not have that freedom to experiment in the state sector in the same way. It is really great to hear about the UTC and the ways that they are dealing with that in the current accountability set-up, but we do not have that freedom to experiment in the same way. That is a really important point.

Q6                Lord Aberdare: I am chair of a very small music education charity, which I should declare.

We have heard four very impressive descriptions of ways of creating pathways that suit all pupils. Lord Baker described it as swimming against the tide, so my main question is about how you cope with the tide that is flowing in the other direction. What does it mean for other schools in terms of how they cope with the current assessments in GCSEs and Progress 8?

At the UTCs, you have managed to find a way around it, but what does that mean for other schools and what does it mean for school accountability? It seems to me that the accountability is very much one-dimensional, as you said, and very much based on academic measures such as GCSEs. What sort of measures should there be for the non-academic pathways or for the people who are not well served by the academic measures and who are much needed in terms of their engineering or other practical skills? That is my main question.

I hope that we will come back to work experience and how we can tackle the challenges that Carolyn mentioned, because it seems to me that is an important element for all schools. If there are problems there, it would be helpful for this committee to think about how we might address those.

Carolyn Roberts: If I can talk about the swimming against the tide question, I talk a good game about this, but it is wearing. Keeping one eye on what Ofsted might want to talk about—who knows what they will want to talk about when they come through the door?and on Progress 8 is almost a full-time job. Head teachers have to have the courage of their convictions to be able to argue about what they think is important.

One of the things that we have not talked about so farI hope that we will—to do with GCSE is the fact that it fails about a third of students. Many of those students are ones who find it really hard to keep a toehold in education through key stage 4. We need to do something about GCSE grading and how we talk about it, and about how that is measured.

The other thing is that my school, for example, has become an SEN magnet school. Whereas some of the local academy trusts say that they cannot meet the needs of children with special educational needs, that means I get them. About 23% of my student body is on the special needs register in one way or another.

That means that my Progress 8 score starts at minus 0.1 in any case, and fluctuates between minus 0.1 and minus 0.4. I can live with that because I have been at this for a long time. If I were 20 years younger, I would be seriously terrified about it all the time, and that makes head teachers leave.

Kate Ambrosi: We have the Progress 8s and Attainment 8s to the side. We are, however, inspected in the same way and we still have really high expectations in terms of recruitment. Ofsted is a key pressure, absolutely. We know that they have seen Progress 8 and Attainment 8. We know that they fully analyse the outcomes of the UTC and will come with a particular frame of mind. We are working very closely with Ofsted and it is really a very good partner. That is because we have had to educate them on what a UTC is.

The vast majority of inspectors, of course, have never been to a UTC and do not really know what it is. They would come in expecting to see a traditional school and find a school that does not do that and has a very specialist curriculum. Over time, they have become used to looking for the key characteristics: the technical curriculum and the involvement of employers. They are now used to expecting our young people to speak to them well, look them in the eye and expect to be spoken to by strangers as they come in the room. That has changed, but it is still hugely stressful.

At the moment, we have UTCs that have been waiting two, three or four years for Ofsted to come. Their head teachers freely tell me that they spend time rehearsing for the conversation they are going to have with the lead inspector every day on the way to work. It is a terrible level of stress and being a UTC does not remove that.

Carolyn, you put that really well in terms of the students who arrive and where their starting points are. We have a number of young people who will arrive looking for a new place to be educated. They like the small environment and they love the work with employers. They see that we can really help and provide opportunity where perhaps the school they have come from could not, so we invest quite heavily in moving them very swiftly through.

We would like to be judged, yes, on maths, English, science and our technical quals, which are incredibly important, but also on our destinations. What happens next? Do they go off into sustained employment in the long run? Do they go through the most appropriate route for their particular endeavours, in terms of their careers? Are they well supported? Do they make the progress in the environments they are in?

Jamie Portman: It links to the question about retention and recruitment. We are swimming against the tide and some people are thinking, “This is not for me anymore”. For me and for us, I am sure, teaching is the best job in the world; it is a vocation. I feel really lucky that I get paid sometimes to teach kids. However, for many the accountability on school leaders filters down through the organisation to subject leaders and teachers.

It is making good people make decisions that they would not necessarily make, for instance guiding or directing children to follow a curriculum path around the EBacc subjects instead of what they would naturally flourish in. That is a heartbreaking situation in our schools. My daughter is about to start secondary school. I hope that that does not happen in the school where she is going to go, because I believe in schools. How about accountability measures that are designed around supporting the needs of the kids who go to the school, or the needs of the community, or the needs of the country, or, dare I say it, the needs of the world that we live in?

Lord Aberdare: We have four exceptional speakers. Part of my concern is how the majority of schools and heads cope with all these kinds of pressures. You are really standing up to them and finding a way through. That would be a question. I wanted to raise the EBacc, which Jamie mentioned. I hope that we think about the impact of that as well.

Q7                Lord Watson of Invergowrie: Thank you to all of the contributors. It has been really fascinating. I have quite a lot of questions. I will distil them down. I want to speak about Ofsted. Maybe we will come to that later. For the moment, Lord Aberdare mentioned the EBacc. I have three questions to all four of you. First, what do you think of the EBacc and to what extent is it operated in your schools?

Secondly, on GCSEs, if I am quoting him accurately, I noticed Jamie’s comment that they ask students if they feel they are ready for their GCSEs. On GCSEs, how effective are they? Some of you have commented on this already, to some extent. How effective are they as a measure? Jamie, one of your colleagues, when giving evidence to the Lords Youth Unemployment Committee two years ago, said that they are not fit for purpose. There are more than a few peopleI am one of themwho share that view. Could I have your general views on GCSEs?

The last one is about the pandemic and the effect on education of children missing so much. To what extent do all four of you use the National Tutoring Programme and how worthwhile do you feel it has been?

Carolyn Roberts: The EBacc was an answer to a particular problem in 2010. Because of the accountability measures up to that point, things had gone a bit skewed. Head teachers were doing odd things with their curriculum to meet the performance measures at the time, and so it needed resetting. It did not need this very tight level 2 qualification basket.

I am a great believer that any child of any ability has the entitlement to study those subjects, and we do that. For a child who is a slow acquirer of learning, it is a deadly experience if that is all you do in school. That means that they are frustrated, behave badly, drop out and stop coming to school. It makes teachers’ lives really hard. We need a much broader view of what an educated young person looks like, which enables children who love exams to do those and children who need to learn in a different way to do that. We need to find a way of measuring that. We need to find a way of inspecting that. That is more than the EBacc.

I am not against GCSEs. I am just against the way that we use the results of them. That is the issue, because that excludes the learning of so many young people who could do so much better in school.

In terms of the pandemic, we are up against it every day in terms of attendance and behaviour. Especially in terms of attendance and behaviour, those young people whose attachment to learning was pretty flaky to start with, before it started, now have an idea, as do their families, that one day school stops and you do not have to go to school, do as you are told, go into class and learn. We are up against it, and it will take at least five more years before that is over with. Schools are struggling with that.

Mark Marande: Speaking to Lord Watson’s point about GCSEs in general, there is a real question to be asked about GCSEs in general. We have raised the participation age now to 18, so students go all the way through to 18. We need to look at the fitness for purpose for a system where they take so many exams. We are talking dozens and dozens of exams that they will take in quite a short period of time in the next few months, in the May/June exam window. What does that actually do to some of our young people?

We have spent a bit of time talking about the unintended consequences around school leadership behaviour around gaming, narrowing the curriculum and off-rolling. We cannot condone those types of behaviour at all, but they are a bit of a result of some of the accountability measures that we discussed earlier.

Another point to talk about is the forgotten third of students who, after 12 years of education, can come away with a grade 1, 2 or 3, which is deemed a fail. Where do they go next? We know that they have to do a resit. There are arguments for and against them continuing to study maths and English. I completely understand that, but the results of those resits are very weak as well. Only about 20% to 25% of them will actually achieve that standard at that time anyway.

There is a real argument for looking at stage and not age. We do this in so many areas of our life, do we not? We take a driving test when we are ready, when we have practised, are at that point and have amassed what we need to do that. It would be quite a radically different system, but it is a good question to ask.

Kate Ambrosi: We see the UTC education as a four to five-year period of time, where they develop at different rates. Yes, they have to sit the same exams that everybody else has to sit. They do not have to do the EBacc, which is a good thing, but now even our vocational qualifications at GCSE level have been constrained quite heavily and involve exams and just a piece of coursework set by an exam board, so it is not necessarily relevant. Our BTECs, for example, have lost a lot of the joy and we have to be quite creative to make sure that they retain some of their essence.

Yes, we agree that it is a longer process than that. We incorporate to some extent, for example, digital badges. They do professional qualifications in Microsoft Office packages and then they can add those to their digital CV. We have a large number of UTCs and they try all different things. We have Skills Builder, for example. We also have ImpactEd. We are all working in different UTCs, finding ways to record experiences and success, so that young people can see that they are successful, even if they sit that final exam and they are not very well, or they had to miss some school because they were ill, or they are a carer, or the multitude of other ways that a proportion of our young people are disadvantaged or underserved by our education system.

We all know that the pandemic has made that much worse. The gap is much greater than it was before. The UTCs and other schools worked incredibly hard to fill the tech gap, to provide the internet and a device so they can access it during lockdowns, for example. Those who were underserved already are even more so now. They have missed a lot of school and are finding it very hard to catch up.

When Ofsted comes, we are still judged on the same criteria in terms of attendance. Even if they had got into the habit of not going to school before they arrive at a UTC, when they arrive we are expected to get them up to that 95% target in the 18 months we have with them before their GCSEs occur. It is a real challenge.

Jamie Portman: The EBacc is suitable for some students. It is not for all. In summary, it is anachronistic. I do not think it is suitable for 2023 as a cornerstone of an educational policy. As a country with the amount of talented people we have working in schools, it lacks ambition. The GCSEs measures are effective for their intended purpose of measuring academic ability.

Lord Baker of Dorking: They are measuring memory.

Jamie Portman: They are effective for measuring academic ability and memory, but they are not effective for the forgotten third that we have talked about. I am from Barnsley and I work in South Yorkshire. I work in Doncaster. Mark my words, guys: there is an underclass developing in this country. There is an underclass developing that needs a stake in our society, and education, for me and for many of us, was the route to achieve that ambition and stake. That is what our ambition should be for our education system: something that is fit for purpose for everybody. If we can figure out some of the challenges that we are facing nationally around threats in eastern Europe and the massive consequences and challenges around that, we can figure this out. It is about will, and we know where that will resides. It is here.

Q8                Baroness Blower: I have no interests to declare, but, for the sake of being clear, I was general secretary of the National Union of Teachers and I was also the president and leader of all of the education unions at European level. I am not going to ask you about GCSEs, even though I was going to, but I think it is true that even Ofqual thinks that they are only accurate to within two grades. Frankly, that begs the question about why we bother to do them at all.

Carolyn, what you said about younger and less experienced heads being risk-averse is so important. If you have lots of experience, you have worked in a school for a long time and the school is successful and continuing to be successful, you probably have much less to fear from Ofsted. If you are in a school that is on an even keel but maybe not absolutely and is concerned with the kinds of things that Jamie was talking about, around how we can engage these kids for whom education is less obvious, it seems to me that you are bound to be risk-averse. You are bound to fear Ofsted arriving every day.

By the way, I am delighted that you talked up teaching, Jamie. In the 30odd years that I did it, I thought that it was a fabulous job.

Is there one general area or one thing that you could say about the system of accountability, about the way in which we could change the system of accountability in order to make it not the kind of terror that it is at the moment, but also to make it more understandable to the school? Part of it would obviously be about providing support rather than just damnation.

Also, we should remember that in lots of countries they do not have that kind of system. Particularly in Finland, for example, they talk a lot more about responsibility rather than accountability. That speaks to teacher agency and teacher trust if you talk about responsibility rather than accountability. What is one small way in which you think we could change the system that would be so much better for your own school, but also for all schools?

Carolyn Roberts: It is perfectly reasonable for the state to want to inspect its schools, but we do it very cheaply and therefore we get very cheap measurements out of it. We need to spend much more money on it. Inspections should be much longer. There should be a longer trail. They should work with the school. There should be more professional inspectors. Once issues have been worked on with the school, if a team of inspectors is there for two or three weeks, you identify the issues and then their professional expertise is used to help the school work out what to do next.

The problem with doing it on the cheap is that it is talked about as if these reports that we get are what parents want, because they are short and easy to read. Parents are perfectly capable of reading longer reports. In the Ofsted reports that they get they are offered a snapshot, which is so inaccurate of the wholeness of school life. We need to replicate the complexity of school life in what the inspection service does.

Jamie Portman: I agree with regard to schools. School leaders accept accountability in terms of inspection. Of course they do. Billions of pounds are spent. We have discussed the level of accountability, and the pressures associated with that are unrealistic and unsustainable.

Unfortunately, the process is summative rather than formative. It is about pure judgment. Ofsted says that it is a force for school improvement. That is nonsense. The publication of a few subject reports every so often and some research does not warrant stating that it is a force for school improvement, because it is not. Would it not be great if it was a partnership with, “This is what you are doing well. This is what we have discussed and we will publish this. That is not working so well and we are going to come back after a period of time. If you go to Carolyn’s school, Carolyn has some subject leaders there that will work with you. They have ideas X, Y and Z to help you to do that”?

That would be my one suggestion. Instead of just summative, it should be formative: “This is not working well. We have some people here to help you to do it. We will come back after a period of time to see how you are getting on”.

Kate Ambrosi: My first inspection was nearly a week long and they had time to really see what that school was about and to get to know it. It was very stressful—do not get me wrong—but they really got under the skin of the school. They reported on it in a really effective manner. There were strengths, weaknesses and areas for development. I agree entirely that there are other schools that can help and it can be a really proactive and improving method. As Carolyn said, if you do it on the cheap, which is absolutely what we are doing, you get a box-ticking exercise, where you really do not get a sense of what is going on in the school. They really are not very useful for parents at all when making decisions.

The second thing is that we are accountable for what we are measured on. If you measure on a set of GCSEs or particular GCSEs and their results and they are going to be examined in the way they are examined, that will be the focus of that school, at least for the last 12 months, probably for longer. My daughter is in year 10. She has been practising for her GCSE history paper since she started year 10.

It is quite remarkable to watch it happen in a school that I chose. I really thought, “This is a great school”. I am very informed about schools and yet I am watching her become less engaged with history over time, not more engaged, because she is being prepared for an exam and the school is, of course, worried about how it is going to be judged on those exam results.

Q9                Lord Mair: I want to ask some questions about engineering. I should declare my interests. I am an emeritus professor of engineering at Cambridge University, a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society. I co-chair the All-Party Parliamentary Engineering Group.

I am really interested in what you were saying earlier, Kate, about destination. Roughly what proportion of the young people in UTCs leave and join companies directly, for example as apprentices, and what proportion go on to higher education? Linked to that, in your interaction with employersengineering employers particularly—do they place more emphasis on creativity or numeracy? Is that changing your views of the curriculum and how you teach the young people?

Kate Ambrosi: Those are two very interesting questions. We had 24% go into apprenticeships, and just under half went to university this time round. That is back to our pre-pandemic levels. That is where we were then. Different UTCs have a different make-up there. Our health UTCs tend to go into university, because there are very few apprenticeship routes available for entry-level students, so when they leave UTCs.

In engineering, on the other hand, we have UTCs where 60% to 80% are going straight into apprenticeships with their local business partners. The sector is much more engaged in that. They do, however, like a university degree and so we have degree apprenticeships as our dominant route also. I think 72% go on to a degree apprenticeship. It is a really highly pressured way to do things. They are employed and doing a degree. We have a number now at the Dyson Institute. Dyson is working very closely with us because it likes our students. They are prepared for the world of work already and to study engineering at that higher level.

We have a maths, creativity and actual ability to use machines split. Dyson, for example, wants A-level maths, and it needs to be a top grade at A-level maths, and then, alongside that, STEM qualifications at the top grades. They would say that you need a top grade in A-level maths in order to do a degree in engineering.

In the Midlands, we have a UTC that serves the car industry. We have two different degree apprenticeships, both at Warwick University. One of them requires an A-level in maths and one does not. The one that does not is more interested in young people who can do the engineering and are technician engineers. The one that wants maths is more the theoretical engineering, much more Bristol University or Warwick University, which also want very high-level maths skills.

Therefore, we have to be very careful with how we teach and advise our young people. Are they heading into a degree or a degree apprenticeship that requires them to have those tool-using skills? Do they need to know how to do those things? They need a good level of maths. It is always the way, but they also need literacy skills and creativity on top of that. Are they going to go off to the Russell Group universities, which are still largely asking for an A-level in maths at a top grade, or indeed particular degree apprenticeships that are asking for the same thing?

That is why your question made me smile, because it is a thing that we are currently grappling with. The UTCs are dealing with it day in, day out. How do you prepare a young person for the route they want to go down if they are not going to get a top grade at A-level maths? We provide other routes. We do core maths, for example. At the Leigh UTC in Dartford, everybody does a maths qualification post 16. Everybody continues because its employers have said that they need maths. They do not necessarily need an A in A-level maths, but they need higher-level maths and they continue with it as a result.

Lord Mair: There is also a difference between maths and numeracy, is there not?

Kate Ambrosi: Yes, very much so.

Lord Mair: There is a huge difference.

Q10            Lord Baker of Dorking: It has been wonderful listening to you. I hope that you are all part of a glorious future. There is one thing I particularly picked up from what Carolyn said about her school, which is a very large school. There is a lot of absenteeism and a lot of handling. How do you deal with disengaged 13 and 14 year-olds? Behaviour becomes an enormous problem. Jamie, you spoke of the underclass. That was the first time we have heard that. We are creating an underclass.

My question is quite simple. I think that you would all agree that EBacc and even Progress 8 should go. Various proposals have been put to us, in committees that our attention has been drawn to, that the curriculum is a big ship and it is difficult to change its steering. Where do you start? One proposal could be that you could abandon EBacc and Progress 8 and go for Progress 5that all schools should do English, maths, two sciences and data skills. Then it is up to you to decide, as the heads, what you want to do.

Is that a start? You have to start somewhere. The reluctance of the department to ever move is very great. One has to find an open door somewhere. Could that be an open door?

Carolyn Roberts: That could be an open door. Making it smaller is sensible. There is an argument to make it even smaller; that is to judge schools on maths, English and science, and just leave it at that. One risk with, as it were, Progress 5 is how it is used in performance tables. Is there a risk that some schools might shrink their curriculum even more, to five subjects with no arts or humanities? There is a real risk of that because head teachers respond to where the risks are with Ofsted and league tables. We need to completely abolish performance tables.

Jamie Portman: I agree with the sentiments that Carolyn has just spoken about. There is always the risk of narrowing that curriculum because of those performance measures. We need to think really carefully about the strength and weight of that accountability, because it makes good people make decisions that they would not necessarily make. For me, it is all about context. The five is a better idea, and then the rest of the business of helping kids could continue, helping them move in a path that is suitable for them, as well as those basic ones.

Mark Marande: A real opportunity from a five system is to allow space in the timetable for other things to happen. That would have to be married with intelligent accountability so you did not get schools that just became five-subject schools. That is a very strong point.

Fundamentally, going back to Baroness Blower’s point, the one thing that could change the system is around that narrowness of the current GCSE assessment. It tests that one skill. If we can find a way—there are lots of experiments and lots of countries doing this—where we broaden that and look at assessing more than just that memorisation at GCSE, that would unlock lots of different things.

Head teachers would not mind being held accountable for a much broader basket of students’ abilities and the way they flourish in their schools. Being held accountable for that would be very fair for head teachers. The ultimate problem is that that assessment system has become very one-dimensional, as I mentioned earlier.

Kate Ambrosi: The majority of head teachers would not want to narrow the curriculum down to five, but I agree that an accountability model that is smaller would be helpful. It would allow for a more purpose-built curriculum that is not focused in such a way.

There are multiple ways of assessing that. We could be assessing different skills and expertise. We could be recording what young people achieve over a longer period of time. We also do not have to do that by the time they are 16. We could do that at a later point, so we are not saying, “At 16 you did not get this. Therefore you failed. Off you go into something we may not value as highly”. It is a good idea to narrow it down.

Q11            Lord Lexden: My declaration of interest is that I am president of the Independent Schools Association. Mark has referred to the freedom to experiment that independent schools possess. How should a freedom to experiment be extended to schools as a whole? You have all said a fair amount about this already, but I wondered whether you might summarise your views briefly on that.

Mark Marande: It has been really eye-opening for all four of us here on this panel as witnesses today to listen to each other. It is quite incredible how much experimentation you can get within the constraints in the present system.

It goes back to the accountability system because there is no rule written to say that we cannot do this qualification with our students. Because it is not recognised in the accountability system, that disincentivises schools from doing it completely. We absolutely need to start there.

The experimentation should look internationally as well. I have talked a little bit about international comparisons. We are not having to do this on our own. We can look internationally and see where best practice is. We have mentioned Finland today and other countries where they are being very innovative and getting some absolutely fabulous results as a result of that.

Kate Ambrosi: The private sector has been able to try different things. It has been able to try different qualifications but also a different approach. It is able to try different approaches to digital skills, for example. In UTCs, we have over 50% of young people doing digital qualifications, but they are stuck with the qualifications they are given, and some of them are not innovative or creative. They are driving down the number of young people overall in the country who are doing digital skills.

In the private sector, they are doing more enterprise technology. They are basing it more broadly and spending more time on it. I know that they still have trouble recruiting, but obviously they pay higher salaries and have longer holidays, which is helpful. They can access different qualifications, such as the IGCSE, where they still do a broader range of assessment methods in English, for example, testing more of the skills that will be useful in life. There is a lot we can learn from the private sector.

Jamie Portman: It is about giving permission to have freedom to experiment. Ours are free schools. We have the ability to increase inset days if we want to. We do not have to do the national curriculum. We have lots of different freedoms from that perspective, but many school leaders would see it as a risk too far to do something that is outside of their comfort zone, so why would they do that?

In our schools at XP, we have standards that we have to meet in terms of the national curriculum and academic achievement. Can you imagine the excitement of geeky teachers like us having the freedom to be able to create an expedition that could bring in local employers, go field-working and have a final product where kids present their learning? That freedom is there, but it is a big risk for a lot of people. It is almost like school leaders need that ability to be able to pay the mortgage but be able to sleep at night. It is, “I have to keep my job, but I also need that intrinsic feeling that I am doing good for our kids”.

Carolyn Roberts: The one thing we have not talked about is funding. It is funding, funding, funding. I cannot make next year’s budget balance. As schools are squeezed, everything innovative will fall out of them.

Q12            Baroness Evans of Bowes Park: This is not necessarily for Kate, who has a different model, but for our other three panellists. You seem to work very closely with your employers. You have all talked about how they are involved in your curriculum and you obviously make a huge effort to do it. How easy have you found developing the relationships with employers in your area and involving them in the way you have? What more could the business community then do to help you and the school system, so it is not you saying, “We do not have the skills”, et cetera? What more could come your way, rather than you having to go out?

Carolyn Roberts: It is not particularly easy because schools have timetables. Schools have structures that we work within. It is a hostage to fortune depending on where you are and who you have locally. My first headship was in Hartlepool and we did not have much to choose from there. It is not easy.

Mark Marande: The employers that we have spoken to have all been very keen to be involved. They have been really happy to give up time and expertise and come in and talk to us. We have gone and spoken to them about how we do this, so that has been very positive.

In terms of building those links, it takes time and it is very dependent on your local area and what is happening there. It is fine for it to be ad hoc, but we need it much more than that. I would absolutely encourage business to actually lobby the Government around some of the things we have been talking about here, around assessment and the skills they want. They should be very clear that, if those people are arriving at their door at 18 or whatever age it might be, and they look at their qualifications, and they do not have the skills they want, it is business’s responsibility to get involved with that and lobby as well.

Jamie Portman: Interestingly, we do not have any challenges getting local businesses in. When we show them the quality of the work that the kids are producingartwork, books, performances or whatever it might bewe find that people who are interested in the job that they do will happily come into school and talk about it and, more importantly, do it for free. We have loads of experts from businesses come in and they never charge us any money. They just enjoy talking to the kids about architecture, computer design, working on rail depots or designing Azuma trains. They come in because that is our enthusiasm for it.

Kate Ambrosi: It is an ongoing cost as well. It is that point that Carolyn made about funding. If you offer a specialist curriculum, it costs more. If you want employers to be engaged in the curriculum, you need a person who works hard on doing that and maintains those relationships. If that person or the person in the business moves on, those relationships need to be remade to make that sustainable.

If I could ask anything more of employersI admit that we ask an awful lotit would be that maybe we could build some sort of system where their expertise is more a part of the general education system. I know that it is a lot to ask. There is a shortage of engineers and computer scientists, and therefore there is a shortage of teachers doing that. We need a regular input from them. We are benefiting from that in UTCs, but we would like that to be seen everywhere.

Q13            The Chair: Can I ask each witness to give us a final thought that could include a single recommendation that you would most like to see come out of our work?

Kate Ambrosi: We have a model that I referred to in my opening statement, which is the UTC sleeve. We have an example of it in Bristol at the moment, so a full comprehensive school with part of it becoming a UTC. They benefit from the relationship with employers, the way of learning, not having to do EBacc and Progress 8 and so on not applying as they run up through their school. They get the same kind of experience without having to build a full new technical school. They would need specialist teachers and equipment. We would seek to use a local UTC to support them to do that and implement that system. That would increase the number of young people who can access the employer-led curriculum that we have in mind.

Mark Marande: My recommendation would be to rethink the GCSE assessment system at age 16. The current exam system drives so many unintended consequences and does not allow space for students to show what they know and what they can do. We can do that by bringing in more project qualifications, interdisciplinary learning or micro-credentials. There are so many ways to assess students in our schools. We pick one way and I would not want to get rid of that one way completely, but we only do one thing and we need to broaden that.

Jamie Portman: I would like to use this opportunity to suggest a complete review to redefine the purpose of education in the United Kingdom in 2023, in the 21st century onwards. We need to be much more ambitious for the needs of our kids and our local communities. We have the people to deliver what we need in our schools. We need to redefine what it is that we would like to achieve.

Carolyn Roberts: Teacher recruitment, retention and pay need to be sorted out.

The Chair: Thank you all very much for a fantastic session. I am very grateful to you for giving up your time.