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5 countries and 5 different education systems

Last Friday we welcomed Leonie and Irene from Apeldoorn in the Netherlands. They were keen to find out as much as possible about the way schools operate in England. They spent a morning at Farnborough and an afternoon at Rushcliffe. The word “inspirational” was used. It was good to hear. Earlier this term I met Erik from Aarhus in Denmark. He had been supervising two Danish students who had a school based experience at Arnold Hill. He felt it was important that anyone training to be a teacher had as broad an experience as possible. Two teacher trainers, Fredrik and Evon, from Belgium spent a morning at Farnborough and were delighted by what they saw. And the Rushcliffe/Madrid exchange continues to thrive. Last week the Spanish students came to England. They noted the differences to their own school – and appreciated them.

The English system has many critics. The PISA League tables apparently show we are hopeless and that children underachieve compared to other countries* . We are told that the Swedish system is to be admired and the Finnish approach used a model. Singapore is special and what goes on in Shanghai is a thing of wonder. Sometimes I wonder why we bother. And yet I see great things happening across our academies and visitors from overseas use the word “inspirational” to describe our work. Perhaps the English system somehow manages to do a pretty good job despite the constant confusion that is imposed upon it from above. Maybe decent people trying hard makes a difference wherever you are in the world.

God Påske Vrolijk Pasen Felices Pascuas Zalig Pasen Happy Easter

*please note that even the boss of PISA Andreas Schleicher says this is a misinterpretation of the tests.

Phil Crompton
CEO