England has a new government (albeit one cobbled together out of strange bedfellows) and also a new Education Secretary.

And it sounds like he’s an even bigger fan of charter schools than ours.

Mr Gove confirmed he intended to move quickly on plans for all schools to be given the freedom to become academies – schools which are funded by the state but are largely independent.

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“In the weeks ahead, I want us to offer all schools the chance to enjoy academy-style freedoms so that heads and teachers across the country can be liberated,” he wrote.

However, unlike Mr. Duncan, the new head of the UK Department for Education (name changed from the Department for Children, Schools and Families), is also calling for less national control of the process.

Other key priorities confirmed by Mr Gove were to:

  • give schools greater freedom over the curriculum
  • “radically reform exam system” so that all schools can offer a wider range of qualifications
  • support teachers by giving them more powers “to ensure higher standards of discipline”

No particular comment to make. I just find the differences between the US and UK approach to public education interesting.


Image: Colliery Village School by freefotouk used under a Creative Commons license.