The Sunday Telegraph reported that Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, is to call for an end to the "one size fits all" approach to education.
In a forthcoming speech, Mr Clegg will make the case for a dramatic change in the UK's approach to schooling, outlining plans to deliver power back to the local level. For one, the national curriculum will be cut back, made "less presciptive, and more flexible where flexibility is needed." And with less role for the state, the educational bureaucracy in the Department of Children, Schools and Families will be reduced by half, freeing up more funding for those schools that need it most.
The speech - part of a wider series on the 'personalisation of public services' - comes on the back of recent proposals to free up school funding arrangements. While their ends are not perhaps ours - to enable more money to be channelled to 'failing schools' - their means are certainly something I can agree with . With more freedom to spend their money how they see fit, and pursue curriculum's of their own choosing, schools will be able to provide an educational service appropriate to the community it serves.
The implicit argument of such plans is that the state no longer does these jobs well. Most are aware that something is wrong with the system; Mr Clegg and the Liberal Democrats appear to have seen what it is, and while their motivations and reasoning are less then sound, returning responsibilities back to society, and limiting the role of the state is indeed the only way real steps forward can be achieved. So for now, I give a cautious "hear, hear" to Mr Clegg.