'Two insights from the same NPQSL cohort.
The first was from a participant who has been teaching in the UK for several years but originates from France. The topic of discussion was the social gains from closing gaps in attainment. Her contribution to the group discussion was an impassioned personal account of her experience of the French education system, deciding very early in a student's education what the social and economic outcome for the young person was to be. Her conclusion was that the education system in which she taught was, by comparison, liberating and empowering.
The second was a lunch time conversation with a participant who is a senior leader in a foreign college. Doing the course was regarded as a worthwhile investment for the college, an investment that included international flights and accomodation over an extended period. The strategies and tools available in the UK were believed to be invaluable in raising the already exceptionally high performance of his college.
When international comparisons seem to be universally directed at denegrating the quality of education in England and Wales it is worth reflecting on a counter argument that points to the teachers from abroad who come to study in the UK, the preference for GCSEs and A-levels in international school and colleges, and the personal accounts of professionals such as the two in this blog.