In September 2021, the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) published A Great Education for Every Child: The ASCL Blueprint for a Fairer Education System
. The Blueprint set out a long-term vision for how we can ensure all children and young people, particularly the most disadvantaged, can flourish and thrive in our education system.
Much has happened in the intervening two years. We have gained a clearer sense of the wide-ranging and ongoing impact of the pandemic on both the pupils and the staff in our schools and colleges. We have lived through one of the most turbulent political periods in living memory. We are experiencing a cost-of-living crisis which is highlighting more starkly than ever the social and economic inequality in our society. And we are in the middle of a period of industrial unrest, with far-reaching consequences across the public sector and beyond.
While we have seen progress on some of the changes we call for in the Blueprint, most of the problems we highlighted with the current education system remain – with many having become even more challenging and entrenched.
The next government will come to power at one of the most difficult moments in recent history. It will need to deal with multiple, inter-connected challenges, and to plot a course towards a more positive future.
Education, as ever, is key to that aim. In recent years, the government has too often appeared to see education as a drain on our resources, and those working in education as difficult individuals to be managed and contained.
This has to change. The next government must seize the opportunity to see education as an investment, and all those who work in it as key partners in the path to a better, happier, more equal and more prosperous future.
This document sets out a roadmap to that destination. We would urge all political parties to engage with its recommendations, and to commit to enacting them if they are granted the opportunity to do so.
Download the Manifesto
Download our summary of the ASCL Manifesto
You can listen to General Secretary, Geoff Barton, and Directoor of Policy, Julie McCulloch, discussing the manifesto in our Leadership podcast here
You may also be interested in our report Proposed quick wins for an incoming Labour government
which we shared with members in January 2024.