A few weeks ago I blogged that government needs to engage with long-term outcomes in education, similar to the long-term survival statistics that we see in the health sector. Thanks to @LeeDonaghy for pointing out a fascinating piece in the Guardian saying that they are now planning to do just that, by linking two government databases together and finding out the destinations of school-leavers.
It is brilliant that government is taking up this agenda, and should be welcomed. I can’t entirely understand why Christine Blower of the NUT said:
“I cannot see what relevance this information would be to government, except to use as yet another measure against which to judge schools”
Surely if the government are going to judge schools against something, then long-term outcomes are something that schools can be more proud of than raw exam results? Personally I’d love to see the extent to which schools are raising the aspirations of their students – i.e. do a comparison of parental education/jobs and students’. A great school may be in an incredibly deprived area, and still doing very well by their students who are going on to be in better-paid jobs, more highly qualified, with happier lives than their parents.
So, this measure is a great start, but to go further we need to see it taking account of parents and local area. I would also like to see some ‘soft’ statistics such as confidence, health and happiness. I know that these would be controversial, but I for one would love to see government and schools working together to raise aspirations and produce students who are happy, self-confident, fit and healthy.