Virtual Torquay

Mar 01, 2006

Miles Berry

Alas, the notion of £560 and three days off school has meant that I’ve not been able to get to this year’s NAACE strategic conference in Torquay. However, NAACE are publishing a set of conference blogs, which are a great way to keep in touch with at least some of the exciting stuff.

One thing of particular interest was Gareth Davies write-up of the question time session with representatives from the four UK nations. Here’s the exchange between Leon Cych and Doug Brown from the DfES:

Leon Cych – talking aobut a top down model, but only just touched on a bottom up structure. The fear is we would be all VLE’d up and no one will use it. How far have you considered this?

Doug – totally refute that. We have 23,000 flowers blooming, some not as bright as other. Whe we see good practice we should say to the others, wake up. We should disseminate that. There’s lots of good practice. Part of out problem is that we are not top-down enough. What we are trying to do is to provide leadership.

I’m astonished by this. It seems so far removed from the spirit of the Schools White Paper, and hardly likely to encourage innovation and creativity amongst schools and teachers, nevermind pupils. It’s perhaps as well that I’m not there in person.