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How Policymakers Can Improve Education Standards In The UK

Public policies are regulations, guidelines and ideas that aim to solve real-world problems within our society. Policymakers are the people in charge of drawing up these policies to hopefully improve our society and lead to healthier and happier generations. These policymakers can include people in government as well as school officials and city council members.

Over time, a policy can have positive or negative consequences, depending on how effective it is. One of the most significant impacts that policy can have is on shaping how education in this country works. Policies are set to offer children a balanced and useful education to prepare them for the modern world and to help ensure they can contribute to society.


The right policies can make a big difference in education standards, and it’s important to ensure that they’re effective. In an increasingly complex world, it’s become more important than ever to analyse and predict the impact of public policy. Through a public policy analysis online course, you can learn more about how informed, evidence-based education policies are made.

Responding to the Effects of the Pandemic

Due to the 2020 pandemic and subsequent global lockdown, a large number of UK pupils missed out on in-person schooling, potentially impacting the quality of their education. The long-term effects of this are likely to be slow-moving but significant, causing greater inequality and potentially leading to a less productive society. Because of the potentially severe economic impacts of this, it’s important that the right policies are put in place to respond to it.

Addressing the learning time lost has a simple enough solution. Most proposals would agree that increasing the amount of extra time spent in classrooms or increasing the intensity of learning can help pupils catch up. However, implementing this can be a challenge. It would require more funds and a greater number of teachers and teaching assistants.

One policy that could help address the lack of sufficient teachers is by increasing places in teacher training programs and raising available bursaries. In addition, retired or ex-teachers could be encouraged to return to teaching by offering more flexible hours and better pay.

Improving Exams

Over the years, plenty of arguments have been made both in favour and against the current system of standardised testing in the UK. Many of the arguments against it state that it puts unnecessary pressure on students, while those in favour argue that it helps prepare students for further education and working life. While testing can be useful, the system is not without its downsides and can certainly be improved by implementing the right policies.

Standardised testing is often seen as the fairest way to compare students, but recent changes have seen them become less fair. Ofqual has introduced measures to control grade inflation which means only 8% of tested students can receive a top grade. This means that identical papers could receive different grades simply on the basis of how many students achieved top marks.

Closed book assessments can be a useful way to get a snapshot of a student’s abilities, but assessments over a longer period of time can be far more fair and useful. Lord Baker, who introduced GCSEs, has spoken about how he would prefer these exams to be scrapped in favour of a new system. Any system that replaced GCSEs would likely be a combination of smaller tests throughout the year as well as teacher assessment and coursework.

Adapting to New Technology

The modern classroom is filled with digital transformation and disruptive technology that can help the education process. It’s important that policies are set in place to govern how technology is used and its impact on classes. The future of learning could include a combination of in-person and online classes, and therefore the quality of online teaching needs to be standardised to ensure proper support for students.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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