We were intrigued to read recently in the Times Educational Supplement about the comments of Pasi Sahlberg, a leading education campaigner and government official in Finland.
Finland always comes out near the top in PISA tables. Over the years, there has been a steady stream of people visiting Finland to try to find the secret of their success.
Mr Sahlberg has now told us what it is!
“I think a lot of this success comes … through communities and parents outside school.”
He was speaking at the World Innovation Summit for Education in Qatar in October 2013. Fiona Carnie, the Vice-president of the European Forum for Freedom in Education, picks up this same theme when she observes: “Parents need to understand what and how their children are learning so that they can support them”.
She goes further and says: “Until all schools in the UK make a commitment to working in a genuine partnership with parents and communities, thereby creating strong local institutions, we are unlikely to see the levels of achievement that Finland demonstrates.”
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