What will education look like in 10 years time?

Monday, June 12th, 2017

by Adam Wainwright

Last week The Key turned 10 years old, which means if it were human it would be gearing up to take its SATs and be well into, like, fidget spinners or snapchat or something (I… I don’t know what kids like now. Is it Coldplay? I bet it’s Coldplay).

But The Key is not a human, it’s an educational support service for school leaders and in its lifetime that support has hinged on the changes to education policy. Governments have come and gone, white papers published and retracted, education secretaries booed and cheered.

Back in 2007, the first academies were quietly being introduced, we scored tests using levels and the pupil premium was but a twinkle in the education budget’s eye. We thought we’d look ahead another 10 years and see what education policy may look like in 2027*.

*This is not what education policy will look like in 2027. It is a series of incredibly tame jokes that become increasingly niche and unamusing – education isn’t very funny and nor am I. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Android teachers

Teacher recruitment crisis?? HA! Not in 2027 my friend! Thanks to the first Teacherbot to pass the Turing test in 2023, the workforce is now replete with robotic teachers. They teach, they nurture, they sometimes break the staff relationships policy by falling in love with interactive whiteboards. But by god do they get the job done.

Pupil class size limits of 55

Class sizes are a big issue in 2027. Sympathising with the stress of teachers, the government sets a new 55-pupil limit on primary school classes. There may not be much room, but the classroom of 2027 makes good use of vertical space, with poorly-behaved children suspended from the ceiling. The aforementioned Teacherbots are also well equipped to deal with such large class sizes, with a host of crowd control features built in. It’s basically robocop with elbow patches.

1 hour Ofsted inspections

The world moves fast in 2027; gone are the days where schools can have entire days for inspections. Thanks to the success of the 1 day inspections for schools rated ‘good’, Ofsted subsequently reduced this further and further still. In 2027, schools rated ‘good’ are inspected in a cool 60 minutes. To help, would-be inspectors have to pass a fitness test before they can become HMIs, to help them get around the larger secondary schools in the allotted time.

110% EBacc target

Not satisfied with the 96% uptake of the English Baccalaureate seen by 2024, a new target of 110% has been set for 2027. The most-able 10% in the country now have to do two EBaccs, with the new EBacc subjects each more EBacc-y than the last. Ancient Greek, Philosophical Algebra, Nuclear Physics and Medicine all feature.

Curriculum updates

The 2027 curriculum features updated subject content, with the still unanswered ‘If Brexit means Brexit, what does Brexit mean?’ module added to the GCSE philosophy curriculum and ‘President Trump: no, we don’t know either’ to modern political history.

KS2 children must be able to recount Pi to 16 digits and have a reading level of ‘Infinite Jest’.

What else?

So, members of the education community, what do you see when you gaze into the crystal ball of education future? What does the ghost of education future haunt you with? Or, for the dreamers amongst you, what do you want to see happen in the next 10 years? Comment below, chat with your colleagues, go really big and draft a white paper and post it to the Department for Education if you want. See you in 10 years.

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