Late last month saw the publication of the Schools White Paper.  This is the Government document which sets out plans for “a radical reform programme for the schools system”.  This sounds very grand, and exciting.  Who would not want to make our schools better?  You can expect more from me on this later.

In the meantime, by way of a gentle easing back into Education and Society, and by way of an introduction to the Schools White Paper let me share with you the Schools White Paper ‘word cloud’.

I doubt that this visual representation is a substantial alternative to reading the White Paper itself, yet, it is significant.  As it says on the Department’s web page:  “The larger the word, the more heavily it features”.

Therefore we could conclude a number of things from this image.  Clearly schools is the largest word.  For some, this is likely to be reassuring as it highlights the policy focus on the importance of schools.  We all want our children to go to good schools, and, in many ways popular discourse equates schools with education.  Note however, that education, is not as large as schools, and therefore, presumably does not feature as heavily in the White Paper.

Note the other ‘large’ words that stand out: teachers, pupils, and, importantly, improvement.

There you have it, a Schools White Paper which puts schools at its core, in which  teachers and pupils are seen as central, with the underlying aim of improvement.  It is there in black and white, or, more precisely shades of blue.  Who could argue with those sentiments?


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