Pasi Sahlberg, Finland’s education ambassador to the world, recently warned the British government that high-stakes testing would not improve student achievement and that choice would undermine equity.

Pasi’s excellent book “Finnish Lessons” has been translated into 15 languages.

Finnish education is the reverse of everything we do, yet their students excel on international tests.

When asked what advice he would give England’s education secretary, he said:

“‘I am afraid, Mr Secretary, that the evidence is clear. If you rely on prescription, testing and external control over schools, they are not likely to improve. The GCSE proposals are a step backwards’.”

Pasi was equally dismissive of the minister’s enthusiasm for academies (similar to our charters). He said:

“He is similarly dismissive about Gove’s enthusiasm for academies and free schools, largely modelled on those in Finland’s neighbour, Sweden. “In Sweden,” Sahlberg says, “everybody now agrees free schools were a mistake. The quality has not improved and equity has disappeared. If that is what Mr Gove wants, that is what he will get.”