Selecting the evidence

Rob Halfon is a busy man. It’s been less than a year since his nomination and election as Chair of the Education Select Committee, and during this time year he’s launched 12 separate inquiries into various aspects of the Department for Education’s workload.

The latest call for evidence is looking at Schools and college funding. This an opportunity for the sector to feedback your experience of the introduction of the national funding formula for schools, as well as the current spending review process, the mechanism by which government currently sets funding levels for schools.

This inquiry is refreshing as it ‘aims to examine whether a longer-term plan is needed for investment in education and what resources are required to ensure schools and colleges get the support they need’ – this is a great opportunity for us as a sector to show why government should plan beyond 3 or 4 year timescales.

It’s tempting to look at such inquires cynically, however, with a former Education minister at the helm this call for evidence may get some traction within government.

We’ll be submitting our own evidence for the committee, and we’d encourage you to do the same - the link to the relevant questions is here

There’s some useful pointers for providing your evidence available on the parliaments’ website (including guidance for you if you’re called upon to expand upon or explain any part of your submission in parliament), I’ve set out the main pointers below:

‘To successfully make a submission via the online form on a committee’s website, documents need to:

Be less than 25 MB in size

  • Be in Word (doc, docx, rtf, txt ooxml or odt format, not PDF)
  • Contain as few logos or embedded pictures as possible
  • Contain no macros
  • Comprise a single document. If there are any annexes or appendices, these should be included in the same document.
  • It also assists the committee if those submitting evidence adhere to the following guidelines. Each submission should:
  • State clearly who the submission is from, i.e. whether from yourself in a personal capacity or sent on behalf of an organisation, for example the submission could be headed ‘Written evidence submitted by xxxxxx’
  • Be concise – we recommend no more than 3,000 words in length, unless otherwise stated in the inquiry terms of reference
  • Begin with an executive summary in bullet point form of the main points made in the submission
  • Include a brief introduction about yourself/your organisation and your reason for submitting evidence
  • Have numbered paragraphs
  • Include any factual information you have to offer from which the committee might be able to draw conclusions, or which could be put to other witnesses for their reactions
  • Include any recommendations for action by the Government or others which you would like the committee to consider.’

This is great opportunity for all of us to work with the Select Committee and provide a solid evidence base, so we can provide the best outcomes for our learners.