I've never seen the Keanu Reeves thriller "Speed" but like most people with a pulse I know generally what the plot entails. Perhaps there are some details that are addressed in the film such as: what happens if the bus develops an engine fault, gets a puncture or meets a traffic jam.

Take the middle one of those (it is relevant to me, having just had to pay for a new tyre due to an inconveniently placed screw). It's impossible to change a flat tyre whilst the vehicle is still moving. Best to stop the car and deal with the problem.

Or consider replacing a carpet. Removing the furniture first seems to be the best course of action. When we boot-up a computer it is referring to pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. Ever tried doing that?

Now look at how we overhaul education. It drives along like the bus in Speed, knowing that if it stops, some great catastrophe occurs. In the UK we have an acquisitive culture in education that means we take on more and more initiatives without getting rid of those bits that no longer work. We don't possess an abandonment culture. I wonder why this the case. Is it because we are a truly historic island society that hasn't had to deal with repeated invasions and subsequent changes of border, thus making us stubborn and reluctant to change? Are teachers a bunch of arrogant individuals who feel that our preferred style of teaching is more successful than anyone else's? Are teacher's good at giving direction but not so good at taking it? Are we never afforded the chance to stop the bus and change the tyre?

Perhaps the opportunities afforded by the Academies and Free Schools will give a glorious opportunity in this country to construct a more suitable school model for pupils to learn in. Then again, we have about 2,500 Independent schools in the UK, educating about 615,000 children who are free to behave independently. State schools can be perceived as aiming for the middle ground in all that they do. Due to their need to please many masters - (pupils, parents, government, unions, governors, employers, tertiary education) all of mixed ability - they end up having to prioritise.

To continue amassing new initiatives and systems of measurement means we are struggling to be able to do the fundamental job in education which is, in my opinion, to allow children to learn and develop their skills through the gaining and implementation of knowledge (in a nutshell). It's time to start abandoning things. How much do schools legally have to do? For example, what is the minimum amount of maths teaching that a 15 year old has to receive in a year? What about PE? When schools have so much freedom to do what they want (that is the true situation in all state schools) why do they try to do so, so much?

I know it's simplistic but so was Speed.