A large majority of my forty-plus year teaching career was spent in Knowsley,and one huge problem I experienced, but which was not highlighted in the editorial, was the quality of leadership. Headteachers in "EPAs" would have to have experienced many years of teaching in such areas. Too often heads are appointed on the basis of ticking the right boxes with the current jargon, and like many politicians, they provide "soundbites", but lack the necessary experience and ability to inspire and lead. A role for staff representation on the selection panel is a must.
Ofsted criticism of schools in "EPAs" would be banned; it is pointless labelling schools in deprived areas as "failing", when teachers are working hard, but hindered by administration-overload, weak leadership and under-funding.
"Meaningful answers" can only be provided by the experts. Lack of trust in teachers explains most of the wrong-headed nonsense spoken by politicians about education. This was epitomised, not only by Gove`s tenure at the DfE, but by the shadow education secretary only a few years ago suggesting all teachers take an oath to demonstrate their commitment to the profession!