The latest education white paper, Your child, your schools, our future: building a 21st century schools system, was published on 30 June. Within this, the Government describes reforms to meet the ‘challenges and changes' facing schools, and how these build on the developments of the last 12 years; included within these are changes to the curriculum, school partnerships, leadership and responsibilities, although many of the reforms will be recognised as already established policies, such as one-to-one tuition for failing pupils.
Central to the suggested reforms is the introduction of the Pupil and Parent Guarantees, which set out new entitlements to personalised support. The former aims to secure every pupil's entitlement to attend a school which offers an ordered environment, a broad curriculum, personalised learning, sport and cultural activities (five hours per week of sport from this September), and systems for pupil and parent voice. In addition, the school-leaving age will rise to 18 by 2015.
From 2011, funding for the National Strategies will be delegated directly to schools, and the current league tables will be replaced by the School Report Card. This will provide a more rounded assessment of school performance: pupil progress, attainment, and wellbeing; pupils' and parents' perceptions; and a school's success in narrowing gaps in pupil performance.
Picked up particularly by the media is the proposed licensing system for teachers, whereby a 'license to teach' would need to be revalidated after five years. The roll out of this is due to start in September 2010 with NQTs and returners to teaching, followed by supply teachers.
There are links to all of the documentation relating to Building a 21st century schools system on the DCSF website; these include a 'Young people's version', which simplifies the information contained in the white paper.
A more extensive review of this paper can be accessed here.
Building a 21st Century Schools System