The Education Bill, published today, will help teachers raise standards in schools. It includes measures to root out bad behaviour, tackle underperformance and improve the way in which schools are held to account.
Measures in the Bill include
In addition, the Bill will strengthen teachers’ powers to deal with bad behaviour. It gives teachers the power to search for any items schools ban that disrupt learning, like mobile phones and video cameras. It also gives schools the final say in expelling violent pupils and protects teachers from pupils making false allegations.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said today:
We’re lucky that there are many teachers doing a fantastic job but there are still too many schools that simply aren’t good enough. We must learn from other countries which do things better.
We’re giving more powers for teachers to do their job properly – the ability to impose better discipline – and freeing them from bureaucracy. The best schools will be freed from inspections so Ofsted will now concentrate on what matters – teaching and behaviour.
But we also need tough new power to take action when things go wrong. In the worst schools there will be new intervention powers. Ofsted will focus on the worst-performing schools where they are needed most. It is unacceptable that children should suffer in schools that are not doing a good job.
Subject to the passage of the Bill, the Secretary of State will now be able to direct a local authority to close schools that are judged to be in special measures, require significant improvement, or have failed to comply with a warning notice. He will also be able to direct local authorities to give a warning notice to an underperforming school.
These new powers will mean the Government can intervene whenever a school is not providing the kind of education children deserve.
The best school systems in the world are characterised by strong accountability so, in addition to recent changes to performance tables, the Government is also reforming the school inspection system.
Under the current Ofsted framework, inspectors make at least 27 separate judgements. We are focusing inspection on four key areas:
We want inspectors to spend more of their time concentrating on teaching to drive improvement in educational standards. The Bill will also exempt 'outstanding' schools from routine inspection so they can be free to continue doing what they do so well. Ofsted will be able to focus its resources on the underperforming schools.
International league tables show we are not performing at the same level as many countries across the world. The Government believes we must learn from the best education systems. That’s why the Bill puts a duty on Ofqual, the independent watchdog for qualifications, to compare our exam standards against the highest performing systems. It will ensure England does not continue to fall behind other countries.
The Bill also gives teachers the power to tackle bad behaviour and maintain good discipline. The Bill will
The Government is also stripping away the overbearing and unnecessary red tape that takes up teacher time that would be better spent in the classroom or preparing lessons. The Bill includes measures to
Local authority powers to direct a college to invoke disciplinary procedures and appoint members to governing bodies will be removed.
The Education Bill had its first reading on Wednesday 26 January, and is published today.
Read the press notice for more information.