Government Proposals

Below is an abstract of the items from the Coalition Government's proposals that particularly relate to education and teachers,

From the Preface: “We both want a Britain where social mobility is unlocked; where everyone, regardless of background, has the chance to rise as high as their talents and ambition allow them. To pave the way, we have both agreed to sweeping reform of welfare, taxes and, most of all, our schools – with a breaking open of the state monopoly and extra money following the poorest pupils so that they, at last, get to go to the best schools, not the worst.”

SCHOOLS

The Government believes that we need to reform our school system to tackle educational inequality, which has widened in recent years, and to give greater powers to parents and pupils to choose a good school. We want to ensure high standards of discipline in the classroom, robust standards and the highest quality teaching. We also believe that the state should help parents, community groups and others come together to improve the education system by starting new schools.

                      We will promote the reform of schools in order to ensure that new providers can enter the state school system in response to parental demand; that all schools have greater freedom over the curriculum; and that all schools are held properly to account.

                      We will fund a significant premium for disadvantaged pupils from outside the schools budget by reductions in spending elsewhere.

                      We will give parents, teachers, charities and local communities the chance to set up new schools, as part of our plans to allow new providers to enter the state school system in response to parental demand.

                      We will support Teach First, create Teach Now to build on the Graduate Teacher Programme, and seek other ways to improve the quality of the teaching profession.

                      We will reform the existing rigid national pay and conditions rules to give schools greater freedoms to pay good teachers more and deal with poor performance.

                      We will help schools tackle bullying in schools, especially homophobic bullying.

                      We will simplify the regulation of standards in education and target inspection on areas of failure.

                      We will give anonymity to teachers accused by pupils and take other measures to protect against false accusations.

                      We will seek to attract more top science and maths graduates to be teachers.

                      We will publish performance data on educational providers, as well as past exam papers.

                      We will create more flexibility in the exams systems so that state schools can offer qualifications like the IGCSE.

                      We will reform league tables so that schools are able to focus on, and demonstrate, the progress of children of all abilities.

                      We will give heads and teachers the powers they need to ensure discipline in the classroom and promote good behaviour.

                      We believe the most vulnerable children deserve the very highest quality of care. We will improve diagnostic assessment for schoolchildren, prevent the unnecessary closure of special schools, and remove the bias towards inclusion.

                      We will improve the quality of vocational education, including increasing flexibility for 14–19 year olds and creating new Technical Academies as part of our plans to diversify schools provision.

                      We will keep external assessment, but will review how Key Stage 2 tests operate in future.

                      We will ensure that all new Academies follow an inclusive admissions policy. We will work with faith groups to enable more faith schools and facilitate inclusive admissions policies in as many of these schools as possible.

 

PENSIONS

                      We will commit to establishing an independent commission to review the long­term affordability of public sector pensions, while protecting accrued rights.

 

FAMILIES AND CHILDREN

                      We support the provision of free nursery care for pre-school children, and we want that support to be provided by a diverse range of providers, with a greater gender balance in the early years workforce.

                      We will take Sure Start back to its original purpose of early intervention, increase its focus on the neediest families, and better involve organisations with a track record of supporting families. We will investigate ways of ensuring that providers are paid in part by the results they achieve.

                      We will review the criminal records and vetting and barring regime and scale it back to common sense levels.

 

DEFICIT REDUCTION

                      We will significantly accelerate the reduction of the structural deficit over the course of a Parliament, with the main burden of deficit reduction borne by reduced spending rather than increased taxes.

                      We will introduce arrangements that will protect those on low incomes from the effect of public sector pay constraint and other spending constraints.

                      We will set out a plan for deficit reduction in an emergency budget. We have created an independent Office for Budget Responsibility to make new forecasts of growth and borrowing for this emergency budget.

                      We will make modest cuts of £6 billion to non-front-line services within the financial year 2010/11, subject to advice from the Treasury and the Bank of England on their feasibility and advisability. A proportion of these savings can be used to support jobs.

                      We will hold a full Spending Review reporting this autumn, following a fully consultative process involving all tiers of government and the private sector.

                      We will reduce spending on the Child Trust Fund and tax credits for higher earners.

 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

                      We will promote the radical devolution of power and greater financial autonomy to local government and community groups. This will include a review of local government finance.

                      We will freeze Council Tax in England for at least one year, and seek to freeze it for a further year, in partnership with local authorities.

                      We will create directly elected mayors in the 12 largest English cities, subject to confirmatory referendums and full scrutiny by elected councillors.

                      We will allow councils to return to the committee system, should they wish to.

 

EQUALITIES

                      We will undertake a fair pay review in the public sector to implement our proposed ‘20 times’ pay multiple.

 

POLITICAL REFORM

                      We will give residents the power to instigate local referendums on any local issue.

                      We will give residents the power to veto excessive council tax increases.

 

SOCIAL ACTION

                      We will support the creation and expansion of mutuals, co-operatives, charities and social enterprises, and enable these groups to have much greater involvement in the running of public services.

                      We will give public sector workers a new right to form employee-owned co-operatives and bid to take over the services they deliver. This will empower millions of public sector workers to become their own boss and help them to deliver better services.

 

UNIVERSITIES AND FURTHER EDUCATION

The Government believes that our universities are essential for building a strong and innovative economy. We will take action to create more college and university places, as well as help to foster stronger links between universities, colleges and industries.

                      We will seek ways to support the creation of apprenticeships, internships, work pairings, and college and workplace training places as part of our wider programme to get Britain working.

                      We will set colleges free from direct state control and abolish many of the further education quangos. Public funding should be fair and follow the choices of students.

                      We will await Lord Browne’s final report into higher education funding, and will judge its proposals against the need to:

 

– increase social mobility;

– take into account the impact on student debt;

– ensure a properly funded university sector;

– improve the quality of teaching;

– advance scholarship; and

-          attract a higher proportion of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

 

                      If the response of the Government to Lord Browne’s report is one that Liberal Democrats cannot accept, then arrangements will be made to enable Liberal Democrat MPs to abstain in any vote.

                      We will review support for part-time students in terms of loans and fees.

                      We will publish more information about the costs, graduate earnings and student satisfaction of different university courses.

                      We will ensure that public funding mechanisms for university research safeguard its academic integrity.

Comments