Speech

Queen's Speech: Education and Children’s Bill

This speech was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Notes on: "Legislation will be introduced to…give teachers greater freedom over the curriculum and allow new providers to run state schools."

The purpose of the Bill

Give full effect to the range of programmes envisaged in the Coalition agreement.

The main benefits of the Bill

  • To give all schools greater freedom over the curriculum
  • To improve school accountability
  • To take action to tackle bureaucracy
  • To improve behaviour in schools

The main elements of the Bill

  • To provide schools with the freedoms to deliver an excellent education in the way they see fit.
  • To reform Ofsted and other accountability frameworks to ensure that head teachers are held properly accountable for the core educational goals of attainment and closing the gap between rich and poor.
  • To introduce a slimmer curriculum giving more space for teachers to decide how to teach.
  • To introduce a reading test for 6 year olds to make sure that young children are learning and to identify problems early.
  • To give teachers and head teachers the powers to improve behaviour and tackle bullying.
  • We expect standards across the education sector to rise through the creation of more Academies and giving more freedom to head teachers and teachers. We will also ensure that money follows pupils, and introduce a ‘pupil premium’ so that more money follows the poorest pupils.

Existing legislation in this area

  • The structure and functions of Ofsted are set out in the Education and Inspections Act 2006.  The duty to inspect and report on schools is set out in section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
  • The law relating to the National Curriculum, the key stages and testing is set out in Part 6 of the Education Act 2002 and related secondary legislation.
  • Much of the law relating to pupil behaviour is set out in Part 7 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 and related secondary legislation.  The requirement to set up Independent Appeal Panels is in section 52 of the Education Act 2002.  There are provisions about home-school agreements in the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.
  • Academies are currently governed by contracts entered into under section 482 of the Education Act 1996 as amended.

Devolution

The majority of issues addressed in this Bill are devolved matters and generally apply to England and Wales only.