In the Schools White Paper in March, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi set out an ambition for 90% of primary school children to achieve the expected standard in reading, writing and maths by 2030, and for the percentage of children meeting the expected standard in the worst performing areas to have increased by a third.
The Schools Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech last week will support schools and trusts to deliver these world-class outcomes by ensuring that funding is allocated fairly and consistently to all mainstream schools, regardless of where they are in the country, and by strengthening the school attendance system so all children are supported and can benefit from being in school.
The Bill will create a system which will level up standards by supporting every school to be part of a family of schools in a strong trust. The Government wants to spread the benefits of the best multi academy trusts so that every child learns with the benefits of a strong, supportive family of schools. For this to become a reality, we must strengthen the accountability framework for trusts and ensure we have the powers to intervene where necessary.
In order to realise their full potential children must be safe and secure in their learning environment. Therefore, essential safeguarding measures must be delivered that will keep more children safe wherever they are educated, doing so by registering more educational institutions, and working with partners to enhance investigation and enforcement.
The introduction of the children not in school registers will help local authorities identify children of compulsory school age who are not currently registered in full-time education in schools. This will provide accurate data to help identify children who are not receiving a safe or suitable full-time education.
Alongside this, a duty on local authorities will be created to provide support to home educating families. Reforms to strengthen and expand the remit of the Teaching Regulation Agency will allow for enhanced handling of teacher misconduct and the prohibition of unsuitable teachers from the profession.
The measures in the Schools Bill provide the legislation in these areas needed to underpin essential and ambitious reforms.