Children, Schools and Families Bill

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 4:18 pm on 11th January 2010.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Edward Balls Edward Balls Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families 4:18 pm, 11th January 2010

No, I will not.

A world-class education system is only now within our grasp because of the progress that we have made in school improvement. In 1997, more than half of our schools-over 1,600-were not getting to the basic benchmark of 30 per cent. of pupils achieving five good GCSEs, including English and maths. That has come down not just to one in two schools, but to one in 12 schools-from 1,600 schools to just 270. Because of the work that we are doing with schools and local authorities around the country, in our national challenge and academies programme, our aim is to get that number down to zero by 2011.

The Bill takes further steps that will help us to back school leadership and school improvement, by making the process of establishing an academy easier, by reducing bureaucracy so that, like colleges, universities and voluntary aided schools, all academies are guaranteed charitable status, and by strengthening collaboration between schools by updating the role of school improvement partners and through new accredited education providers, which will include academies, state schools, universities and FE colleges as well. We are consulting on those provisions.

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