Coalition agreement – schools
May 20, 2010
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.