Academies, Schools

Queen’s Speech to announce new academy intervention powers

Schools bill to implement white paper reforms will be introduced in the next year

Schools bill to implement white paper reforms will be introduced in the next year

New legislation to boost intervention in failing academies, support more schools to join trusts and implement a ‘direct’ national funding formula will be announced in tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech.

Downing Street said a new schools bill – the first major government legislation for schools since 2016 – would be announced tomorrow following the state opening of Parliament.

The speech sets out the government’s legislative agenda for the next year.

Ministers had already pledged to introduce legislation for some elements of its white paper, such as a register of children not in school and new powers for Ofsted to crack down on illegal schools.

But tomorrow’s announcement will make the legislation a priority, and Downing Street has set out what policies the bill will implement. However, this does not mean that the policies will become law in the next year.

Prime minister Boris Johnson said he was “determined to raise standards in our schools so every child has access to the same opportunities wherever they live, and our brilliant teachers are supported to do what they do best, which is why we’re putting our education ambition into law this week”.

And education secretary Nadhim Zahawi said the schools bill would “create a school system that works for every child, parent and family, bringing every school up to our current best standards”.

Downing Street said measures in the bill would

  • Support more schools to become part of a strong, multi-academy trust
  • Strengthen the regulatory framework for academy trusts, underpinned by powers to intervene where they are failing
  • Introduce a direct National Funding Formula, so that every school is allocated funding on a fair and consistent basis, wherever it is in the country
  • Require schools to publish an attendance policy
  • Establish compulsory registers for children not in school, so that the system can identify those who are not receiving a suitable full-time education
  • Place a duty on local authorities to provide support to home-schooling families, so that no child falls through the cracks
  • Give Ofsted more powers to crack down on ‘unregistered schools’ operating illegally
  • Give the Teaching Regulation Agency increased powers to investigate misconduct

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  1. Hilary Craik OBE

    The language of this White Paper is so negative, “cracking down, powers to intervene”. No wonder people are leaving the profession after the time they have had through the pandemic. Where is the positive enquiry? Where is the looking at what is good and finding out why? Where is the collaborative working to improve and where is the making learning exciting again so that children want to come to school?