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New intervention powers pledged to raise education standards

13/10/2014 Joanna
Additional pupil intervention powers have been pledged by the Conservative Party to help raise standards in failing schools in England.

Under the proposals, local education experts, including former headteachers, are to be given new powers to intervene early to ensure pupils are able to realise their potential. According to the prime minister, this will help 100,000 children in 500 schools.

In addition, a new National Teaching Service is to be established - a talent pool of highly-skilled teaching professionals that can be seconded to schools experiencing difficulties, working with the institutions' existing staff to improve their performance.

The changes will involve expanding the powers of the current eight Regional School Commissioners (RSCs) to enable them to transform all state schools that are judged to be failing. They will be able to intervene immediately in any school that has been deemed to be inadequate by Ofsted.

Developed after consultation with the sector and modelled on interventions that have been proven to work, the package of measures could involve new policies on standards, discipline and leadership.

For example, RSCs might recommend the implementation of new behaviour policies to be applied fairly and consistently across the school, while experts could be brought in to formulate new discipline, uniform and homework standards.

Immediate personnel changes could be made to the governing body to improve the calibre of leadership and ensure they have the skills they need to improve.

Education secretary Nicky Morgan said: "We have witnessed a revolution in school standards over the past four years, with more young people being taught in good or outstanding schools today than ever before. 

"But there is more to do, and the next phase of the plan must go further and faster in targeting the schools where failure has become ingrained."

More than 1,000 schools have converted to academy status since the coalition government came to power, helping to raise education standards.

However, conversion can sometimes take up to 13 months, and the new pupil intervention powers are designed to ensure institutions begin to improve as soon as possible.

Posted by Charlotte Michaels

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