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'No going back' on education reforms

21/07/2014 Joanna
New education secretary Nicky Morgan has said there is no going back on her predecessor's reforms but has signalled a willingness to engage with teachers.

Ms Morgan pledged to work together with teachers, governors and parents in order to get the best out of the education system. 

However, parents who take their children on holiday during term time will continue to face sanctions, she confirmed.

Some had thought there could be a rethink of the controversial policy, which can see parents fined for taking their children out of classes, but Ms Morgan said it sends a strong signal and youngsters' education can be badly affected by such absences.

Ms Morgan, who is also minister for women and equalities, gave her backing to her predecessor's free schools programme and indicated she would not stand in the way of grammar schools expanding to take in new pupils, the Daily Mail reports.

She said: "It is very much about what parents want, whether they want a free school, whether they want to send their children to academies or grammar schools. If grammar schools want to expand, we're not going to stand in their way."

The replacement of Michael Gove with Ms Morgan last week was one of the biggest surprises of the prime minister's cabinet reshuffle. Mr Gove's confrontational approach had been criticised by many, while others were unhappy with the speed of his reforms to the education system.

Changes brought in by Mr Gove include the expansion of the free schools and academies programme to create more competition in the education system and the introduction of more rigorous assessments.

Ms Morgan was unequivocal in her support for her predecessor. "I think Michael has been a fantastic education secretary and the reforms he has put in place … have been phenomenally successful," she commented.

The new education secretary also said she did not plan to prevent those with no formal teaching qualifications from giving lessons, suggesting that the decision should lie with headteachers.

Posted by Harriet McGowanADNFCR-2164-ID-801736517-ADNFCR
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