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The underpinning ‘mission’ stated by the Government in respect of primary education is that by 2030, 90% of all children will leave primary school having achieved the expected standard in reading, writing and maths, up from 65% in 2019. The Government anticipates that this will mean pupils “will be equipped to flourish in secondary school’, with the stated ambition for secondary schools being that average GCSE grades in English and Maths will rise from 4.5 in 2019, to 5 in 2030.
The key policies/expectations are:
Chapter 1: An excellent teacher for every child. This includes new provisions on attracting teachers to teach physics and languages; a consultation on a new leadership level for SENCOs.; 500,000 new teacher training and development opportunities by 2024; and £30,000 starting salaries for teachers.
Chapter 2: Delivering high standards of curriculum, behaviour and attendance. The paper states that “From early years onwards, all children will be taught a broad, ambitious, knowledge-rich curriculum”, with a new “arms-length” curriculum body being created that works with teachers across the country to create “free, optional, adaptable digital curriculum resources”. There will also be a new literacy and numeracy test for a sample of year 9 pupils to “estimate performance at a national level”; legislation to add to Ofsted’s powers to inspect schools that are operating illegally without registration; and the stated expectation that all mainstream schools are to run a 32.5 hour week by September 2023 (not applicable to special schools).
Chapter 3: Target support for every child who needs it. New guidance on providing targeted catch-up support, and an increased emphasis on tutoring (with the pledge of up to 6 million tutoring courses by 2024). The implementation of a ‘parent pledge’, that includes that any child who falls behind in Maths and English is to receive “timely and evidence based” support to help address the problem.
Chapter 4: A stronger and fairer system. The Government has promised a “fully trust led system with a single regulatory approach”. This approach includes a target that by 2030, all schools should be in strong multi-academy trusts (MATS), or have “plans to join or form one”, and a DfE expectation that these trusts should cover at least 10 schools or 7,500 pupils. In a significant move, the plans include that local authorities can set up MATS, where “too few strong trusts exist”.
The changes come in the context of a significant focus on pupils from poorer backgrounds being left behind during the pandemic, and follow a Government consultation last year. The changes include various moves and renewed emphasis on the process of academisation (that is the Government’s longstanding aim of converting schools into MATS) and also the consolidation of existing MATS into larger entities.
Our specialist Education team has extensive experience working on multi-academy projects throughout England and Wales including the creation of multi-academy trusts (MATs), academies joining existing MATs, creative collaborative arrangements for mixed category MATs (both faith and non-faith academies), single and multi-phase groups and diocesan group projects.
For more information, please visit our academy conversions service page.
If you would like any further advice or support on any of the topics raised in this insight article, please contact us on 01332 226 155 or complete the form below.
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