Tuesday, 11 December 2007

World Class Education

The Government is set to unveil its ten-year plan aimed at giving every child in England a 'world class' education.
Schools Secretary Ed Balls will outline the sweeping reforms as part of the new Children's Plan which heralds a major shift in the Government's approach to dealing with youngsters.
He said he wants Britain to be 'the best place in the world for children to grow up' and the document will cover every aspect of children's lives from how they spend their free time to the role their parents play in their education.
The plan includes foreign languages to be taught in primary schools and changes to national Sats tests.
It will also attempt to revive the key role parents play in their children's education and that every child will have a personal tutor who knows them 'in the round' and will act as the main point of contact for parents.
Additionally, parents' complaints will be handled more clearly and openly, and they will be given 'regular, up-to-date information' on their child's attendance, behaviour in class and educational progress.
The plan's publication comes a month after an academic report said the Government had spent £500 million in a failed attempt to boost reading standards in primary schools in the seven years to 2005.
And it follows a Government survey published last month on the well-being of children which found more needed to be done to close the gap in achievement for children from deprived backgrounds.
As part of the plan, former director of schools inspectorate Ofsted, Jim Roseor, will conduct a 'root and branch' review of primary education, the first in more than a decade.
Mr Balls said at the weekend: 'He will look at the primary curriculum and see how we can take out some of the clutter, reduce the number of set subjects so that we have more space for maths and have more space for reading.'
He said pupils could be tested when they are ready, rather than all at the same time, if a pilot programme currently under way in 500 schools proves successful.
However, Sats will not be abolished, despite pressure from teaching unions and education academics who say they put unneeded pressure on pupils, parents, schools and teachers.
Mr Balls added: 'I think parents want to know the information, not only about their child but how their school is doing.'

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