Coalition government plans radical overhaul of school league tabl
Coalition government plans radical overhaul of school league tables.
Sources say that Tories are open to the Liberal Democrat idea, which Nick Clegg, leader of the Lib Dems and the deputy prime minister, has said would provide a more “honest picture” of how well schools are performing. The new system could also pick out schools in middle-class areas that are thought to be coasting.
This week David Cameron will use the Queen’s speech to fast-track legislation on schools reform. The academies bill will enable all state schools to apply to become academies, and the Swedish-style free schools policy outlined in the Conservative party manifesto will be launched.
The number of parent groups that have shown interest in starting their own school has now surged to 550. The schools need to be ready for the admissions’ process a year in advance, so officials say only a handful will open in September 2011. But ministers expect hundreds to follow in 2012.
Local authorities fear that they will be sidelined in the process. Dame Margaret Eaton, chair of the Local Government Association and a former teacher, said she was convinced the free-schools model could work and would benefit pupils. But she warned the Tories to ensure that councils were able to protect the rights of any pupils who fell through the net.