Government white paper – an overview
On 28 March 2022, the Government published its long-awaited schools White Paper – ‘Opportunity for all: strong schools with great teachers for your child’ which sets out its plans for education and, in particular, academisation.
What we know so far – at a glance:
- By the end of the decade all schools will be expected to be part of ‘strong’ multi-academy trusts (MATS). Academy trusts will be encouraged to take over the running of schools across England and maintained schools will need to have either joined or have plans in place for conversion by 2030.
- Any schools which fail to achieve at least ‘good’ in their Ofsted inspections on two consecutive occasions will be expected to join a ‘strong’ trust.
- Local authorities will be given powers to set up their own trusts and may also be given powers to force academies to take children who are without a school place.
- An additional £86million is to be made available to ‘grow’ and ‘strengthen’ MATS over the next three years.
- The majority of academy trusts will have a minimum of 7,500 pupils or run at least 10 schools. There will be no maximum size although, the DfE will have the power to limit the number of schools run by an individual trust in a single area.
- If a student has fallen behind in either English or Maths, the Government ‘pledges’ to ‘get them back on track’ by September 2023.
- By 2030, 90 per cent of primary school children should achieve the expected standard in Key Stage 2 reading, writing and maths.
- A minimum 32.5-hour school week will be put in place by September 2023 – an increase of between 15 and 30 minutes per days for most schools.
- Ofsted has been targeted with clearing its inspection backlog by 2025 – with all schools to be inspected by this date.
- By 2024, 500,000 teacher training and development opportunities will be created, with £30,000 starting salaries to ‘retain the best teachers.’
- All schools will be provided with additional funds to train a member of staff who will act as a ‘senior mental health lead’. They will then be expected to oversee health and wellbeing across the whole school.
Although the White Paper sets out a broad overview of the Government’s intentions, a significant amount of fine detail is still to be announced and rumours that schools may be incentivised to join MATS remains unconfirmed.
In the meantime, if you require help or advice on any matters relating to the White Paper proposal, please contact our education team.