The Queen’s Speech marked the State Opening of Parliament and the announcement of a new bill, Education for All, which aims to ensure all children get an excellent education regardless of location, prior attainment or background. The provisions of the bill are to:
Move towards a system where all schools are academies, albeit with no hard deadline for universal conversion. There will still be forced academisation for schools in “under-performing” local authorities (LAs), or in LAs which can no longer “viably” support their remaining schools.
Introduce a national fair funding formula by “redressing historical unfairness” in school funding and by ensuring that schools with the same kinds of pupils get the same funding.
Set out a “new role” for LAs by shifting responsibility for school improvement from LAs to school leaders.
Reform alternative provision for excluded pupils by making schools responsible for finding the right provider for their excluded pupils, and remaining accountable for their education.
Reform technical education with an employer-led system.
Reacting to the Queen’s Speech, Emma Knights, Chief Executive of the National Governors’ Association, said: “NGA welcomes the government’s promise to improve provision around the country and introduce a fair funding formula. Achieving excellence in all schools is what every governor and trustee is motivated to do when they volunteer.”
“We were pleased that the government dropped its idea of compulsory universal academisation but we remain concerned that the government intends to override the long term strategies of good and better schools in LAs it would deem to be underperforming or unviable”.