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Earned Autonomy Scheme

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools applied for the earned autonomy scheme; and how many have been (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful in being granted earned autonomy. [127892]

The Government is not currently operating an Earned Autonomy scheme, as defined in the Education Act 2002. Instead, it has taken a number of steps to extend autonomy across the school system more generally. In relation to teachers' pay and conditions, specific new freedoms have been introduced from 1 September this year which mean that schools have a greater degree of flexibility in relation to certain pay decisions. Changes to the curriculum at Key Stage 4 set out in the strategy document 14–19: Opportunity and Excellence will enable schools to respond more flexibly to the needs of their pupils. We have established the Implementation Review Unit—a Panel of serving head teachers and other school staff to identify areas where schools can be freed from bureaucracy and red tape. The Power to Innovate offers all schools the chance to apply for innovative projects that would otherwise be blocked by education legislation. The Government is keeping under review whether to introduce an Earned Autonomy scheme as provided for in the 2002 Act.