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Community Cohesion

Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how schools will be assessed on the promotion of community cohesion; and what steps will be taken in respect of schools which do not reach the required standards. (99900)

Subject to the passage of the Education and Inspections Bill which is currently before Parliament, a duty will be placed on the governing bodies of maintained schools to promote community cohesion. This will be accompanied by a duty on the Chief Inspector of Schools to report, as part of routine school inspections, on the contribution made by schools in this respect. Inspectors will judge this by assessing the extent to which learners contribute to community cohesion and the effectiveness of the links made by the school with other providers, services, employers and other organisations to promote well-being and community cohesion. Where inspectors identify underperformance, they will make recommendations, to which the school will be expected to respond. School Improvement Partners will challenge and support the school in making any necessary improvements and parents will be informed about progress through the School Profile. Where the underperformance extends to other aspects of the school's work, there may be circumstances in which inspectors return to monitor the school's progress in securing improvement.