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Schools: Standards

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the structural changes necessary in the schools system to drive up standards; and if he will make a statement. (149939)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State made a statement to the House on 10 July setting out the Government's plans for raising standards in schools. The Education and Inspections Act 2006 put in place a new framework which will underpin these plans, including the creation of trusts to strengthen the governance of schools and enable schools to forge permanent relationships with external partners. The Act requires local authorities to promote diversity and increase choice, and gives them new powers to commission school places in response to parental demand. Local authorities also have enhanced powers to tackle poorly performing schools. The academies programme will continue to drive up standards in disadvantaged communities.

As my right honourable Friend made clear, the Government's focus is on standards. We are confident that the framework that we have put in place gives schools and local authorities the tools they need to deliver better outcomes for children and families.