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Schools: Standards

Volume 464: debated on Monday 15 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) if he will extend the freedoms available to academies to all state schools which meet minimum performance criteria; and if he will make a statement; (154529)

(2) pursuant to the answer of 17 July 2007, Official Report, columns 287-88W, on academies, if he will extend to all schools the freedoms available to academies; and if he will make a statement.

Academies are independent state schools that have additional freedoms to help them implement innovative approaches to combating the impact of deprivation on educational attainment and to break the cycle of underachievement and low aspirations that afflicts too many of our communities.

Although the vast majority are established with the full agreement of the relevant local authority, academies are not maintained by them; academies are not bound by the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document; they have enjoyed additional freedoms relating to the national curriculum (though this has, as a whole, been made more flexible to accommodate the kind of innovation that academies have enjoyed, and since July, new Academy Funding Agreements have required them to follow the National Curriculum Programmes of Study in English, maths, science and ICT); and although, like other state-funded schools, academies have stakeholder governors, in order to determine the ethos and leadership of the academy and ensure clear responsibility and accountability, the lead sponsor will always appoint the majority of governors to an academy governing body.

My Department has no plans to extend these freedoms more widely. However, where there is a clear case for doing so, additional freedoms may be allowed to other state funded schools through the Power to Innovate. This allows the Secretary of State for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) to suspend or modify education legislation that may be holding back, or even stopping, innovative approaches to raising standards.

Schools, colleges of further education, local authorities or trusts (acting on behalf of trust schools) may apply for a time-limited order to allow the testing of an innovative idea that has the potential to improve outcomes for pupils and students.

There are no preconceptions about the kind of ideas that could be supported. Since introduction in 2002, the power has been used in a diverse range of innovative projects—from testing ‘virtual’ governance, to allowing a group of schools to introduce a transitional sixth form for those pupils unlikely to be in education, training or employment after completing year 11. Power to Innovate inquiries have also prompted changes to general legislation, for example enabling schools to offer HE foundation modules.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which schools in Greater London are in special measures. (157345)

The following table lists the schools in Greater London that are currently in special measures. It also shows the unique reference number, phase, local authority and the date each school was placed in the category by Ofsted. The list shows the position on 10 October 2007.

URN

School name

LA area

Phase

Date of inspection

101221

Valence Junior School

Barking and Dagenham

Primary

12 October 2006

133364

Pardes House Primary School

Barnet

Primary

19 October 2006

101309

Chalgrove Primary School

Barnet

Primary

19 October 2006

101556

Kilburn Park School Foundation

Brent

Primary

21 March 2006

101521

The Stonebridge School

Brent

Primary

13 June 2006

101609

Oaklands Junior School

Bromley

Primary

21 March 2007

101889

John Perryn Primary School

Ealing

Primary

12 July 2006

101914

Hathaway Primary School

Ealing

Primary

25 May 2007

101992

Garfield Primary School

Enfield

Primary

6 October 2006

102011

Houndsfield Primary School

Enfield

Primary

8 February 2007

102046

Aylward School

Enfield

Secondary

11 May 2006

100230

London Fields Primary School

Hackney

Primary

26 March 2007

102654

Gorringe Park Primary School

Merton

Primary

2 November 2006

102725

Keir Hardie Primary School

Newham

Primary

2 November 2006

102764

St. James’ CE Junior School

Newham

Primary

22 February 2007

100817

Eveline Lowe Primary School

Southwark

Primary

22 February 2007

100839

St. Peter's CE Primary School

Southwark

Primary

11 July 2007

100847

Geoffrey Chaucer Technical College

Southwark

Secondary

24 November 2005

103071

The Beaumont School

Waltham Forest

Primary

9 January 2007

101148

Pimlico School

Westminster

Secondary

23 November 2006

The number of Greater London schools in special measures has reduced from 26 on 1 September 2005 to the current figure of 20. The number of secondary schools in the category has reduced from seven to three during the same period.