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School Administration

Volume 518: debated on Monday 15 November 2010

The Government are committed to reducing the administrative burden on both head teachers and governors. We have already announced that the self-evaluation form will be removed, that the inspection framework will be streamlined and that we will reduce the amount of guidance issued to schools. Today I can announce that we are abolishing the overly bureaucratic financial management standard in schools scheme. We will also simplify school funding, and we are considering how to reduce funding differences between similar schools in different local authority areas. We will continue to work with local authorities and others to reduce the bureaucratic burden, so that schools have more time to focus on raising standards.

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for that answer. As he is aware, the imposition of school improvement partners by the previous Government led to the senior management teams of many schools spending vast amounts of their time holding meetings, ticking boxes and discussing meaningless strategies, targets and initiatives. Will the forthcoming White Paper bring an end to that aspect of the wasteful bureaucracy created by the previous Government?

My hon. Friend makes a great point in his characteristically forceful and eloquent way. The Government are looking at how we can ensure that the whole process of school improvement is made less bureaucratic.

Does the Secretary of State agree that head teachers and school governors, as well as teachers, found Teachers TV very liberating in terms of knowledge, improving school administration and teaching? Will he think again about winding up Teachers TV?

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman, and I know how committed he is to improving continuous professional development. Our White Paper will say more about how we can do that. Teachers TV will—I think—operate in future on a commercial basis. That is one of the many ways in which outside organisations can attempt to improve education. In that respect, we will allow teachers, governors and heads to make decisions about the type of external support that they buy in to help them to improve the valuable work that they do.