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Conservatives plan crack squad of teachers for 'failing' schools

A "crack squad" of teachers would be set up under a Conservative government so the "top talent" in the profession could be swiftly despatched to classrooms that are not judged up to scratch, the Prime Minister said today.

New powers to impose tough classroom discipline and immediately sack school leaders at failing state schools would be also be introduced if the Tories win the next election, David Cameron announced.

The government would target 500 unidentified schools, educating 100,000 pupils.

Regional School Commissioners (RSCs) - former heads who oversee all free schools and academies - will be given wider powers to immediately intervene in any state school ruled inadequate by Ofsted.

They will be able to order immediate personnel changes to governing bodies, introduce punishments for bad behaviour and bring in behaviour experts to implement new policies on classroom discipline, school uniform standards and homework.

The Conservatives would also set up the National Teaching Service (NTS), funded centrally, that would be made up of high-quality teachers ready to be sent out to poor performing schools.

Education secretary Nicky Morgan said: "We have witnessed a revolution in school standards over the past four years, with more young people being taught in good or outstanding schools today than ever before. But there is more to do, and the next phase of the plan must go further and faster in targeting the schools where failure has become ingrained.

"The National Teaching Service will ensure every child can truly enjoy that right for the first time."

But shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt attacked the plans. "I have announced that Labour will introduce new local Directors of School Standards to provide rigorous oversight of all state schools, spotting and acting on problems before it is too late," Mr Hunt said.

"But ministers have refused to take action throughout the entirety of this Parliament.

"On the issue of teacher quality, the Government has changed the rules to allow unqualified teachers into the classroom. Labour will end this damaging policy, focusing on delivering highly qualified teachers in every classroom."

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