The Queen’s Speech today set out the new government’s initial plans over the forthcoming parliament. The news agenda has been dominated by legislation around an EU referendum and the possible presence of a new British Bill of Rights, but what will it mean for education?
Prime minister David Cameron included two pieces of legislation that will affect schools, in the shape of the childcare bill and the education and adoption bill.
The education and adoption bill will include the government’s plans to crack down on “coasting schools”, namely those judged by Ofsted as “requires improvement”.
Schools deemed to be making insufficient progress will be asked to work with expert advisers and placed under high-performing academy sponsors.
Those schools that are showing no improvement will see their leadership teams replaced and turned into academies.
Fears have already been raised, most recently by Ofsted’s chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw, that there may not be enough heads of outstanding schools to help turn struggling schools around.
The speech also included new legislation to pave the way for one of the Conservatives’ key manifesto pledges, 30 hours of free childcare for infants.
The move will essentially double the amount of free childcare on offer to parents of three and four-year-olds by 2017.