Drastic increase in private managers proposed

13th July 2001 at 01:00
EVERY school which fails an inspection will be open to a possible takeover by a private company, next week's White Paper is expected to say.

These plans, which would drastically increase private-sector involvement in education, seem to be modelled on the current scheme for struggling councils. Local authorities "failed" by inspectors now have to consider contracting out their services. The White Paper proposes that when schools find themselves in similar circumstances their local authority should have to consider private management. Companies could then take control of a school by appointing a majority of governors.

Next week's secondary schools White Paper is also likely to see proposals for a new category of advanced specialist school. City academies would be allowed to include a primary section. And companies would have the right to manage city academies on fixed-term contracts.

The paper will also suggest that schools be given more freedom to control their own 14-19 curriculum, with the aim of a major expansion of vocational education, much of it in colleges. The Government will present this as building on its programme for key stage 3, which this month saw the introduction of the first national test targets for 14-year-olds.

The paper is also likely to propose anti-stalking legislation to bar abusive parents, and new rules giving headteachers more power to exclude violent and disruptive children.

Governors, 34

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