How the changes will affect you

24th July 1998 at 01:00
Main points of the School Standards and Framework Act.

* limits class sizes for infants to 30 maximum. Education authorities to prepare admission rules;

* sets up education action zones to be run by education authorities and businesses to raise standards. National curriculum and national pay scales can be suspended;

* establishes LEA code of practice defining role of education authorities;

* changes the way money is delegated to schools;

* requires education authorities to draw up development plans, approved by Secretary of State;

* gives government the power to take over failing local authorities;

* gives Secretary of State Fresh Start powers to shut failing schools and re-open them with new head, some new staff and new name;

* sets up new framework for schools: community, foundation and voluntary sectors to be created;

* puts more parents on governing bodies and local authority education committees;

* lays down procedure for ballots for local parents to abolish grammar schools;

* introduces school organisation committees to agree admission policies;

* introduces adjudicators for admissions;

* prevents extension of selection, but permits operation of existing arrangements. Also allows specialist schools to select 10 per cent of intake by aptitude;

* requires governing bodies to set truancy targets;

* enables Secretary of State to lay down regulations on compulsory nutritional standards for school lunches;

* places duty on local authority to secure provision of nursery education and to prepare an early-years development plan;

* abolishes Funding Agency for Schools;

* prevents councils introducing "back-door" assisted places schemes.

Main points of Teaching and Higher Education Act

establishes a General Teaching Council by 2000, with a majority of serving teachers. The GTC will have powers to de-register teachers on grounds of misconduct or incompetence. The membership fee will be deducted from teachers' salaries;

* will make professional headship qualification compulsory;

* establishes an induction year for teachers. Teachers failing will not be able to retake without taking the full course again;

* gives the Office for Standards in Education power to inspect teacher-training institutions;

* introduces means-tested tuition fees of Pounds 1,000 foruniversity students;

* exempts students from Scotland from tuition fees for year four of the Scottish degree;

* establishes student loans recoverable by the Inland Revenue once the graduate is earning Pounds 10,000 a year;

* allows the Secretary of State to impose financial penalties on higher education institutions that charge top-up fees;

* gives 16 and 17-year-olds the right to take time off work for training or study.

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