Stephen Byers

24th July 1998 at 01:00
Stephen Byers, the standards minister, this week announced plans to require local authorities to set out strategies for improving the 2,400 schools with serious weaknesses within 12 months. Failing schools are to be given two years in which to show substantial improvement, but Mr Byers wants shorter time-scales set for schools with serious weaknesses.

OFSTED is to inspect a sample of weak schools, concentrating on those with the poorest reports and the local education authorities with a poor track record in dealing with under-achieving schools.

"Schools performing well and meeting their targets," are likely to be inspected less often than the current six-yearly cycle.

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