What the schools Bill will do

12th December 1997 at 00:00
Limit class sizes for infants to 30. Local authorities to prepare admission rules;

* Set up education action zones to be run by local education authorities and businesses to raise standards. National curriculum and national pay scales suspended. Zones get grant of Pounds 250,000 to be matched by private sector;

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

* Empower the Secretary of State to take over failing local authorities;

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

* Create new framework for schools: community, foundation and voluntary categories;

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

* Set up procedure for ballots for local parents to abolish grammar schools;

* Set up adjudicator for admissions;

* Prevent extension of selection, but permits operation of existing arrangements;

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

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

* Abolish Funding Agency for Schools.

What the Teaching and Higher Education Bill will do

* Establish a General Teaching Council;

* Require new teachers to serve a probationary period;

* Makes new qualification for headteachers compulsory;

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

* Introduces Pounds 1,000 means-tested higher education tuition fees for students;

* Sets up new student loan scheme, with repayments made through PAYE when a certain salary is reached;

* Gives powers to prevent universities charging students top-up fees;

* Enshrines the right of young people to have paid time off work for study or training.

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