Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the Schools Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech.
“While we welcome measures such as the plan to establish ‘children not in school’ registers and strengthen powers to investigate unregistered schools, the Schools Bill – like the white paper on which it is based – is largely lacking in ambition.
“Moves for all schools to be part of an academy trust are really about a government which views academisation as unfinished business. To say this will support the arbitrary target of 90% of primary school children achieving the expected standard in reading, writing and maths by 2030 is a complete non-sequitur. What is needed to achieve that target is a massive injection of funding and resources to provide more individualised and specialist support for children with special educational needs and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is totally unrealistic to think this will happen within the current financial constraints.”