The White Paper

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Summary of the main policy proposals in seven key areas

Great teachers

  • Reform the NCTL to better design and deliver targeted recruitment incentives, campaigns and opportunities that attract su cient new entrants to the profession, including those who are looking to return to the classroom
  • Reduce the costs of recruitment by creating a teacher vacancy website.
  • Quality drives allocation of places in initial teacher training (ITT) for both universities and schools.
  • Increase the rigour of ITT content with a greater focus on subject knowledge and evidence-based practice.
  • Replace QTS with accreditation based on a teacher’s e ectiveness in the classroom – similar to the legal profession.
  • New Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development.
  • Support the establishment of an independent College of Teaching and increase teachers’ access to high-quality evidence including through a new, peer-reviewed British education journal. • Expand the role of the Education Endowment Foundation.

Great leaders at the heart of our system

  • Design new voluntary National Professional Quali cations for each level of leadership
  • Introduce an ‘improvement period’ during which schools won’t be inspected by Ofsted, to allow the time and stability to put in sustainable improvement.
  • Introduce a new Excellence in Leadership Fund to support the pipeline of leaders.
  • Establish a database of everyone involved in governance.
  • Move to fully skills-based governance.

A school-led system with every school an academy

Initial the white paper was proposing all schools. However plans to force all of England’s schools to become academies were abandoned in a government climbdown. Education Secretary Nicky Morgan hopes the concessions will meet the demands of Tory rebels opposed to compelling high-performing schools to convert. This was about the government listening, she said, adding ministers understood top schools should retain the choice on whether to convert. Academies are independently run – but state-funded – schools, overseen by a not-for-profit business, known as an academy trust. They are often part of a chain.The controversial plans to require all schools to convert to academy status, or have plans to do so, by 2022 were announced in the Budget, but details followed in a white paper.Schools must start the process of becoming an academy by 2020 – mostly in MATs.

Preventing underperformance – helping schools go from good to great

  • Strong focus on ‘supported autonomy’.
  • Transfer of responsibility for school improvement from local authorities to schools and system leaders –teaching schools, NLEs and other designated system leaders. More sophisticated approach to designation of system leader roles (teaching schools and NLEs) based on timely and accurate data rather than relying on Ofsted judgements.
  • Designate up to 300 more teaching schools and 800 more NLEs where they are most needed.
  • New intensive focus on ‘the most challenging areas’ – Achieving Excellence Areas.
  • A world-leading curriculum
  • No new curriculum or assessment proposals – a period of consolidation and stability.
  • Funding for 25 per cent of secondary schools to extend their school day.
  • Reform the alternative provision system so that mainstream schools are accountable for the education of pupils in AP and responsible for commissioning high-quality provision.
  • Publish a strategy for improved careers provision for young people.


  • Focus on embedding existing reforms to primary, secondary and 16-19 accountability.
  • New accountability measures for MATs – performance tables for MATs.
  • Ofsted to ensure inspection is increasingly focused on underperformance. Ofsted will consult on removing the separate graded judgements on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

    The right resources in the right hands

  • National Funding Formula – funding directly to schools by 2017 and high needs funding to local authorities for special educational needs and alternative provision (separate consultation published).
  • Continue the Pupil Premium.

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