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New drive to continue boosting standards in schools

A raft of new measures to help struggling schools, tackle underperformance and ensure standards continue to rise have been unveiled by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

Outstanding schools will no longer be exempt from routine Ofsted inspection so parents can be confident their children’s schools are continuing to deliver the best education.

Some ‘outstanding’ schools have not been inspected for a decade and this programme will ensure that parents have up to date information about the quality of education their children are receiving, and that standards remain high.

Alongside this, more funding will be made available to help top performing academies across the country to expand to support other schools and help them deliver the best possible education.

A new specialist academy trust will also be set up specifically to take on and turn round the most challenging schools struggling with long term underperformance.

The trust will be piloted in the North of England and offer direct support from school leaders with a proven track record in improving education.

For schools that have consistently been rated requires improvement by Ofsted, we will launch a new programme of leadership support by giving hundreds of them more help from experienced school leaders and evidence-based support programmes and working with Ofsted so that it can provide more detailed analysis on areas for improvement.

The announcement today (1 September) comes days after the Prime Minister delivered the biggest ever cash funding boost of £14 billion over three years for education and set out the government’s ambition to close the opportunity gap and ensure every child, regardless of where they come from, has access to a great education. The funding package for 5-16 schools includes £2.6 billion for 2020/21, £4.8 billion for 21/22, and £7.1 billion for 22/23 compared to 19/20. This will bring the schools budget to £52.2bn in 22/23.

This comes as 61 new free schools open their doors for the new school year, providing more school places and building on the success of free schools across the country. Ofsted’s latest information shows that 84% of all free schools with inspection reports published by the end of June are rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’. This includes predecessor ratings for free schools that have since been re-brokered.

The Prime Minister made clear that his government will continue to build on rising school standards, level up education spending, and to give schools the powers they need to deal with bad behaviour and bullying.