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Raising School Standards

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Education standards have been undermined by the Tory-led Government. From scrapping the requirement that teachers must be qualified, to
allowing underperformance in many schools to go unchallenged, the schools system has been badly mishandled. Rather than focusing
on what really matters – the quality of teaching and learning in all of England’s classrooms – they have focused only on a small number of Free
Schools and academies.

As a result, we have looming teacher shortages due to poor planning and teachers leaving the profession, a primary school places crisis made worse through money spent on opening Free Schools where they’re not needed, and over 1.5 million children in schools that require improvement. Meanwhile, the Government’s reforms have created a dangerous lack of local oversight and accountability in our schools system, meaning poor standards are going unnoticed for far too long.

LABOUR’S PLAN
Every child needs a good school, and every parent deserves the security of knowing that their child is being taught by an excellent qualified
teacher. Parents also want the reassurance that comes from schools being overseen locally and being accountable to their local community, to
help guarantee standards stay high.

Driving up standards means focusing on improving the quality of teaching, not on what schools are called. So we will bring a relentless focus on the quality of teaching – starting with reversing the Tories’ decision to allow schools to employ unqualified teachers.

Funding for additional school places should be prioritised in areas where there are shortages, not for pet projects. So we will end the Tories’ flawed Free Schools programme and give local communities a greater say in where new schools are opened and in addressing underperforming schools.

LABOUR WILL:
• Guarantee parents that all teachers in state schools will be qualified.

• Require teachers to continue building their skills and subject knowledge on the job, with more high quality training and new career paths.

• Ensure all schools are locally accountable with new local Directors of School Standards responsible for intervening in underperforming schools.
• End the flawed Free Schools programme and instead prioritise new schools in areas where there are shortages of school places.

KEY FACTS
• There are now 17,100 unqualified teachers in state-funded schools.
• Nearly a third of Free Schools inspected have been judged inadequate or requiring improvement, compared to one in five for all state-funded schools.

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