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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 16 July, 2002, 15:17 GMT 16:17 UK
Top heads to be 'chief executives'
Classroom
Head teachers will be more accountable for results
Failing head teachers will be sacked from schools, says the Education Secretary, Estelle Morris.

And presenting a tough message of reform for secondary schools in England, she announced a "zero tolerance of indiscipline" with more police in schools.

Estelle Morris
Estelle Morris promised a period of "unprecedented ambition" for schools
The massive funding increase for education, announced in the spending review, must be followed by a "decisive break with those parts of the comprehensive system that still hold us back".

"Progress at secondary level has not been fast enough. I don't think anyone can say that what we've got now is as good as we want," she said.

In a speech to the House of Commons, announcing details of how an extra 12.8bn would be allocated, Ms Morris said secondary schools must have more incentives to improve.

The best head teachers would become "chief executives", overseeing local schools which were struggling.

Education spending 2003-2006
14.7bn extra per year
50,000 extra for secondary schools
10,000 extra for primary schools
125,000 for 1,400 secondary schools in tough areas
Children's centres with 300,000 places
Education maintenance allowances 1,500 per year
Spending per pupil up 50% since 1997

These head teachers would take charge of 300 "advanced specialist" schools - which would be created alongside a higher target of 2,000 specialist schools by 2006.

And head teachers who underachieved would lose their jobs.

This tough approach would be backed by the carrot and stick of funding.

A 125,000 per year "leadership incentive grant", aimed at 1,400 inner-city schools, would only go directly to those schools with effective heads.

Where there were doubts about the quality of the leadership, the money would not be passed directly - but would be dependent on improvements.

"Where necessary these plans will include the replacement of the head teacher, if this is in the best interest of the school and its pupils," she said.

Truancy sweeps

"This is a vital new principle, using the best schools and heads to lever up achievement in the rest."


This is an appalling example of double standards. If teachers miss a target, the teacher gets sacked. If ministers miss a target, the target gets sacked

Damian Green, shadow education secretary

Flanked by the prime minister, Ms Morris called for the modernisation of the comprehensive principle.

There would no "two-tier" system, she promised, but there had to be a wider variety of secondary schools, better leadership and improvements in pupil behaviour.

As well as more specialist and advanced specialist schools, the education secretary announced 33 further city academies and more "extended" schools, also providing social and health services.

The tough line on discipline will see an extension of schemes to place police in schools and to carry out more truancy sweeps.

And she said that special units for disruptive pupils could be opened in any school that needed one.

Teachers responding to the spending review said that reforms would not succeed unless the government targeted money at resolving the staff shortage.

And that was linked to resolving the longstanding dispute over teachers' workload.

But although the education secretary warned that the extra funding would need a "flexible, diverse workforce" - she said that details of workload changes would not be available until the autumn.

Teachers told it is time for change.

University delay

Universities and students will also have to wait longer to hear how much they will receive.

A 10-year strategy for higher education and a review of the student loan system will not be published until the autumn.

But in the meantime the education secretary announced 200m extra for university research.

Further education colleges have been promised a 1% increase in core funding.

The Association of Colleges said this "should mean substantial extra sums to enable colleges to meet their basic costs".

'Sham'

The shadow education secretary, Damian Green, said that there was "a gap between the rhetoric and reality" - and he dismissed claims to diversity as a "sham".

"We are not in principle opposed to spending more on education, but money without real reform will be wasted - as it has been over the past few years," he said.

Mr Green also accused the education secretary of double standards in her plans to sack staff in failing schools - saying that she had missed her targets for reducing truancy.

"Will she accept that this is an appalling example of double standards? If teachers miss a target, the teacher gets sacked. If ministers miss a target, the target gets sacked."

Small print

The Liberal Democrats, while backing the extra spending on education, said that there were now worries about the small print of the announcement.

"Managing every single school from your office is not the way to actually improve what is happening," said Mr Willis.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Education Secretary Estelle Morris
"We will designate 300 advanced schools over the next four years"
The BBC's James Westhead
"Many feel the government is interfering too much"
The government's plans for future spending are published on 15 July

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