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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 June, 2004, 09:48 GMT 10:48 UK
At-a-glance: Tory schools policy
The Tories have published their new education policy. Here are the main proposals.

Teacher freedoms

  • All schools would get grant-maintained status

  • Head teachers and governors would be able to control their own budgets, set pay and conditions for staff and decide their admissions policies, including whether to select pupils by ability

  • Schools would have the final say on discipline, including whether to expel pupils

  • There will be an expansion of pupil referral units for excluded children and financial incentives for schools who take in pupils excluded elsewhere.


  • Schools spending to 62bn in 2009/10. Labour has promised to spend 47bn on schools in 2005/6 and 77bn on education overall in 2007/8

  • There should be one single funding stream, say the Tories, who claim there are 107 different cash streams under Labour.

School places

  • The number of school places expanded by between 550,000 and 600,000

  • There are currently between 107 and 110 school places per 100 pupils, say the Tories. They want to increase the ratio to between 115 and 120 places per 100 pupils

  • There will be a new school fund offering up-front cash for schools to grow or for new schools to be set up

  • Planning rules will be changed to allow more school building.


  • Parents would be able to choose any school in their area

  • Cut price independent schools to be able to get state funding as long as they charge no more than the state price, about 5,500 per pupil each year, for all their children

  • There would not be "passports" or "vouchers". Instead, state money would go automatically to the school of choice
  • Unlike Tory health plans, parents would not be able to use public cash to help pay fees at private schools charging more than the state tariff.

'Failing' schools

  • Schools which fail Ofsted inspections or hit financial problems would be given nine to 12 months to start improving

  • If they fail to turn themselves around, a new head teacher and board of governors will be installed

  • If the new management team fails to improve the school within nine to 12 months, the school will be shut down.

School passports 'would take time'
15 Apr 04  |  Education
Tories' school places shake-up
11 Apr 04  |  Education
Tories clarify 'fee-paying' schools
19 Mar 04  |  Education

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