Page last updated at 14:09 GMT, Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Gove unveils package of education reforms

Education Secretary Michael Gove has announced a major overhaul of the English schools system to the House of Commons.

Setting out his schools White Paper to MPs on 24 November 2010, Mr Gove said plans to reform teacher training, boost discipline in schools and rewrite the National Curriculum would "provide the opportunity to become the world's leading education nation".

But Labour warned he risked creating a "two-tier education system".

In a statement to the Commons Mr Gove said: "Social mobility went backwards under Labour - and it is the mission of this coalition government to reverse that melancholy trend and make opportunity more equal so we can become an aspiration nation once more... This White Paper does just that."

Under the plans, there will be changes to school performance tables, Ofsted inspections and governance, and a "pupil premium" system will channel more money to the most deprived children.

Teachers will have more freedom to discipline pupils in schools, former members of the armed forces will be offered funding to retrain as teachers, and there will be new aptitude tests for the profession.

Performance tables will judge schools not just on the number of pupils achieving five good GCSEs in English and maths, but also science, foreign languages and a humanities subject, Mr Gove said.

Shadow education secretary Andy Burnham said that while he welcomed some of the proposals the government's White Paper was a "plan for some children not all children".

"You will need to work hard to explain how your plan won't create a new generation of failing schools", he told Mr Gove.

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