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GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES RADICAL TEACHING REFORMS

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Education and skills secretary Estelle Morris today set out radical reforms of the teaching profession....
Education and skills secretary Estelle Morris today set out radical reforms of the teaching profession.

'These reforms will enable us to reach world-class standards of education in schools', said Estelle Morris, 'with teachers spending more of their time teaching and pupils receiving more individual attention.'

She warned that incremental change was not enough.

'We need transformational change - not because we are failing, but because we must provide a world class education to young people and their parents.'

The package of reform announced today is designed to provide more individual attention for pupils. The reforms propose:

* A greater role for higher level support staff in classrooms, including plans for a new trained, professional grade of teaching assistant that will help to raise pupil achievement

* That teachers have 10 percent of their teaching time guaranteed for planning, preparation and assessment (PPA)

Teachers will be able to use this time to focus on individual pupil development, draw up strategies for raising achievement and collaborate with colleagues.

The proposed reforms will also free up teachers from the routine tasks that currently take up over a fifth of their time by:

* Amending teachers' contracts so that they no longer have to do administrative tasks like photocopying, ordering supplies and equipment, washing paint pots etc

* Increasing the role of support staff in non-teaching contact tasks like invigilating exams, providing advice and supervising around the school

The government will also make a concerted attack on any bureaucracy which gets in the way of what matters most - teaching and learning and raising standards of pupil achievement.

It proposes to establish an Implementation Review Unit, which will have a panel of experienced, serving head teachers to provide a feedback mechanism on implementing policy, challenge existing systems and act as a sounding board on policy innovation.

The government has also published joint DFES/OFSTED/QCA guidance for primary teachers on fit-for-purpose lesson planning to ensure that teachers focus on supporting effective teaching rather than producing unnecessary documentation.

Estelle Morris said:

'We are proposing a radical restructuring of the teaching profession. This is essential to delivering excellence in education to pupils and their parents.

'Working together with the government, our education partners must seize the chance I am offering for a win-win outcome: world-class standards for all our pupils and managing teachers' workloads better.

'The government will provide the funding needed but it is up to schools to decide how to use this and existing resources to best effect.

'This generation has a unique opportunity to get this delicate balance right. There is no second chance.'

Notes

This press notice relates to England

1. Five documents have been published as part of the government's package of reforms:

* Time for standards - reforming the school workforce

* Proposals on developing the role of support staff

* Proposals in response to the STRB report on approaches to reduce teacher workload

* Draft regulations and guidance made under section 133 of the Education Act 2002

* Effective lesson planning - guidance for primary teachers

These five documents are all on the Department for Educations and Skills website.

2. For the process on teacher workload see the DFES press release.

3. The government has outlined 25 tasks that are not part of teachers' professional roles and should be transferred to support staff; including bulk photocopying, collecting money, and ordering supplies and equipment. All 25 are listed at www.teachernet.gov.uk/remodelling.

4. The extra money being put into school budgets by 2005-06 will amount to an increase of over£1,000 per pupil in real terms since 1997-98. A streamlined funding system will ensure resources are targeted according to need and get through to the front line.

5. The Teacher Training Agency will develop a set of standards for higher-level teaching assistants and a training programme to meet those standards. But qualified teachers must always oversee the teaching and learning process.

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