This was New Labour’s first education White Paper. Appendix: Achievement in our schools The text presented here was created from a photocopy of the printed version. Features of development of speech of younger preschool age photographs in the original have been omitted.
Excellence in Schools was prepared for the web by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 4 February 2013. Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland. Foreword by the Secretary of State This, the first White Paper of the new Government, is as much about equipping the people of this country for the challenge of the future as it is about the Government’s core commitment to equality of opportunity and high standards for all. 2 Policies will be designed to benefit the many, not just the few.
3 The focus will be on standards, not structures. 4 Intervention will be in inverse proportion to success. 5 There will be zero tolerance of underperformance. 6 Government will work in partnership with all those committed to raising standards.
An early years forum in every area, planning childcare and education to meet local needs. A network of early excellence centres to spread good practice. Effective assessment of all children starting primary schools. Class sizes of 30 or under for 5, 6 and 7 year-olds.
Education Action Zones providing targeted support and development where they are most needed. An extensive network of specialist schools benefiting neighbouring schools and the local community. Better developed information and communications technology within a clear national strategy. 1 A new approach 1 Learning can unlock the treasure that lies within us all. In the 21st century, knowledge and skills will be the key to success. Our goal is a society in which everyone is well-educated and able to learn throughout life. Britain’s economic prosperity and social cohesion both depend on achieving that goal 2 Good teachers, using the most effective methods, are the key to higher standards.
20 Government will lead the drive to raise standards and create the right framework, but it cannot succeed alone. It must work in partnership with all those who have a part to play in improving the quality of education: parents, teachers and governors, local authorities, churches and business. Parents are a child’s primary educator and our partnership approach will involve them fully. We want to put the years of division, conflict and short-term thinking behind us. 1 Education will be at the heart of government.
Policies will be designed to benefit the many, not just the few. The focus will be on standards, not structures. Intervention will be in inverse proportion to success. There will be zero tolerance of underperformance. Government will work in partnership with all those committed to raising standards. Questions on which we would particularly welcome views are set out in the text and summarised at the end of each chapter.
That sets out clearly the various ways in which responses can be made. The deadline for consultation is 7 October 1997. It is virtually impossible for children to make a success of their lives unless, when they leave primary school, they can lead and write fluently, handle numbers confidently, and concentrate on their work. We aim to ensure that all children have that firm foundation for their education.
11 The “outcomes” provide national standards for early years education. They emphasise early literacy and numeracy and personal and social skills. Smaller primary classes 16 Our pledge to reduce class sizes for 5, 6 and 7 year-olds will be a key factor in improving standards in primary schools. Research evidence shows the importance of class size for younger children. Smaller classes at this age mean teachers can spend more time identifying early on each child’s individual needs and difficulties and offering the help children need to master the basics. 5-10 minutes – whole class review to share, present, revise and evaluate work The school places emphasis on careful classroom organisation and on training pupils to work independently.