Education Secretary Michael Gove has pledged to free “teachers from constraint” as he launched a major overhaul of the English schools system in a bid to boost standards and restore discipline.
Unveiling the coalition’s education White Paper, he described the curriculum as a “straitjacket which stifles the creativity of our best teachers” and said he would give teachers more freedom to “innovate and inspire”.
Local authorities will also play a key role as “parents’ champions” to ensure that admissions to schools are fairer, he said.
He 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.
“If we are to make the most of the potential of every child then we need to learn from those countries which outperform us educationally and have more equal societies.
“This White Paper does just that. It takes the best ideas from the highest-performing education nations and applies them to our own circumstances.”
The Importance of Teaching White Paper represents a major overhaul of the English schools system and sets out plans covering teacher training, qualifications and assessment, inspections, league tables and funding in an attempt to improve standards.
Shadow education secretary Andy Burnham said that while he welcomed some elements of the Government’s White Paper, it was a “plan for some children not all children”.
Sally Yates, dean of education at Birmingham’s Newman University College, accused Mr Gove of a “lack of awareness” with proposed changes to teacher training.
Ms Yates, who is also chair elect of the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers, said: “No-one can deny that gaining classroom experience is a valuable part of the teacher training process but this already exists within the current system.
“While time in the classroom is essential, trainee teachers also need time, like trainee doctors, to study their subject knowledge and specialist pedagogic knowledge and understanding.”