§ Mr. Byers
Education Action Zones are a radical and important element in our plans to raise standards in schools, especially those in challenging circumstances. They will provide new exciting ways for schools and LEAs, and parents, business and community organisations, to work together to raise standards.
Action Zones will be in urban and rural areas where schools are in need of additional focused support and will exist for at least three years, and often longer. Each will be run with the help of a Forum which will set challenging targets and put forward ambitious, innovative plans for meeting them. Local partnerships will need to bid to be in the programme. We expect to create at least 25 zones during this parliament. We shall very shortly be publishing the School Standards and Framework Bill which will provide the statutory basis for Education Action Zones.