HC Deb 09 March 1999 vol 327 c104W
Dr. Starkey

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) what additional resources his Department plans to make available in order to support the training of teachers and head teachers to implement the new emphasis in the national curriculum on valuing cultural diversity and preventing racism, as proposed in the Macpherson report;[74548]

(2) if valuing cultural diversity and preventing racism will be designated as a priority area for school management and included as a compulsory element in the new qualifications for deputy and head teachers. [74549]

Ms Estelle Morris

The Government will shortly be publishing a detailed response and action plan about all the recommendations in the Macpherson report, including those relating to education and the national curriculum.

We are committed to an inclusive education service which enables and encourages all children to achieve to the best of their abilities. As part of our vision for a modernised teaching profession, set out in the Green Paper, "Teachers, Meeting the Challenge of Change", published on 3 December, we are determined to ensure teachers have the skills and knowledge they need effectively to raise standards for all their pupils.

The national standards for teachers, published by the Teacher Training Agency (TTA) and endorsed by Government, which span qualified teacher status through to headship, make clear the need for teachers, on entry to the profession and at all stages in their careers, to have the skills and understanding necessary to meet the needs of an ethnically diverse pupil body. The national standards for head teachers, which underpin the training programmes for aspiring and serving head teachers, make clear the responsibility of heads for ensuring that pupils are aware of the ethnic and cultural diversity in their schools and in society and that there are positive strategies for developing good race relations and for dealing with racial harassment. The TTA also will be producing supplementary materials for Initial Teacher Training providers to ensure that new teachers have the skills to deal with ethnic and cultural diversity in schools.

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