HC Deb 23 March 2000 vol 346 cc647-8W
31. Mr. Truswell

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to review the policy, administrative and managerial requirements placed on schools. [114631]

Jacqui Smith

My Department keeps policy, administrative and managerial requirements on schools under continuous review. Since the Working Group on Reducing the Bureaucratic Burdens on Teachers reported in January 1998, we have reviewed the National Curriculum to introduce more flexibility, introduced the "light touch" Ofsted inspection regime for effective schools, and reduced the proportion of Standards Fund grants distributed by bidding. Further work under way includes the review of the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice and a major exercise to rationalise data collection. We have also recently increased the support available to help head teachers introduce the new performance management arrangements and carry out the assessments for performance-related pay, and made the timetable for this more flexible.

We will continue to seek every opportunity to streamline requirements on schools and ensure a clear focus on what is essential for raising standards. Future activity will be informed by the outcome of the Better Regulation Taskforce Review of Regulatory Impact on Head Teachers.