THE UK on Thursday (12) published the Schools Bill to raise standards across the country, increasing attendance and improving safeguarding for children, a statement said. 

The bill will help all schools to join a strong multi-academy trust which provides the framework for a new, legally enforceable set of standards for academy trusts.

According to the statement, the bill introduces a new legal tool for local authorities to request some or all of their schools join a strong academy trust, in addition to the existing powers that individual school governing boards hold.

The Schools Bill will give the government’s education watchdog, Ofsted, more powers to gather evidence and act against schools operating illegally and removes loopholes that allowed some settings not to register as a school.

“My mission is clear; I want to make sure every single child across our country has access to an excellent education, supporting them to reach the full height of their potential,” said education secretary Nadhim Zahawi.

“Between the strengthened safeguarding measures and greater accountability in our new Schools Bill, and our Schools White Paper ambitions to embed evidence, tutoring and excellent teacher training in the school system, I am confident we will achieve these ambitions for every child.”

Part of the Schools White Paper, the bill includes a pledge to parents that if their child falls behind in English or maths they will receive tailored support to get back on track, and the ambition for 90 per cent of children to leave primary school at the expected standard in reading, writing and maths by 2030.

It envisages giving the same opportunities to every child to succeed no matter where they live, the statement added.

Safeguarding powers in the bill include a new legal requirement for local authorities to maintain registers of children not in school, helping make sure no child gets lost from the education system. Besides, schools, trusts and councils should work together to drive the highest possible levels of attendance in every corner of the country.

The new statutory academy standards will help make sure trusts themselves all remain strong, effective and able to command public confidence.

The bill also encodes protections for grammar schools to retain their current status when joining multi-academy trusts, and for faith schools to similarly retain their existing freedoms.