Schools white paper could clash with children’s agenda

The schools white paper could lead to difficulties in implementing the Every Child Matters agenda, a meeting in Westminster was told last night.

John Chowcat, general secretary of the Association of Professionals in Education and Children’s Trusts, said that the white paper as it currently stood “potentially threatened” the notion of a system where schools co-operated with other services in order to try to serve all children well.

Chowcat added that such a system was required in order to prevent similar tragedies to the case of Victoria Climbie and to deliver the Every Child Matters agenda

The white paper proposes the creation of self-governing trust schools, independent of local authorities and who operate as their own admissions authorities.

Chowcat, who was speaking at an event on the white paper organised by Aspect at Portcullis house, said that the government needed to adopt a “careful and cautious” evidence based approach to the white paper’s reforms before rolling them out.

“I hope we are not too late to persuade the government for the need for long-term pilots and trials of trust schools,” he said.

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