Labour targets teaching

November 27, 1998

Education is to remain the government's top priority over the next year, with the spotlight on raising standards in teaching.

Plans for the "most far-reaching reforms of the teaching profession for 50 years" were announced in Tuesday's Queen's speech, which marked the start of the new parliamentary session.

A green paper on teaching, due to be published next Thursday, will tackle every aspect of the profession from teacher training to pay.

Ministers are thought to be keen to introduce some form of enhanced performance-related pay with which to encourage high-quality graduates to enter teaching.

The government will introduce an NHS bill to replace the internal market with decentralised arrangements that put doctors and nurses in the lead in shaping local services. This will have implications for academic clinicians who will provide much of this leadership and for students in all medical disciplines who will see their curricula changed to reflect the move towards local delivery and increased inderdisciplinary collaboration.

But other planned legislation has been shelved because of the time it is likely to take to secure the reform of the House of Lords.

Among these, the Freedom of Information and Food Standards Agency bills would have had most relevance to higher education. The government has promised "pre-legislative scrutiny" of a draft Freedom of Information Bill and to take forward proposals on a Food Standards Agency.

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