Legislation on taking over ‘coasting’ schools planned ‘within weeks’

New laws, which would hand education secretary Nicky Morgan greater powers to intervene in “coasting” schools, will be unveiled in a matter of weeks, TES can reveal.

The plans, due to be announced in the Queen’s Speech later this month, would allow the government to force any school judged to “require improvement” by Ofsted to become an academy or be placed under new leadership.

Before the election, prime minister David Cameron vowed he would wage “all-out war on mediocrity”, promising that any school that was not judged good or outstanding by the inspectorate would “have to change”.

A source close to Ms Morgan told TES that enacting the plans, which have been criticised by headteachers’ and teachers’ unions, would be the Department for Education’s first priority under the new Tory administration.

School leaders have warned such a move would effectively turn requires improvement into a “category” that necessitates intervention. More than 3,300 schools across England are currently rated requires improvement.

“The first thing we will be doing is introducing an education bill, which will feature in the Queen’s Speech, in order to tackle coasting schools as per our manifesto pledge. That is the one that is definite,” the source said.

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