White Paper: The proposals

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The Independent Online

* Schools to be encouraged to opt out of local authority control and get more freedom to run their own affairs - ie, decide on the curriculum.

* Businesses, faith groups, parents and universities are to be allowed to set up schools and help form clusters or federations of existing ones.

* Popular schools to be allowed to expand and to take in more pupils.

* Private schools to be allowed to "opt in" to the state sector. Muslim schools, in particular, are expected to take advantage of this.

* Parents to be given a bigger say in the running of schools, through parents' councils.

* Failing schools to be given a year to improve or face closure.

* Cut-price transport for families in poor neighbourhoods to give them access to better-performing schools in wealthier suburbs.

* Schools to be encouraged to adopt "banding" arrangements, ie, taking in equal numbers of pupils from each of the nine ability groups to avoid them selecting brighter pupils.

* Moves to improve discipline with law, giving teachers the right to discipline and restrain pupils, and to fine parents who allow children to roam the streets while suspended.

* Catch-up classes in secondary schools for 11-year-olds struggling with the the Rs; master-classes for the brightest youngsters so they can take tests and exams earlier.

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