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Gove targets quicker school reforms

Michael Gove says that the Government must accelerate the pace of its school reforms amid warnings from headteachers to slow down.

The Education Secretary said that the world will change "massively" in the next 10 years and the UK needs an education system equipped to deal with that.

But Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), told the minister he was worried about how quickly the Government was seeking to impose new policies.

In his speech to ASCL's annual conference in Birmingham today, Mr Gove told school leaders: "Lest anyone think we have reached a point where we should slacken the pace of reform - let me reassure them - we have to accelerate.

"Over the next ten years the world we inhabit will change massively."

"Technology will change out of recognition, millions more will go to university, the number of low-skilled jobs will fall, with more reward for those with good qualifications, " Mr Gove said.

"So, we need to have an education system equipped for that world - one which equips young people for all its challenges and opportunities."

He told delegates that large-scale reform is needed in areas such as funding, the curriculum and qualifications, teacher training and school accountability, as well as a move to create more academies and free schools.

But in his vote of thanks, to loud applause from delegates, Mr Lightman told Mr Gove: "I worry about your wish to accelerate reform.

"We all know as leaders that we need to consider one very important issue before we implement any reform in our own schools, and that's capacity."

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