Exclusive: Queen's Speech leaked
Posted by Jamie at 9 31 PM on Saturday, May 22
RADICAL plans to free schools from government control — the first piece of legislation brought in by the coalition — will be rushed through within weeks.
An Academies Bill, which will let all state schools become academies, will be the centrepiece of Wednesday’s Queen’s Speech, setting out the government’s priorities for the next 18 months.
It means that maintained schools will have the same freedoms as independent schools to run their own affairs free from government or local education authority interference.
A government source said: “Increasing freedoms to raise standards across the education system is going to be the first priority for the new government.
“Setting rules in Whitehall isn’t the way to make that happen. This Bill will provide schools with the freedoms to make their own choices and drive up standards.”
A leaked copy of the Queen’s Speech reveals Her Majesty will state the Government’s priority will be to “reduce the deficit and restore economic growth” and to “accelerate the reduction of the structural budget deficit”, with five Bills led by the Treasury.
In a reference to Mr Cameron’s “big society” election campaign theme, the speech says the Government “will seek to build a strong and fair society by reforming public services and encouraging individual and social responsibility”.
The government also plans to rush through two other bills before Parliament breaks up for summer.
One will scrap ID cards and the National Identity Register and the other undo Labour plans to restructure Norwich and Exeter councils at a cost of £40 million.
The Queen’s Speech will also announce plans for an Office for Budget Responsibility as a key plank in the drive to cut the deficit and restore economic growth.
It is also expected to include a Political Reform Bill as part of measures including fixed-term parliaments and giving voters the power to change their MP without having to wait for an election.
It will also outline welfare reforms so people who turn down reasonable offers of work will see their benefits cut.