Headlines: September 10th, 1999

School Standards Minister Estelle Morris today promised that nearly one in
four secondary schools will have specialist status by 2003.

Four hundred out of 25,000 secondary schools have so far gone for specialist
status. They have strong partnerships with businesses and other local
schools – they have also improved their performance at twice the rate of the
average comprehensive.

Speaking at the Demos/New Statesman conference in London, Ms. Morris turned
attention away from primary schools, which have had much of the current
administration’s attention so far, with efforts to reduce class sizes and
introduce numeracy and literacy hours.

The latest initiative for secondary schools comes on top of other recent
announcements, including the setting of clear standards through World Class
Tests and early GCSEs.

Education Action Zones, a key strand in the modernisation of secondary
education, are to be expanded, with the announcement of a further 47 EAZs in
the autumn.