Commenting ahead of the publication of the Schools Bill, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:  

"Our education system faces deep problems: a crisis of funding, a shortfall in provision for special needs, rising child poverty, workload issues that are so intense that they drive teachers out of the profession.   

"We need serious and wide-ranging legislation.   

"Instead, the Schools Bill reveals a Government trapped in the policies of the past. Forcing or inducing schools to become academies is not the answer to education's problems. Piling the pressure on schools to drive up SATs results is not the way to improve education quality. Measures to increase attendance can only be beneficial if the education that schools are able to offer is really engaging to students.   

"To be relevant to real world problems, the Schools Bill needs comprehensive amendment."