I‘m someone from a working-class family who went to a good state comprehensive. I will always fight for quality education for all our children and young people. I think the issue is less about parental choice and more about being sure that your local school will deliver a great education. That means it will be staffed by qualified, highly skilled and motivated teachers. It will have enough resources to provide a broad and creative curriculum. It will have the leadership to provide vision, drive and good discipline.
The Labour Party will focus on four key areas in improving our schools:
1 - Quality of teaching We will start by reversing the Tories’ decision to employ unqualified teachers and by presenting staff with more high quality training and new career paths.
2 - Local oversight and accountability We will appoint local Directors of School Standards. They will be accountable to local authorities, and responsible for promoting collaboration between schools, making sure there are enough school places and supporting under-performing schools.
3 - Character and creativity We will promote so-called “soft skills” training in schools. The CBI (Confederation of British Industry) has repeatedly highlighted the need for a better fit between schools and the world of work. That includes assessing schools on a wider basis than the narrow measure of exams. We want to produce young people who are “rigorous, rounded and grounded”. CBI report
4 - Scrapping the Free Schools programme It has taken money away from local schools. Funding for additional school places will be prioritised for areas where there are shortages, not for pet projects.
We live in a globalised, increasingly inter-connected and competitive world. To compete, we need to educate our children to the highest standard possible. We have to foster their creativity and entrepreneurism, and build their knowledge, skills and resilience.