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Burnham For Mayor

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Andy Burnham responds to the publication of the Education BIll

Michael Gove wants to take our schools back to the 1950s. It is an elitist, backward-looking vision that won’t equip our children with the knowledge and skills they need for the modern world. Labour is committed to the highest academic standards, but Gove shows how out of touch he is when he prioritises Latin over ICT.

We need a relentless focus on developing a modern workforce to get our economy growing again. This Tory-led Government has little to say to the 50% of young people who do not plan to go to University and are looking for high quality work-based learning.

National guarantees for parents will be replaced by a free-for-all. Gove will not even guarantee a qualified teacher in every classroom – free schools will be able to employ unqualified individuals to teach.

This Government came into office promising freedom and autonomy for teachers – but their education reforms amount to a single, narrow vision imposed on every child in every school, with little evidence of how it will raise standards. It is a plan for an atomised school system which will not deliver for every child.

Where we think the Government is getting it right, we will support them – such as on anonymity for teachers facing false allegations and moves to improve behaviour in schools. And while we support the extension of our free early years provision for disadvantaged two year olds, we are deeply concerned that this is undermined by the failure to protect Sure Start.