Monday, 29 November 2010

Gove is right on Education

Everyone has an opinion on Education. Are we dumbing down? Is there too much focus on Exams? Are we forgetting the basics? Well last week the Coalition published the Schools White Paper setting out were the Government stands.

The White Paper sets out some serious education reforms for the long-term, and crucially is evidence based on looking specifically at what works in the best performing education systems around the globe in which we now all compete.

The paper marks a decisive shift towards those Conservative values of trusting teachers and ensuring better discipline.

If there is one statistic which sticks out at me - which serves as a reminder why we must drive forward these education reforms it is this: Just 40 pupils out of 83,000 children eligible for Free School Meals made it to Oxford or Cambridge. 40 out of 83,000.

I recently raised in the House the competitive education system in which our children are in. "Is it not accepted that in science, for instance, the UK has gone from fourth to 14th position? In literacy we have gone from seventh to 17th, and in mathematics from eighth to 24th." Reform is always difficult but surely we can all agree we must act to reverse our slide in the global education league.