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July 09, 2004
How will this look in five years time?

elephant.jpgOh no! A Five Year Plan.

Parents and children will be able to choose from a higher-quality of schooling in their local community under education reforms published today by Education Secretary Charles Clarke.

Under the government's 'Five-Year Strategy for Children and Learners' plan, every school will be an independent, specialist school with new freedoms to run their own affairs, backed by the security of an historic three-year budget so they can achieve the highest standards for every single pupil.

Mr Clarke said that every reform will be firmly rooted in five key principles: greater personalisation and choice, with the wishes and needs of children, parents and learners centre-stage; opening up services to new and different providers; freedom and independence for frontline headteachers, governors and managers; a major commitment to staff development with high-quality support and training to improve assessment, care and teaching; and partnerships with parents, employers, volunteers and voluntary organisations.

Mr Clarke said that these principles would deliver new guarantees for all pupils and parents and for all those who deliver education and children's services.

In other words, what I said here, towards the end. In other words, this is actually a very good five year plan, as five year plans go.

Tonight I will be attending a soirée chez Tim Evans, and we will no doubt be agreeing about how Tim saw this coming but the Conservatives didn't.

This is their policy! Will they yelp that the Government stole it? (Bad idea. If it's a good idea then it's good that the government is doing it.) Or will they oppose it, and promise merely to throw money at education? (Even worse. Why, until now, was this their idea?)

Right answer for the Conservatives: agree with it, and split the Labour Party. Say: vote for the party that really believes in this stuff, unlike the massed ranks of the Labour Party, beyond the front bit. But that's probably too clever for them.

See also, Tom Utley in the Telegraph covering the same ground. He reminds me that I forgot (c) pretending that the Government's policy is not what it is, which is stupid, on account of being stupid.

Although, this Telegraph leader says that this is an example of the Conservatives leading the debate and that "Labour is on the run".

We shall see.

UPDATE: I keep looking for stuff to blog about on Samizdata, which needs things today, and all I keep finding are further links to add to this posting. For example this one, about the man who is trying to take over Marks and Spencer. He's going to sponsor some schools, apparently.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 04:32 PM
Category: Politics
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