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Cameron sets out schools vision

11/10/2012 Joanna
Prime minister David Cameron has set out his vision for the future of schooling in Britain.

Following Boris Johnson's announcement at the Conservatives' annual conference in Birmingham that he wants to open dozens of Free Schools in London, Mr Cameron took to the stage to unveil his own education proposals.

Mr Cameron said that, along with the economy and welfare, education was a key factor in helping Britain "rise".

"We must … educate all our children," he said. "And I mean really educate them, not just pump up the grades each year."

This was of course a pointed reference to this year's GCSE scandal in which the exam boards were said to have marked more harshly in the summer than in January.

Education secretary Michael Gove has since called for the introduction of a more "rigorous" English Baccalaureate exam to replace the "spoon fed" GCSE system, and Mr Cameron told delegates that he wants children "to go to schools where discipline is strict, expectations are high and no excuses are accepted for failure".

The prime minister, who has been criticised for being out of touch because of his Eton schooling and personal wealth, said that he wanted every child to have the same educational opportunities he enjoyed.

"I went to a great school and I want every child to have a great education," he stated. "I'm not here to defend privilege; I'm here to spread it."

Backing his party's drive for more Free Schools and academies, Mr Cameron said: "My plan [is for] millions of children [to be] sent to independent schools. Independent schools in the state sector.

"I want more Free Schools, more academies, more rigorous exams in every school, more expected of every child."

He also said that he wants schools to focus on helping pupils excel in the core subjects: English, science and maths. 

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