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Ed Miliband praises his school in conference speech

03/10/2012 Kelly
The leader of the Labour party Ed Miliband has praised his comprehensive school background in his conference speech.

A 2010 report by the Sutton Trust revealed that 35 per cent of MPs elected for the 2010 Parliament had attended fee-paying schools, which educate just 7 per cent of the population, but Mr Miliband said he was proud of his state school background.

"I wouldn't be standing on this stage today without my comprehensive school education," he told delegates in Manchester.

Those in teaching jobs at Haverstock came in for particular praise from the Labour leader. Calling them "amazing and inspiring", he reserved thanks for his English teacher who was in attendance.

Following the furore surrounding this year's GCSE results, Mr Miliband, who impressively delivered the 65-minute speech without any notes, also pointed out that attending school is about more than just tests and grades.

"I learned at my school about a lot more than how to pass exams," he explained. "I learned how to get on with people from all backgrounds, whoever they were."

Having thanked Haverstock for his upbringing, Mr Miliband then turned his attention to the improvements that he feels need to be made in the education system.

The Labour leader said "it's time to put our focus on the forgotten 50 per cent who do not go to university", pointing out that there are many talented people who struggle with exams at school.

"Think about that 14-year-old, not academic, already bored at school, maybe already starting that process of truanting, of not going to school," he said.

"Here's the choice that I want to offer to that 14-year-old who is not academic … a new Technical Baccalaureate."

This would see the core subjects English and maths taken to 18, alongside vocational teaching and work placements.

"We can't be a country where vocational qualifications are seen as second class," he said.

Posted by Harriet McGowanADNFCR-2164-ID-801462404-ADNFCR
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