Thursday, February 12, 2009

PM aims for world class education

Gordon Brown has pledged to help Britain achieve a "world class" education system where young people from every background can prosper.

In a speech at the University of Greenwich, the PM called for a "culture change" and promised to assist all young people in "seizing the opportunities available to them". Low expectations and acceptance of failure have "held our country back for too long", he said.

The PM said:

"I believe that each young person has talent and potential. Each some gift to develop. Each something to give to the good of the community.

"The Britain I strive for is a Britain with no cap on ambition, no ceiling on hope, no limit to where your potential will take you and how far you can rise: a Britain where the talents of each contribute to the well being and prosperity of all."

Mr Brown outlined a number of Government priorities, including increased parental participation, improved early learning and the recruitment of the best possible teaching staff. The Government plans to introduce more one-to-one and small group tuition and increase the number of young people staying in education beyond 16, he said.

Other measures include annual improvement targets for schools and incentives for the best teachers to go to underperforming schools through schemes such as Teach First and Teach Next. The Government will also create a new "UCAS-style" system for matching apprentices with businesses and provide support for apprentices worth anything from £3,000 up to £15,000 for highly skilled jobs such as engineering.

The PM was accompanied by Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families. Mr Balls will take part in a live webchat in Downing Street on 1 November at 15:00 GMT.

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