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Friday, 16 February, 2001, 17:15 GMT
Lib Dems' education action plan
Phil Willis
The government has no real solutions say the Lib Dems
The Liberal Democrats are setting out their proposals to revive education.

At a conference in Lincolnshire, the party's education spokesman, Phil Willis, is criticising the policies of the government and the Conservatives.

"For all the language and rhetoric this week about raising standards, both Labour and the Tories are still failing to come up with any real solutions to the recruitment and retention problems," he said.

Quality

"With good quality, valued, well-equipped teachers in our classrooms all our schools would be specialist schools and every child would get the quality education they deserve."

Mr Willis said the Liberal Democrats had many supporters in the teaching profession.

"Many teachers already vote Liberal Democrat. They do so because we have consistently recognised the value of teachers in our education system," he said.

The party is meeting this weekend at Stoke Rochford, Near Grantham, to discuss education.

Green Paper

The Liberal Democrats have condemned the government's Green Paper on secondary schools which was published on Monday.

Mr Willis said: "Blunkett's Green Paper signals the end of the comprehensive system. It will mean selection and division for our children with no guarantee of an increase in standards."

"Does David Blunkett want to be known by history as the secretary of state who introduced the most selective schools?"

On the issue of recruitment, the Liberal Democrats say they would pay a full salary for final year trainee teachers to try to encourage people to enter the profession.

The party issued their proposals for higher education this week.

They vowed to abolish tuition fees throughout the UK, to restore maintenance grants for the poorest students and to increase funding for universities.

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See also:

12 Feb 01 | Education
Comprehensives set for overhaul
14 Feb 01 | Education
Hague predicts return of grammars
18 Jan 01 | Education
Teacher shortage a 'national crisis'
13 Jan 01 | Correspondents
Truth about teacher shortages
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