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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 June, 2004, 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK
Tories to reveal education plans
School gates
The Tories want schools to have greater freedom
Schools should be freed from central targets and pupil discipline improved, the Conservatives say.

Schools would be able to set their own admissions policies and appeals panels for expelled pupils would be abolished under a Tory government.

The Tories also said head teachers should have the last say on discipline and there would be fewer central targets set by government.

The party is set to unveil details of its education policy this week.

Tories say that teachers are suffering from initiative fatigue and want less interference and bureaucracy.

However, Labour says that targets have helped deliver dramatic improvements in literacy and claim that Tory policies on admissions and exclusions would be a recipe for chaos and endless legal challenges.

Spending boost

Among other plans being put forward by the Conservatives is a pledge to boost spending on education by 15bn a year by the end of the next Parliament if they win the next election.

The proposed spending boost, an increase of around one-third, would bring the total schools budget up from the projected 47bn in 2005-06 to 62bn in 2009-10.

The Tories say they would give head teachers and governors full control over how their budgets are spent, scrapping Whitehall budget controls.

Shadow education secretary Tim Collins said: "Under our policies, heads will have predictable budgets, with more cash to the front-line, delivered free of strings.

"This will enable them to concentrate on what really matters - raising standards in their schools."

Last week the Tories launched their health policy, under the campaign banner "Right to Choose".

They pledged to scrap all central targets for NHS hospitals, including waiting lists.

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