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Thursday, 20 April, 2000, 11:37 GMT 12:37 UK
Blair effigies march for education
A crocodile of campaigners behind the Blair cut-outs
Campaigners want action from Tony Blair at the conference
Hundreds of campaigners carrying life-size cardboard cut-outs of Tony Blair marched on Downing Street in an attempt to improve children's access to education across the world.

The Oxfam campaign, which is also being supported by ActionAid and the Save the Children Fund, wants to see all children worldwide go to school by the year 2015.

Members of the three charities are calling on Mr Blair to take the lead at a global education forum taking place next week in Senegal.

Each effigy of the prime minister carried a billboard with the slogan "125 million kids out of school", below which were hundreds of signatures backing Oxfam's Education Now campaign.

'Very positive'

When the procession of cut-outs arrived at Downing Street on Thursday, they "danced" to the music of a steel band, as one effigy was handed in to Number 10.

Oxfam policy director Justin Forsyth said he had met Mr Blair on Wednesday to ask the government to take the lead at the Education for All Forum, being held between 26 and 28 April.

He said: "He was very positive indeed and promised to take up the issue.

"There are 125 million children in the world without access to education, but it would only take $8bn a year to change that.

"Obviously Britain does not have to come up with this money on its own, but it should take a lead in persuading the whole world to contribute."

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See also:

03 Apr 00 | Education
Universal primary education by 2015
23 Nov 99 | Education
Target for primary schooling for all
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