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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 March 2006, 16:52 GMT
In quotes: Education debate
Here are some of the highlights from the Commons debate on the government's Education and Inspections Bill:

Education Secretary Ruth Kelly: "This bill will ensure young people have a right to high quality vocational education. It will ensure a tough new system to ensure high standards of discipline in the classroom. It will ensure good quality school food for every child. But most importantly it will ensure more good schools in our communities. This is a progressive bill. A reforming bill. A Labour bill."

Shadow education secretary David Willetts: "I know it is the Ides of March today and the prime minister may well feel a little bit uncomfortable at the sound of daggers being sharpened around him. But we, on this side of the House, are here to praise this Education Bill, not to bury it."

Lib Dem education spokeswoman Sarah Teather: "It's essentially a timid bill with hidden dangers because instead of building a radical fresh agenda for reform for the 21st century, the 11th bill on education from this Labour Government looks back 20 years for its ideas instead of forward."

Education select committee chair, Barry Sheerman: "Why don't we be proud of ourselves sometimes in this House? We changed the bill, we improved it and we're on course for making this country's education better than it was before."

Ex-Tory education secretary Kenneth Clarke: "I'll just rely on the old adage that if it looks like a dog, barks like a dog it probably is a dog. Labour members are never more ridiculous than when they go blue in the face trying to say that the supposed trust schools are not grant maintained schools."

Labour ex-education secretary David Blunkett: "It would be a great disservice to those who have listened and responded if the message went out that members on our side of the House were churlish enough not to take that response and to rejoice in it - in other words to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as we did so often in the 1980s."

Lib Dem MP Phil Willis: "These are Tory proposals. You can dance on the head of a pin about whether these are grant maintained schools mark two or not but the reality is that's exactly what they are."

Labour MP Martin Salter: "Spinning a set of proposals to curry favour with the Daily Mail and patronising the hell out of Labour MPs is an interesting but ill-advisable political tactic and I trust that ministers have learnt from it."

What the plans would mean for schools

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