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Last Updated: Friday, 17 November 2006, 02:41 GMT
Scrap school catchment areas call
Baroness Perry
Baroness Perry wants all children to receive a good education
A group set up by David Cameron to advise on future Conservative policy is strongly recommending breaking up school catchment areas.

The co-chair of the public services group, Baroness Perry, says it is an essential part of giving all children the opportunity to go to a good school.

She says it is currently often only middle-class families who can live in the catchment areas of good schools.

But Labour says breaking up catchment areas would bring practical problems.

Baroness Perry, a former chief inspector of schools, says under the current system poorer families on tough estates may be trapped in their local, failing school.

The baroness also says the Conservatives should break up catchment areas and form federations, so that good and under-performing schools work closely together.

The Conservatives say that an important problem has been identified and that they will examine her recommendations - but will not be bound by them.

Labour said the Education Secretary Alan Johnson is already looking at other ways of encouraging pupils from poorer backgrounds to get into the best schools.

The recommendations on school catchment areas

School entry change plans agreed
07 Nov 06 |  Southern Counties
Poor 'miss out on good education'
07 Jun 06 |  Education

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