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Last Updated: Monday, 1 October 2007, 10:24 GMT 11:24 UK
Teachers given Conservative boost
The Tories want to give heads more support for excluding unruly pupils
A Tory government will give teachers accused of abusing pupils the right to anonymity until the case is settled, the party's conference has heard.

Shadow education secretary Michael Gove said the move would help shift the balance of power in the classroom from the troublemakers to the teachers.

Heads will be given the power to exclude "thugs" without outside bodies overturning the decision, he said.

Extra cash will go to schools that take pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Mr Gove spoke out as the Tories launched a campaign dubbed "comprehensively excellent" to identify some of the best comprehensive schools in England.

'Meaningful choice'

In his speech to the party's annual conference in Blackpool, he said Conservative education plans would end the "scandal of a system that deepens division" between rich and poor.

"We will make the changes necessary to give parents meaningful choice and control about where their child is taught," he said.

"In the classroom we'll shift the balance of power so it's the troublemaker who has got something to fear and not the teacher."

We will let our children once more enjoy the thrill of the wind in their hair
Michael Gove
Shadow education secretary

Tories would make it easier for youngsters to take part in competitive team sports, go on outward bound trips and "put adventure back into learning".

The balance would be shifted away "from health and safety bureaucrats".

"We will let our children once more enjoy the thrill of the wind in their hair and the thrill of testing themselves outside their comfort zones," said Mr Gove.

A Tory curriculum would deliver on the basics, prepare the next generation for the world of change and take pride in British history, he said.

Parents of children with special needs would be put "in the driving seat" when it came to choosing the best type of education for them, ending the "dogmatic policy of forced inclusion".

School blazers

Mr Gove pledged to "remove the administrative obstacles which currently prevent charities, churches, voluntary groups and others from providing the new schools parents want and children need".

"From Sweden to New York, conservative politicians have ushered in an age of real school choice with hundreds of new schools coming in to the state sector to provide parents with real control over their children's future," he said.

"We will make sure these schools are open to all, and can open anywhere."

But Mr Gove did not mention his plan for every pupil in the country to wear a school blazer.

Earlier, he had said: "Of the 50 best state comprehensives in Britain, 48 of them have a traditional blazer uniform policy, and it contributes to having an ethos where people when they go to school are there to work, not to bunk off, not to play around, but to study, learn and to acquire opportunities."

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