Page last updated at 15:32 GMT, Friday, 9 May 2008 16:32 UK

Leaders make state school choices

Gordon Brown and David Cameron
The two leaders are said to be happy with their choice of schools

Prime Minister Gordon Brown's elder son John is to attend a state school near Downing Street, it has been revealed.

Conservative leader David Cameron has also secured a place at a state school for his four-year-old daughter Nancy.

She will attend St Mary Abbots Church of England School, in Kensington, two miles from the Tory leader's home.

Four-year-old John Brown has secured a place at Millbank Primary School, in Westminster, according to a spokesman for the prime minister.

The Brown family decided to release a statement after receiving a series of press inquiries.

"In common with other aspects of their children's lives, they regard John's schooling as a private matter, and they will not be making any further comment," a spokesman added.

Above average

Millbank Primary is believed to be the closest non-faith school to Number 10, and John already attends a nursery school nearby.

It has around 210 pupils, and 24 different languages are spoken there, according to its website.

They are delighted - this is the school that they wanted for their daughter
Conservative spokeswoman

Its performance was well above the national average for Key Stages 1 and 2 last year.

The school is very close to Conservative Party headquarters, on the north bank of the Thames.

Camerons 'delighted'

Mr Brown's predecessor, Tony Blair, came under fire shortly after taking over as Labour leader in 1994 for rejecting local secondary schools in favour of the grant-maintained London Oratory school for his children.

Labour policy at the time was to oppose grant-maintained schools.

David and Samantha Cameron may also face questions after rejecting a number of schools closer to their north Kensington home in favour of St Mary Abbots.

A Conservative spokesman said: "They are delighted. This is the school that they wanted for their daughter."

The Camerons have attended St Mary Abbots Church for three years but Tory sources stressed they have been treated like any other family.

According to its website, more than a third of the pupils at the school are second, or third language learners, with between 20 and 25 languages represented.

'Doing well'

The school has a reputation as a feeder for fee-paying schools, although Mr Cameron, who attended a Berkshire preparatory school and then Eton College, has said he wants his children to be educated in the state sector.

The Camerons' eldest child, Ivan, eight, is profoundly disabled and requires round-the-clock care. Their youngest, Arthur, turned two in February.

Mr Brown's younger son, Fraser, has cystic fibrosis.

The prime minister told ITV1's This Morning on Thursday he was "doing well" and the family was "very hopeful" about the future.

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