BBC HOMEPAGE | NEWS | WORLD SERVICE | SPORT | MY BBC low graphics | help
news vote 2001search vote 2001
 You are in: Vote2001
VOTE2001 
Main Issues 
Features 
Crucial Seats 
Key People 
Parties 
Results &  Constituencies 
Opinion Polls 
Online 1000 
Virtual Vote 
Talking Point 
Forum 
AudioVideo 
Programmes 
Voting System 
Local Elections 
Nations 

N Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 

BBC News

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

 A/V REPORTS
The BBC's Mike Baker
"How to pay for more students to go to University is a political dilemma"
 real 56k

Education Secretary David Blunkett
outlines Labour's education plans
 real 56k

Higher Education
Labour's Baroness Blackstone, the Conservative's Teresa May and Phil Willis of the Lib Dems discuss the issues
 real 28k

Wednesday, 23 May, 2001, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Labour 'boost' for schools
schoolboy
Labour promise to spend more on education
A plan to improve the education system has been revealed by Labour, but the Tories denounced it as an "admission of failure".

The party pledged at a news conference to boost the the share of national income spent on education, to provide new teachers and to modernise comprehensives.

Education Secretary David Blunkett said Labour's plans drew stark contrast to the Tories, who "have not mentioned nursery education or early years provision or skills" in their manifesto.

teacher
Teacher numbers increase pledged by Labour
"We will deliver the same improvement in secondary as we did in primary schools," he said, citing "the best-ever primary school results".

And Prime Minister Tony Blair said that as well as giving children the basic tools for life and work, schools should teach them "the joy of life, the exhilaration of music, the excitement of sport, the beauty of art, the magic of science".

: FAST FACTS
Click the launch button for a new window on the key facts and party policies on this issue.

He said he wanted to move beyond the old comprehensive versus grammar school divide.

His aim was for every secondary school to develop a strong individual character, including a centre of excellence.

But shadow education secretary Theresa May said Labour's education plans were an "admission of failure".

David Blunkett
Blunkett: "Investment and reform in schools"
"Given Labour's failure over the last four years, parents and teachers have no reason to believe that they will deliver on their pledges if they are given a second chance," she said.

She added that although Labour "ask us to believe they will recruit an extra 10,000 teachers, they have presided over a crisis of teacher shortages that has led to schools on a four-day week and children being sent home".

However Mr Blunkett added that under a Labour government, there would be an extra 10,000 teachers by 2006.

'Talent'

Labour had increased funding per pupil by 540 since 1997, and was spending three times as much on investing in schools than was spent in 1996-7, he said.

"We will ensure schools meet the talent and aptitudes of the children.

"The clear choice is 2bn of cuts under the Tories or investment and reform in our schools with Labour," Mr Blunkett said.

Education Minister Estelle Morris issued a challenge to the Tories to admit their plans for spending were "wrong and wouldn't mean a single extra penny spent on children on our schools".

She ran through Labour's manifesto pledges.

  • 1. An increase the share of national income spent on education in the next Parliament

  • 2. An extra 10,000 extra teachers in schools by 2006

  • 3. An increase in the number of classroom assistants and support in staff in schools by at least 20,000

  • 4. A nursery place for every three-year-old whose parents want one

  • 5. More opportunities for pupils to learn sports and musical instruments and for more primary pupils to learn a foreign language

  • 6. Greater delegation to head teachers and greater autonomy for successful schools

  • 7. Targets for significantly better results in secondary schools and more effective pathways beyond age 14

  • 8. An increase in the number of specialist secondary schools to at least 1,500 by 2006

  • 9. A reduction in the number of adults lacking basic literacy and numeracy skills by at least 750,000 by 2004

  • 10. Enabling half of young people under the age of 30 to progress to higher education by 2010 while improving standards

  •  A/V CONSOLE
    BBC RADIO NEWS
    BBC ONE TV NEWS

    Latest stories

    Issues: Europe

    TALKING POINT

    INTERACT
    PARTY WEB LINKS



    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


    Related stories:

    16 May 01 |  Vote2001
    Will Labour get more radical?
    09 May 01 |  Vote2001
    Teacher shortages disputed
    06 Mar 01 |  Facts
    School funding
    ©BBC