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'I want to slim down the National Curriculum'

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The government is publishing its education white paper, which sets out widespread reforms to teacher training and school funding in England.

Education Secretary Michael Gove told the programme that he was concerned that education had "slipped in the league tables" and that teaching has had "the initiative, the fun, squeezed out of it".

The National Curriculum, he said, had grown to take up almost all the space in the school day.

"I want to slim down the National Curriculum," he told James Naughtie, arguing that it should take up "perhaps 50% of school time".

With greater in-school teacher training, and programmes to bring professionals, including former military staff, into schools, he hoped to "fuse" good training with good teachers.

"I don't know how many U-turns we've executed," he said on the question of school funding, accepting that many schools did not want to free themselves from their local authority.

The test of the reforms, he said, would be to raise the level of social mobility in the country.

"One of the key tests we've set ourselves is - can we get more poor talented children into the best universities," he said.


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