In a speech on education to Policy Exchange this morning David Cameron started by talking of the family. He spoke of the importance of his own family, his belief that the family the bedrock of society and said:
For most families, school is or should be a further extension of its own role and authority – a place for professional attention in addition to the informal instruction of home. For a minority of children, however, school supplies what the family fails to give – it conveys the life lessons that have not been learned at home. And that is why it’s so important that schools are properly independent institutions, properly part of the community that they are in.
He identified the three key Labour failures saying "in education, the whole country is still suffering from a series of orthodoxies which are a sort of hangover from the 1960s"
- That all children are identical, therefore they should be put in the same class at the same school.
- That education is a process of solitary discovery, not of learning from a teacher.
- That schools should be unaccountable outposts of the central state.
The focus of David Cameron’s speech was improving behaviour in mainstream schools. He said Conservatives would:
- Make home-school contracts enforceable
- Give teachers anonymity when allegations of abuse are made
- Make a headteacher’s decision to exclude final by remove the right of excluded pupils to appeal to the local authority
- Better support for those pupils who are excluded by stopping the closure of special schools; intervening earlier with children with emotional and behavioural difficulties and building a new relationship between state schools and those voluntary bodies and social enterprises which have expertise in helping children who get excluded.
You can read the full speech here .