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Sarah Teather: Delivering a fair start for every child

November 24, 2010 3:00 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrat Education Minister Sarah Teather has written to Liberal Democrat members following the publication of the Coalition Government's white paper on schools, "The Importance of Teaching".

The white paper can be read here and Sarah Teather's message to members can be read below.

Dear friend,

Liberal Democrats believe that a quality education is the biggest opportunity to improve people's lives. Nothing is more important than giving every child a fair start in life.

Today the coalition government published its white paper on schools - "The Importance of Teaching". It sets out our ambitious reform programme to raise standards for all children while narrowing the gap between rich and poor.

It shows how the Government is delivering the fair start for every child that we promised in the Liberal Democrat manifesto.

The White Paper announced four key reforms -

Delivering a Pupil Premium, on top of the budgets that schools already have, to go to every deprived child wherever they live, to allow schools to put extra resources into narrowing the gap in attainment between the richest and the poorest. Giving all schools more freedom to make the right choices for their pupils - slimming down the national curriculum, removing bureaucracy and red tape and reducing testing and league tables. Recognising that it is the quality of teaching that really makes a difference in the classroom - expanding graduate teacher programmes like Teach First, developing networks of "teaching schools" and supporting continuing professional development. And, something important to Liberal Democrats, matching school freedoms with a strong strategic role for local authorities in ensuring fairness - in admissions policies, for children with special educational needs, and in championing educational excellence in all schools, including Free Schools and Academies. You can read more about the white paper - and you can watch the video below about the pupil premium.

As part of the consultation process, you can send your views on the white paper to: schoolswhitepaperteam@education.gov.uk. If you have friends or family working in education, please foward this email so they can get involved.

The Liberal Democrats are delivering in Government the fair start for children we promised.


Sarah Teather MP

Minister of State - Department for Education