Plans, Plans, Plans: An education policy based on central control

New Labour’s two main education ambitions – to raise standards in schools and to offer real choice to parents – were admirable in their intentions: after all, as it stated in its Manifesto, nearly half of all 11-year-olds in England and Wales were unable to read well enough to cope with the secondary syllabus. British teenagers were ranked as among the least literate and the least numerate in Europe. And, in its Manifesto at least, New Labour appeared keen to build on the last Conservative Government’s attempts (such as the creation of Grant Maintained status for schools, specialist schools, Local Management of Schools and so on) to increase diversity and parental choice in education.

Andrew Povey - Sunday, 1st August, 1999