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Education System Must Be Ambitious For Every Child

March 4, 2005 12:00 AM

Addressing the Secondary Heads Association Conference today, Baroness Walmsley said:

"Liberal Democrats have pledged to cut primary class sizes to no more than twenty at Key Stage 1 and, by the end of the next parliament, 25 at Key Stage 2.

"Cutting class sizes is a proper education investment for the future that benefits those children that need it most, when and where it will have most benefit. I would find no problem with getting rid of the new Trust fund. It gives the most benefit to those that need it least. I find it especially shameful that children in public care can't have their Trust Fund topped up by local authorities.

"For us, all children have a right to be able to choose between good schools. Where there is choice, is must be between good schools, and not a choice to avoid failure. Indeed, in many rural areas there is no real choice anyway.

"To Liberal Democrats, education is about offering opportunities for all, not about preferment for some; it is about a society that is inclusive and not exclusive; it is about challenging learners to aim for their next goal. It is about being ambitious for learning.

"The role of government is to provide the framework that will make this possible. Unless we do that, we cannot deliver the results. A Liberal Democrat government will re-establish the trust between policy-makers and professionals; it will ensure there are adequate resources for education and above all it will be 'ambitious for every child'."