Cameron comes good on schools

David Cameron writes about education in the Telegraph:

Why should we put up with a school content to let a child sit at the back of the class, swapping Facebook updates? Or one where pupils and staff count down the hours to the end of term without ever asking why B grades can’t be turned into As?

Britain can’t let weak schools smother children’s potential. We have got to turn every brain and every willing hand to the task of rebuilding our economy and society.

Precisely. It isn’t good enough that some schools and some teachers drag the rest down.

Spotting the real problem schools, looking at the league tables and sending in the inspectors to sort them out is relatively easy. And we remain relentless about combating entrenched failure. We will soon have taken over more failing schools with new academies than in the whole eight years of the programme under Labour.

But it’s just as important to tackle those all over the country content to muddle through – places where respectable results and a decent local reputation mask a failure to meet potential. Children who did well in primary school but who lose momentum. Early promise fades.

This is the hidden crisis in our schools – in prosperous shires and market towns just as much as the inner cities.

My sales and management mentor once told me what gets measured, gets done. National Standards are the measurement tool.

From June, we will release data about the performance of all pupils from the National Pupil Database. Of course, it will be anonymous, but you will be able to see what happened to individual pupils: where they started, the progress they made and where they ended up. We’ve also made spending data public. All this will allow people to spot the truth and confront failure where it exists.

We are also toughening up exams. More pupils are taking essential core subjects. Already, around a quarter more children have been entered for modern language and history GCSEs than last year. There’s been a stunning 82 per cent increase in the numbers of pupils studying triple sciences. Later this week, we will also be saying more about plans for apprenticeships.

The point of education is to change lives. It’s not good enough for teachers in shire counties to be satisfied with half of children getting five good GCSEs, when Mossbourne Academy achieves 82 per cent in Hackney.

Basically David Cameron says he is going to smash complacency in order to deliver excellence to schools in Britain. We need to be doing the same thing here.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.