The obsession with targets and league tables must end. League tables will be abolished and SATs will go on-line to remove some of the administrative burden from teachers. Schools will be made more accountable to parents. Exercise and nutrition will become major focus points for a child's wellbeing. There will be a greater emphasis on vocational skills for further and higher education.

There is an oft-touted argument that selective education produces higher standards. The greater achievement of pupils from the private school system is also often cited as demonstrating the inadequacies of the state education system. The reality is that students in private education have a wide a range of abilities with many of its pupils not being considered academic. Private schools succeed because: they have smaller class sizes, they work longer hours, they have a culture of striving for excellence in all areas (not just academic), and a larger proportion of pupils' parents are themselves motivated towards success.

The tick box culture of state education has encouraged headteachers to focus on the middle ground as providing the biggest performance managed bang per buck. The needs of gifted and talented children have largely been ignored, particularly those that don't fit the education system's assessment criteria. As a result, for highly intelligent children who think outside the box, state schools can be a harrowing and demotivating experience.

British Independents will ensure that: teaching assistants are encouraged to work towards a formal teaching qualification, that children have a minimum of 2.5 hours over at least three days per week of physical exercise, that part of the curriculum migrates to internet based home study, that only healthy food is served in schools, and that the administrative burden placed on teachers is significantly reduced.

New schools building should focus on the community college model, linking, if needs be, to private health clubs, sports clubs, and even hotels, to provide facilities for the all of the local population. School kitchens should be a community resource, providing meals for those needing social care support, as well as those using the community college's facilities.

British Independents recognises that budgets and school places cannot stay on track whilst the UK allows mass immigration. Central to our education policy is an understanding of the requirement for proper border controls, that can only be delivered via the UK's withdrawal from political union with the EU.

More in this category: « Parliament Law and Order »

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