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Today, Michael Gove revealed Tory plans to turn thousands of primary schools into independent, state-funded academies if David Cameron wins the next General Election.

The ambitious plans, which would be implemented within two years of a Conservative election victory, would represent sweeping reform of the primary school education.

Accusing Gordon Brown of  “slow strangulation” of the academy programme Gove said:
 “we are carrying forward the Blair agenda in education to where he would have wanted to take it.”
Michael Gove (Photo: Flickr: Creative Commons -Steve Punter)

Michael Gove (Photo: Flickr: Creative Commons -Steve Punter)

Whilst these plans have been criticised in some quarters for being ill-thought out and signalling a move towards deregulation and consequently social segregation, it has to be said that these plans may well have an extremely positive impact on British education.

City academies, the brainchild of Tony Blair, have been successful in turning around under-performing schools in disadvantaged areas.  At a time when, according to the Tories at least, 34,000 11-year-olds have a reading age below that expected of a six year old and a lack of education is thought to be a contributing factor in the recent rise of violent youth crime, these plans are to be applauded.

Children from disadvantaged areas and who lack an education face incredible obstacles on the path to a successful career and many end up ‘falling off the rails’.  A good and comprehensive education must start when children are young, and I firmly believe that primary school education plays a vitally important role in child development.

Any moves to implement much-needed education reform, despite the dire economic crisis, must be welcomed and are imperative if we are to ensure that a generation of British school children is not failed by our education system.

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