Liberal Democrat schools spokesman praises “astonishing, dramatic, unbelievable” improvement in schools under Labour

Lib Dem schools spokesman David Laws has praised Labour's record on education - in particular the improvement of pupils' performance in the poorest schools.

Liberal Democrat schools spokesman David Laws has praised Labour’s record on education – in particular the improvement of pupils’ performance in the poorest schools, which he describes as “astonishing, dramatic, unbelievable”.

Mr Laws was speaking at the launch of Demos’s “Politics of Fairness” policy proposals in Parliament today. He said:

“There has been a breathtaking rise in performance in education since 1997. Inner London was a basket case pre-97; ninety per cent of students were failing to get decent grades at 16 back then.

“The improvement’s been astonishing, dramatic, unbelievable.

“Money, reform, leadership, pioneering methods, one-to-one tuition have all helped. That really counts, you cannot say they’ve done nothing.

“Sixty per cent of pupils on free school meals in some of the poorest areas now gain five GCSEs A-C, a massive rise from 13 years ago.”

The other speakers at the event were Conservative Shadow Universities Secretary David Willetts, former Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell and Professor Richard Wilkinson, director of The Equality Trust and co-author of “The Spirit Level“, which argued that more equal societies “almost always” do better than unequal ones.

Among the slides Professor Wilkinson presented was one showing income inequality rising sharply under Thatcher, peaking under Major, falling slightly under Blair and stabilising:

Trends-in-UK-income-inequality

Earlier today Left Foot Forward reported on the One Society’s report into the negative impact of inequality and the recession on young people, which concluded that reducing income inequality would improve social mobility and the quality of life for all young people, across the social spectrum.

• Download the slides and the publications: Wealth of Opportunity by Julian Margo and William Bradley; Everyday Equality by Max Wind-Cowie; and Society of Equals by Left Foot Forward’s Graeme Cooke.

15 Responses to “Liberal Democrat schools spokesman praises “astonishing, dramatic, unbelievable” improvement in schools under Labour”

  1. Tracey Cheetham

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lib Dem schools spokesman praises“astonishing, dramatic,unbelievable”improvement in schools under Labour //is.gd/81DJk

  2. Chris Paul

    RT @uklabour: RT @AndrewSparrow: Lib Dem David Laws on Labour in London schools – 'Improvement astonishing, dramatic, unbelievable.' //bit.ly/dfaIKG

  3. Chris Paul

    RT @nextleft: RT @AndrewSparrow: Lib Dem David Laws on Labour in London schools – 'Improvement astonishing, dramatic, unbelievable.' //bit.ly/dfaIKG

  4. unslugged

    RT @nextleft: RT @AndrewSparrow: Lib Dem David Laws on Labour in London schools – 'Improvement astonishing, dramatic, unbelievable.' //bit.ly/dfaIKG

  5. Michael Hanley

    RT @nextleft: RT @AndrewSparrow: Lib Dem David Laws on Labour in London schools – 'Improvement astonishing, dramatic, unbelievable.' //bit.ly/dfaIKG

  6. Chuka Umunna

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lib Dem schools spokesman praises “astonishing, dramatic,unbelievable” improvement in schools under Lab: //is.gd/81DJk

  7. Alex Belardinelli

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lib Dem schools spokesman praises “astonishing, dramatic,unbelievable” improvement in schools under Lab: //is.gd/81DJk

  8. Cllr Mark Bennett

    RT @ChukaUmunna: RT @leftfootfwd: Lib Dem schools spokesman praises “astonishing, dramatic,unbelievable” improvement in schools under Lab: //is.gd/81DJk

  9. GabrielleLainePeters

    @toadmeister – Have you seen this ? David Laws Lib Dem unbelievable improvement in schools //tinyurl.com/ygfwqjc

  10. Alan McKechan

    RT @leftfootfwd: Liberal Democrat schools spokesman praises “astonishing, dramatic, unbelievable” improvement in schools under Labour: //is.gd/81DJk

  11. Neil O'Brien

    Hmmm. Interesting post. Of course, measured by the Gini coefficient inequality is higher than it ever was under Thatcher or Major.

    //blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/tag/gini-coefficient/

    What is your reaction to this? Why do you prefer the 80/20 measure?

  12. New Labour’s Roosting Chickens « Bad Conscience

    […] As David Laws of the Lib Dems recently noted, inner city schools in London underwent an “astonishing, dramatic, unbelievable” […]

  13. Social Justice, Education and New Labour « Bad Conscience

    […] As David Laws of the Lib Dems recently noted, inner city schools in London underwent an “astonishing, dramatic, unbelievable” […]

  14. Martin Brown

    Lib dems know education //bit.ly/9bHBWv Tories don't: see Michael Goves on Andrew Marr show and in the Spectator //is.gd/8nnVj.

  15. Vote 2010: Education | Left Foot Forward

    […] political agenda. Both the Tories and the Lib Dems have had to concede that school standards have improved under Labour, and it’s difficult to imagine any prospective prime minister not saying education was a top […]

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