Thursday, November 15, 2007

Huhne: Give state schools the same funding as private sector

The Independent have picked up on Chris Huhne's proposal to give state schools the same funding as private ones. I first heard Chris make this pledge at the Bristol hustings and he repeated it on last night's Question Time. This commitment is absolutely right. It is also radical - astonishingly radical in fact, when you consider the spending implications. It also underlines the Liberal Democrats' commitment to lifting educational standards across the board, thereby promoting equality of opportunity.

(Huhne) called for the spending per state school pupil to be raised by £3,705 a year to £8,655 – the average spent on every privately-educated child. He said this could be achieved over 10 years to spread the cost, which would run into billions of pounds.

"Gordon Brown has said it is a long-term aspiration but unless we make it a clear objective, it will never happen," Mr Huhne said. "The key thing is to get extra teachers in place to increase personal attention to pupils and to reduce class sizes. We are talking about a pretty dramatic increase in the number of teachers.

"It would mean there are no second-class children in the country."

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