Saturday, July 10, 2004

Schools in the UK taking a Hogwarts position
Blair opts for Harry Potter style in improving state-run schools
London, July 10 (ANI): The Tony Blair government has announced a five-year plan to improve the quality of education in UK's state schools.
The move, which involves an additional expenditure of about 47 billion pounds, aims at expanding places in existing schools and encouraging middle class students away from private schools.
According to The Mirror, school students will now be seen in uniform and will be part of a school house system similar to the one popularised by J.K Rowling in her Harry Potter series.
The government aims to make every school an independent specialist school by 2008 indicating the end of the 50 year all-purpose comprehensive school era in Britain.
Students will also have more subjects to choose from as well as better opportunities to change from academic to vocational courses.
"For many years a quality education was the prerogative of the few. It must now become the entitlement of all. We have made our decision for excellence, for opportunity, for choice for all. We have specifically ruled out any selection based on ability." Education Secretary, Charles Clarke was quoted as saying.
Teachers, however, have given mixed reactions to the proposal.
"More autonomy, less red tape and a crackdown on both bad pupil and bad parent behaviour is exactly what heads need." general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, David Hart, was quoted as saying.
"The plan to expand city academies is not based on evidence of success. Parents will be faced with a confused and confusing array of schools rather than choice and diversity." National Union of Teachers general secretary, Steve Sinnott was quoted as saying. (ANI)

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