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BLAIR CITES EDUCATION AS TOP PRIORITY FOR QUEEN'S SPEECH

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Tony Blair has pledged that an education bill imposing strict guidelines on standards in schools would be the first...
Tony Blair has pledged that an education bill imposing strict guidelines on standards in schools would be the first priority for a Labour government, the Independent reports (p1).

Such a bill would also set guidelines for homework. Blair also told the Breakfast with Frost programme that Chris Woodhead, the government's chief inspector of schools, would keep his job should Labour win the election, despite hostility from teachers.

Blair's refusal to commit Labour to higher spending to pay for his education plans failed to impress some of the teaching trade unions.

Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers, said: 'There is a huge credibility gap between Tony Blair's desire to improve standards without putting up the additional money'.

A second story (p2) reports that educationalists and union leaders believe that a Labour government needs to address the crisis of morale among teachers if its reforms are to succeed.
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