Clegg Champions Social Mobility.
Nick Clegg, was in New North Academy today giving a speech about the pupil premium, the title of which on the cabinet office site is entitled “Delivering Educations Progressive Promise: Using the Pupil Premium to Change Lives”
Nick Clegg’s passion for education and social mobility comes through even with some rather stilted speechwriting.
The pupil premium this year will be worth £1.25bn but that wasn’t the main message of Clegg’s speech, the main message followed all that boring but important number stuff.
One of the important passages to me, was this bit:
Because we now have a once in a generation chance: get this right and we make good on education’s progressive promise: to give every child the chance to go as far as their abilities and effort can carry them. And we’ll achieve something else of lasting importance: we’ll prove that teachers do best when Whitehall steps out of the way.
To that end, I want to strike a deal between the Coalition government and our schools and teachers: we’ll give you the cash; we’ll give you the freedom; we’ll reward and celebrate your success. But in return, we want you to redouble your efforts to close the gap between your poorer pupils and everyone else. We won’t be telling you what to do, but we will be watching what you achieve.
Clegg mentions the liberal believe of giving every child an equal opportunity in life and he talks about that other liberal belief giving teachers freedom to teach, not Whitehall diktat that strangles and kills creativity and innovation.
With the teaming up with the Times Supplement to reward schools and teachers who close the gap between rich and poor kids, he is also increasing the incentive for teachers and schools to succeed and spread best practice around the country.